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UK Immigration: Adjusted right to work check update

  • United Kingdom
  • Employment law
  • Global mobility and immigration

23-02-2022

Yesterday, the Home Office’s guidance on right to work checks was updated to extend the adjusted right to work check process currently in place as a result of COVID-19, until 30 September 2022 (inclusive).

What is the change?

The adjusted right to work check process was set to end on 05 April 2022 (inclusive). This deadline has now been extended to 30 September 2022 (inclusive). This update is welcomed as it will allow employers the continued flexibility to undertake right to work checks remotely, for those who are outside the scope of the online right to work checking service, without the employee or prospective employee having to send their original documents to their employer to undertake a check.

This update will allow employers to continue to undertake adjusted right to work checks whilst the Digital identity document validation technology (IDVT) is being phased in, allowing them to have extra time to be familiar with the IDVT processes and to update their current procedures in preparation for the changes. It will also allow employers to delay opting in to the IDVT assisted right to work checks until 30 September 2022 and therefore save on costs in the interim.

Any pitfalls/exceptions to the adjusted right to work check?

Although, the adjusted right to work check is being extended from 05 April 2022 (inclusive) to 30 September 2022 (inclusive), employers should bear in mind that the right to work check regime will still be changing from 06 April 2022.

From 06 April 2022, employers will no longer be able to carry out a manual right to work check (including an adjusted right to work check) on those who hold a biometric residence permit, biometric residence card or a frontier worker permit (biometric card holders). Employers must carry out an online right to work check from this date, in the prescribed manner which establishes a statutory excuse, before employment commences.

The Home Office has confirmed that biometric residence cards, biometric residence permits and frontier worker permits will be removed from the lists of acceptable documents that can be accepted for a manual right to work check and that a retrospective right to work check on those who used a biometric residence permit, biometric residence card or a frontier worker permit to prove their right to work during a manual right to work check will not be required.

Next action

Employers should continue to check guidance from UK Visas and Immigration on this subject to keep abreast of the frequent changes in the area. Employers should also familiarise themselves with the documents which require a mandatory online right to work check from 6 April 2022.

For further assistance on this topic, please contact a member of our immigration team or attend our Immigration UK - Right-to-work in 2022 training course which is suitable for HR, global mobility and legal professionals who oversee, operate or implement right-to-work checking processes. The modules do not presume prior knowledge of immigration law.