What is a right to work check?

A right to work check is a Home Office process to establish that each employee or casual worker has the right to work in the UK before they start their employment.

In addition, those with time-limited right to work in the UK (i.e. those who hold a ‘List B’ document such as a visa) must have a repeat check before their visa/document is due to expire.

     

    Right to work check required
    Right to work check not required
    Any employees working for the University
    (British/EEA citizen/visa holder)
    Anybody working entirely overseas
    Casual workers Anybody continuously employed
    since before 27 January 1997

    Tier 5 visa holders

    Self-employed workers
    Examiners (in some circumstances) Agency workers
    Outtutors arranged by department Workers supplied by the
    Temporary Staffing Service
    Unpaid workers Volunteers
    Anyone doing work experience
    who is over the age of 16
    Anyone doing work experience
    who is under the age of 16

    Tier 4 visa holders
    (Most are restricted to 20 hours per week)

     

    Visitors (either EEA/British citizen,
    or someone holding a visitor visa)

     

     

    External electoral board members/committee members
    who are carrying out unpaid occasional tasks
    (their expenses may be reimbursed)

     

     

    Employing Tier 4 student visa holders

    Please note that most student visa holders are restricted to work up to 20 hours per week. Before employing a student, please ask them to complete the Tier 4 Student Employment Declaration form to check whether they are working for another employer and whether their visa permits them to work full time outside term. 

    For more information about this, please see the Employing student visa holder pages

    Where a Tier 4 visa holder is applying to switch into Tier 2 they are permitted to start work during their application for a Tier 2 visa. See Switching from a Tier 4 visa into Tier 2 General for additional information

     

    Right to work scenarios

    Please see our RTW scenarios guidance on right to work checks for different scenarios such as re-hiring previous employees, internal transfers, casual workers etc. for further information.

     

     

    Brexit

    Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members who are living in the UK before Brexit will continue to have the same rights in the UK and will have until December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the new EU Settlement Scheme.

    As they have until December 2020 to apply Europeans can still simply present their passport to evidence their right to work in the UK, as the right to work rules will not change until 2021.        

    For more information on Brexit and the rights of those already, and arriving, in the UK please see our BREXIT information page.

     
     

     

    List A and List B documents are two lists of documents which can be accepted as proof of right to work. Whether an employee falls under List A or List B depends on their nationality and/or their current immigration status in the UK.

     

    List A
    (unlimited leave to remain)

    List B
    (time limited leave to reamin)

    British national Tier 1 visa holder
    National from EU/EEA country Tier 2 visa holder
    Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) visa holder  Tier 4 visa holder
    Permanent Residence (PR) visa holder Tier 5 visa holder
      Dependant visa holder

     

     

    List A documents

    Permanent proof of right to work - no repeat checks are required during employment

     

    •  A passport showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
    • A passport or national identity card showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
    •  A Registration Certificate or Document Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
    •  A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office, to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
    •  A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
    •   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.
    • 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.
    •  A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents, 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.
    •   A birth (short or long) 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.
    •   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 documents:

    Time limited right to work. A repeat check must be done for all list B holders before the document expires if employment is expected to continue
     

    •  A valid entry vignette in a current passport showing holder is allowed to enter the UK (please note a repeat right to work check must be done before the vignette expires).
    •  A valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) issued by the Home Office to the holder under a particular visa route ( Tier 1/Tier 2/Tier 4/Tier 5/PBS dependant)
    •  A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.
    •  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.

     

     

     

    Brexit

    Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members who are living in the UK before Brexit will continue to have the same rights in the UK and will have until December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the new EU Settlement Scheme.

    As they have until December 2020 to apply Europeans can still simply present their passport to evidence their right to work in the UK, as the right to work rules will not change until 2021.         For more information on Brexit and the rights of those already, and arriving, in the UK please see our BREXIT information page.

     
     

     

    There is no requirement to carry out a right to work check for the following:

    • People providing a service for which they invoice the department or college  under a contract for services and for which they are self- employed according to HMRC rules
    • Academic and other visitors who are citizens of the UK/EEA or already in the UK on an appropriate visa.
    • Individuals invited to Oxford to carry out occasional  tasks for which they are unpaid but for which expenses may be reimbursed e.g. external electoral board members or committee members
    • Agency workers (right to work is checked by the agency)
    • Temps sourced through the University Temporary Staffing Service (right to work is checked and held by the Service)
    • Volunteers (voluntary activity must not amount to unpaid work, volunteer work or job substitution). In order to be considered as a volunteer: 
      • there should be no payment, other than reasonable travel and meals expenditure actually incurred (not an allowance for the same);
      • there should be no contractual obligations;
      • the service should not be a substitute for employment (i.e. fulfilling a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil).

    Failure to comply with Right to Work check requirements poses a serious risk to these licences:

    • University of Oxford sponsor licences withdrawn - all sponsored workers and students required to leave the University and UK
    • Licences downgraded – may retain current visa holders but not sponsor new visa holders
    • Prevent the recruitment of international talent (students and employees)
     
    • On-the-spot fines of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker
    • Up to 2 year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine
    • Financial and reputational loss
     
     

    A breach from a single college or department (including those who do not have any Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored visa holders) may result in potentially serious consequences for entire Collegiate University.

     

    Departments and colleges should check and record the visa status of:

    Copies of the passport and appropriate visa should be taken and retained for the duration of the visit.

     

    Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals and their family members who are living in the UK before Brexit will continue to have the same rights in the UK and will have until December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the new EU Settlement Scheme.

    As they have until December 2020 to apply Europeans can still simply present their passport to evidence their right to work in the UK, as the right to work rules will not change until 2021. For more information on Brexit and the rights of those already, and arriving, in the UK please see our BREXIT information page.

    Training for Administrators


    The team runs regular training courses on Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5, Visitors and Right to Work

    BOOK A PLACE ON A TRAINING SESSION

     

    Forms & Guidance 


    Download the forms and guidance documents

    FIND A FORM 

     

    Contact us


    Medical Sciences

    Angelina Pelova Tel: 01865 289904 Email: angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk 

     

    MPLS

    Nina Song Tel: 01865 289926 Email: nina.song@admin.ox.ac.uk

     

    Humanities / Social Sciences / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education / Colleges

    James Galloway Tel: 01865 289927 Email: james.galloway@admin.ox.ac.uk

     


     
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