Attention UK employers! On February 28, 2023, UK Visas and Immigration released an updated version of the Right to Work check guidance. Here are the highlights:
First off, a word of caution: employers remain liable even if they enlist an Identity Service Provider to conduct right to work checks on British or Irish nationals. Make sure you get the necessary evidence of the check from the provider and conduct the likeness check yourself, either shortly before or on day one of employment.
Now, for those workers who have made ‘in-time’ applications to extend their current work visa and hold an e-Visa, employers can ask them to generate a share code to conduct their right to work check. This new update saves time and resources as the online service provides confirmation of the individual’s right to work and grants the employer with a statutory excuse for six months. Note that any subsequent applications to renew the right to work will require follow-up checks.
If the individual cannot provide a share code but holds an outstanding, in-time application, employers can contact the Employer’s Checking Service for verification.
Employers must ensure that the photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work. If the image is of poor quality or showing incorrectly, advise the individual to update the image on their account before continuing with the right to work check. A video call can be used to verify the individual’s identity.
Another clarification: if an individual presents a BRP card with an expiry date of December 31, 2024, and has permission to stay in the UK that ends after that date, don’t worry. This isn’t an error, and the holder’s rights and entitlements are unaffected. When the holder provides you with a share code to prove their right to work, their online profile will display the expiry date of their immigration permission, rather than the card expiry date. This forms part of the UK border and immigration system’s plan to go digital and phase out physical documents before the end of 2024.
Lastly, a Re-Admission to the UK (RUK) endorsement in a current passport is now listed as an acceptable document for manual right to work checks. An individual who presents this endorsement has an ongoing right to work and is not required to complete a follow-up right to work check. This type of endorsement is issued to certain returning residents (i.e., individuals who were previously settled in the UK).
Employers, make sure to adapt your processes to these changes!
This news article has been crafted with insights from the official website of the UK government, GOV.UK.