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UNITED KINGDOM – Changes to Right-to-Work Checks in 2019

Effective 28 January 2019, employers in the United Kingdom will be able to rely on an online right-to-work check to prove the status of prospective employees.

The online Right to Work Checking Service was introduced in April 2018, but currently employers in the UK still need to request paper documents alongside using the service.

The changes will also make it simpler for UK nationals without British passports to demonstrate their citizenship by enabling them to use short birth or adoption certificates, which they can get for free, instead of the long versions.

Who is affected?

The online Right to Work Checking Service can be used by non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards and EEA nationals who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

EEA nationals who have not been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and UK nationals, will still need to demonstrate their right to work through the appropriate documents, as now.

How will it work?

The service is voluntary for employers and individuals. Migrants may demonstrate their right to work using either the existing document checking service or the online checking service.

Individuals will be able to authorise their current or prospective employer to see information about their immigration status to conduct the check, and will be able to see exactly what information will be shared.


The Home Office introduced the ‘Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) (Code of Practice and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2018, together with a revised Code of Practice, to implement these changes.

Action Items

  • Employers in the UK are urged to check that their employees and prospective employees have genuine documents, that they are the rightful document holder and that they are allowed to do the type of work being offered.
  • Affected employers are encouraged to contact Newland Chase for more specific advice.

This alert was prepared with information provided by Newland Chase.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.