Conducting a Compliant Right to Work Check Contents

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1 Conducting a Compliant Right to Work Check Contents What is a Right to Work check? 2 Why carry out these checks? 2 The 3 Step Check 3 Examples of Acceptable documents: 5 - Passport 5 - Full Birth/Adoption Certificate 6 - Vignettes 7 - Dependent visa 8 - EEA Family Permit 9 - Certificate of Application 10 - EEA Residence Card 11 - Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) 12 - Limited Leave to Remain 13 - Tier 2 (General) 14 - Tier Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme) 16 - Tier 5 (GAE) 17 - Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) 18 - UK Ancestry 19

2 What is a Right to Work Check? A right to work check means that you check a document which is acceptable for showing permission to work in the UK. You must do this in person before you employ someone to ensure they are legally allowed to do the work in question for you. You are also required to conduct a follow-up check on people who have time-limited permission to work in the UK. Checking a person s documents to determine if they have the right to carry out the type of work you are offering comprises of three key steps: 1. Obtain the person s original documents; 2. Check them in the presence of the holder; 3. Make and retain a clear copy, and make a record of the date of the check. Why carry out these checks? Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, the University has a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees and workers have the legal right to work in the UK. Checks on right to work must be carried out for every person who will work at the University, regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality. This must be completed before they begin any work in order to: Ensure that the University only employs people who are legally entitled to work in the UK. Establish a legal excuse against liability for payment of a civil penalty if an illegal worker is erroneously employed. Avoid potential indirect race discrimination on the grounds of nationality. Demonstrate effective legal compliance in the event of a UK Visas and Immigration audit. If we do not comply with our duty to ensure our employees have the right to work in the UK, there are serious penalties for non-compliance as follows: On-the-spot fines of up to 20,000 for each illegal migrant worker employed. A maximum two year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine if illegal migrant workers are employed knowingly. Down-grading the University's sponsor licence, with subsequent timed action plan to regain fully compliant status. The University would not be able to sponsor any more individuals under Tier 2 or 5 during any period when our licence is downgraded. Withdrawal of the sponsor licence, with the consequence that all sponsored individuals would have to leave the University. 2

3 The 3 Step Check The Home Office has issued a right to work checklist which can be used to confirm that the right to work check has been taken properly. This can be found here: mployer_s_right_to_work_checklist_final.pdf It is recommended that you use the checklist that is provided by the Home Office when carrying out a Right to Work check and then carry out The 3 Step Check : Step 1: Obtain In order to be compliant, it is essential that the documents provided are the original and not a copy. As an employer, we are not permitted to accept copies of any right to work documentation. Once confirmed that the documents are original they can be marked on the checklist in the appropriate category. Step 2: Check You have checked the documents are not a copy and you now need to check if they are genuine. The questions on the Right to Work checklist will help you through this. 3

4 Step 3: Copy Take a copy of all the documents and write the date and time the check was taken and then sign it. Scan it to convert it into a PDF or a format that cannot later be altered. It will give you the option on the checklist to record what you have copied. This will either be Passport or Any other documentation You can then send the copy of the documentation and the Right to Work checklist to Human Resources by ing If in any doubt, please contact Sam Morrison on 2054 or or the Employee Services Team on 8555 or All non-eea employees should be sent to Human Resources with their Right to Work documentation. This means any employee with documentation that fits in with List B Group 1 and List B Group 2. EU countries The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The European Economic Area (EEA) The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU s single market. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market - this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals. Any employee from a country not listed here will need to be sent to Human Resources for their Right to work check. 4

5 Examples of Acceptable documents The following pages contain real-life examples of the types of documents you may see as evidence of right to work in the UK. Passport A copy of the passport must include any page with the document expiry date, nationality, and date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details and photograph. In most cases this will be the 'bio-data' page of the passport. You must also take copies of the UK visa and/or stamp inside the passport. This must show that the holder has an entitlement to be in the UK and is entitled to undertake the work in question. In addition, please note the following: The passport must be valid, unless the individual is a UK or EU national, or where an exemption applies. If we accept an expired passport, we must be satisfied that the likeness of the photo on the passport is consistent with the person presenting the passport. We cannot accept an expired passport containing a valid grant of leave alongside a valid passport as proof of right to work. Where an individual presents a visa/vignette inside a passport, the visa must be stamped with an Immigration Officer Date stamp for it to be considered valid. For example: 5

6 Full UK Birth/Adopt Cert & NI & Name including Channel Islands and Isle of Man and Ireland British citizens may also demonstrate their permission to work through their full UK birth or adoption certificate which includes the name(s) of at least one of their parents or adoptive parents, together with an official document giving their permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer. The General Register Office has published a Guide to Birth Certificates which provides advice on UK birth certificate security features, possible fraud indicators and sample documents. Please Note: Short UK birth certificates (which do not have details of either of the holder s parents) and national insurance numbers on their own are not acceptable documents for the purpose of a right to work check and will not provide a statutory excuse. 6

