Right to Work Documents List

right to work documents

IN THIS ARTICLE

Every worker in the UK has to provide proof to their employer that they have the right to work.

This requirement applies regardless of the worker’s nationality, residency status, age or race.

UK employers are required by law to carry out right to work document checks prior to any candidate starting employment. To carry out the right to work check, a prospective employer may ask you to provide acceptable forms of right to work documents in order to carry out a manual document check.

The documents you will need to provide will be determined by your current status in the UK and whether you need to present documents from the Home Office’s List A and List B of acceptable documents that confirm lawful working status.

If your right to work is time-limited, you will be required to evidence your continued lawful working status through additional follow-up document checks which your employer is required to undertake.

In the event that you are unable to produce appropriate documentation, except in limited circumstances, you will be precluded from working lawfully in the UK.

If you undertake employment in the absence of valid documentation or through use of fraudulent documentation, you risk severe penalties. Your employer is also likely to face Home Office action for failing to meet its compliance duties.

Below we set out a guide to the right to work documents you need to present to prove your eligibility to work in the UK.

What are acceptable right to work documents?

Home Office-approved right to work documents fall into two categories: List A and List B.

List A

These documents are evidence that you have a permanent and unrestricted right to work in the UK:

  1. A passport (current or expired) showing the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
  2. A passport or passport card (in either case, whether current or expired) showing that the holder is an Irish citizen.
  3. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted unlimited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  4. A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  5. A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  6. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  7. A birth or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
  8. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.

List B

These documents are evidence of a temporary or restricted right to work in the UK. These are further divided into two groups to determine the point at which your new employer will be required to recheck your right to work in the UK documents because you only have time-limited permission to work in the UK or to undertake the work on offer.

List B Group 1:

Right to work documents which show a time-limited right to work. A follow-up check is required when the document evidencing permission to work expires.

  • A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
  • A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  • A current immigration status document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.

In circumstances where you have produced proof of your right to work from Group 1, your employer will need to recheck your ‘right to work in the UK documents’ upon expiry of the date of leave.

List B Group 2:

Right to work documents which show a time-limited right to work in the UK for up to six months from the date specified in the Positive Verification Notice. A follow-up check js required when this notice expires.

  • A document issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules on or before 30 June 2021 together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • A Certificate of Application (digital or non-digital) issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme), on or after 1 July 2021, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU (J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules or Appendix EU to the immigration Rules (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008, or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • An Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office stating that the holder is permitted to take the employment in question, together with a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
  • A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question.

In circumstances where your employer has contacted the Home Office Employer Checking Service to verify your right to work and obtained a Positive Verification Notice, your employer will need to recheck your right to work in the UK documents six months from the date set out in that notice. Further explanation as to when your potential employer can obtain a Positive Verification Notice to verify your right to work is set out below.

EU citizens in the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK were given a deadline of 30 June 2021 to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme to secure either pre settled or full settled status in the UK. The EUSS confirms continued lawful and indefinite status in the UK to live and work.

EU workers starting new employment in the UK must provide proof of their right to work in the form of:

  • Evidence of their EU settled status using a share code
  • Evidence of a work permission or a work visa under the points-based system

As there is no physical, documentary proof of EU settled status, those with EU settled status should use the Home Office’s online right to work service to prove their working status. If you opt to use the online service, once you have completed the registration on the Home Office website, you will be given a share code. You then give this code to the employer, who can then verify your right to work using the employers’ online checking service.

What if I am unable to produce the relevant documents at the time?

There are limited circumstances in which a prospective employer may still be able to offer you employment, even though you are unable to produce the relevant right to work documents at that time. In the following instances, a prospective employer can contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service to verify your right to work:

  • you are able to produce a Certificate of Application which is less than six months old and which indicates that work is permitted.
  • you are able to produce an Application Registration Card stating that you are permitted to undertake the work in question.
  • you have submitted an application to extend or vary your permission to be in the UK prior to the date on which permission expired, or have an appeal or administrative review pending a decision.

Subject to Home Office approval, the employer will be provided with a Positive Verification Notice to confirm your right to work in the UK and to undertake the work on offer. Your employer will be obliged, however, to repeat the right to work check after six months. If, however, your prospective employer receives a Negative Verification Notice from the Home Office, you will be precluded from legally working in the UK.

What is the process for checking my right to work in the UK documents?

A prospective employer will ask you to provide one or more documents from either List A or B (additional rules apply to student workers). You will need to provide that employer with the original documents so that they can check the validity of those documents in your presence. The employer will make a copy of any documentation to be retained for their records.

When checking the validity of the documents, a prospective employer will seek to ensure that:

  • the documents are genuine, original and have not been tampered with.
  • you are the rightful holder.
  • the photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with your appearance.
  • the expiry dates for permission to be in the UK have not passed and any work restrictions still permit the type of work, including any limit on the number of hours you are allowed to work.
  • there is an explanation for any difference in names across documents – the prospective employer may seek further documentation to explain any differences, eg, an original marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Why are right to work in the UK documents necessary?

In circumstances where you are unable to provide suitable proof of your right to work in the UK, or to undertake the work on offer – save except where you have an immigration application or appeal pending with the Home Office – you will be precluded from legally working in the UK.

It is a criminal offence to work illegally in the UK, ie; without the correct right to work in the UK documents. You will be guilty of an offence if you undertake work at a time when you know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that you are disqualified from working by reason of your immigration status.

On conviction, the offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of up to six months or a fine, or both. The maximum term of imprisonment is also likely to increase in the future to up to 51 weeks. Further, any earnings arising from working illegally may be seized.

Right to work documents FAQs

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Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute tax, financial or legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the rules and should not be treated as such.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission.

Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert tax, financial, legal or other advice should be sought.

Author

Right to Work Documents List 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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