7 Vignettes Between March and July 2015, UK Visas and Immigration phased out the issuing of visas inside passports for those individuals applying from outside the UK. Instead, all non-eea nationals applying from overseas for permission to stay in the UK for more than six months are issued a vignette inside their passport (similar to a visa) which is valid for 30 days only. Within those 30 days the individual must enter the UK and collect their BRP from the Post Office within ten working days. Pending the collection of the BRP, you can accept the 30 day vignette as evidence of right to work, provided: The vignette is still valid and is presented inside a valid passport. The individual collects their BRP from Post Office as soon as possible and presents it. Vignette Example: Only ever valid for 30 days. This is the only distinguishable feature of the Vignette. Please note: Until at least 2020, you will be able to accept a visa, a vignette or a BRP as evidence of right to work. Only after 2020 will we gradually see a reduction in those individuals presenting visas inside their passport as evidence of right to work. After this time, non-eea nationals granted permission to stay in the UK will only be able to evidence their right to work using a vignette or a BRP. 7

8 PBS Dependant visa Features Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP. Issued to the dependant partners/children of individuals holding pointsbased system visas (e.g. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 etc.). Confers unlimited right to work in the UK until the expiry date How to record on CHRIS: Dependant visa Visa example: BRP example: 8

9 EEA Family Permit EEA Family Permit Features: Always issued as a visa inside a passport Issued to non-eea family members of EEA nationals (except UK citizens). Those eligible must apply for this visa before entering the UK. Valid for six months. Cannot be accepted as proof of right to work. Visa example: After arriving in the UK, the individual holding an EEA Family Permit can apply for an EEA Residence Card in order to prove right to work in the UK. Once they have applied applying, the individual will be issued with a letter entitled Certificate of Application. Please see next page. 9

10 Certificate of Application This can be accepted as proof of right to work, but you must pass this to the Compliance Team who will conduct a further check with UKVI and then confirm within five working days if the individual can start work. Do not allow the individual to start work until the Compliance Team have advised accordingly. 10

11 EEA Residence Card Features: Can be issued inside a passport or on a separate paper document. An expired passport can be accepted for the purposes of a right to work check. Valid for five years The Residence Card must be valid before work commences Confers the unlimited right to work in the UK and the individual can work beyond the expiry date but will need a new Card if they are made a leaver. How to record on CHRIS: EEA Family Member Example: 11

12 Indefinite Leave to Remain Features: Can be issued as a visa or stamp inside a passport, but commonly seen as a BRP. Do not accept ILR stamp/visa in an expired passport alongside new passport. This is not valid as evidence of right to work. BRP/Visa valid for ten years do not accept if expired. Confers unlimited right to work in the UK How to record on CHRIS: Indefinite Leave to Remain BRP example: 12

13 Limited Leave to Remain Features: Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP Validity can vary, but most commonly for three years. Confers unlimited right to work in the UK until expiry date. Not commonly seen. If in doubt, contact the Compliance Team. How to record on CHRIS: Limited leave to remain with no restrictions on employment BRP example: 13

14 Tier 2 (General) Features: Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP. Valid for a maximum of five years. TES should never accept for full-time work as they will already be working for the University or another employer in another role. Individuals holding these can only undertake supplementary work. Under these rules they can only work: o Up to 20 hours per week; and o Outside their normal working hours (usually weekends/evenings) Always consult the Compliance Team before accepting this as right to work. How to record on CHRIS: Tier 2 (Supp. Work) Visa example: BRP example: 14

15 Tier 4 Features: Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP. Validity varies. Working conditions depend on what type of student they are and where they study, but there are often very strict limits on working hours which vary at different times in the course of the individual s study. See Annex C for working conditions letters for full details. Always use Tier 4 checklist for guidance. See Annex B How to record on CHRIS: Tier 4 BRP example: 15

16 Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa Features: Only ever seen as a BRP. Never a visa or vignette. Only Tier 4 PhD students who have completed their PhD can apply. Only valid for a maximum of one year. Cannot be extended. Confers the unlimited right to work in the UK until expiry date. How to record on CHRIS: Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme BRP example: 16

17 Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) Features: Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP. Valid for a maximum of two years. TES should never accept for full-time work as they will already be working for the University or another employer in another role. Individuals holding Tier 5 (GAE) can only undertake supplementary work through TES. Under these rules they can only work: Up to 20 hours per week; and Outside their normal working hours (usually weekends/evenings) Always consult the Compliance Team before accepting this as right to work. Visa Example: 17

18 Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Features: Always issued as a visa or vignette inside passport. Never seen as a BRP. Issued to citizens of certain Commonwealth countries who are aged Valid for two years. Cannot be extended. Confers unlimited right to work in the UK until expiry date. How to record on CHRIS: Tier 5 Youth Mobility Worker Visa example: 18

19 UK Ancestry Features: Can be issued as a visa or vignette inside a passport or as a BRP. Always states UK Ancestry - Employment. Only issued to Commonwealth citizens with grandparents born in UK. Valid for five years. Can be extended for a further five years if required. Confers unlimited right to work in the UK until expiry date. How to record on CHRIS: UK Ancestry visa Visa example: 19

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