Tag Archive: right to work checks

  • LAST CALL EU Settlement Scheme and NEW Right to Work guidance

    With just a few more days to go, the deadline to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) is 30 June 2021. Failure to meet this deadline will mean that a person is in the UK unlawfully, although there are “reasonable grounds” to submit late applications.

    If you are a UK employer, you will be interested to read the most recent Home Office guidance on right to work checks. This was published on 18 June 2021 and finally includes guidance relating to EEA citizens up to and including 30 June 2021, and from 1 July 2021.

    In addition, the temporary COVID-19 right to work measures were due to end on 19 June 2021. However, the temporary changes are now due to end on 31 August 2021. As you may be aware, retrospective checks do not need to be carried out on compliant checks undertaken in line with the temporary measures.

    Right to work checks up to and including 30 June 2021

    In short, UK employers can still rely on EEA passports and national identity cards as proof of an EEA individual’s right to work in the UK. There is however, the need to ensure compliant evidence has been retained. By doing so, you can establish a statutory excuse and there is no need to carry out retrospective checks after 30 June 2021.

    Right to work checks from 1 July 2021

    From this date onwards, UK employers can continue to accept Irish passports and Irish passport cards as evidence of an Irish individual’s right to work in the UK.

    For all other EEA citizens, UK employers will only be able to accept the same evidence which applies to all other foreign nationals.

    In relation to EEA citizens, examples of acceptable evidence of right to work include:

    Transitional measures until 31 December 2021

    The new guidance sets out a new process which can be followed by UK employers until 31 December 2021. This will apply where you discover that an EEA individual in your workforce by 30 June 2021, has not made an EUSS application by 30 June 2021. In this situation, the EEA individual does not have status, but you do not need to immediately cease employment. You should record and maintain records of checks and actions taken, for example keeping comprehensive written correspondence and notes. A summary of the process is as follows:

    • advise the EEA individual to submit an EUSS application within 28 days and provide you with a Certificate of Application (“CoA”)
      • if the EEA individual fails to do so, you must take steps to cease employment in line with relevant legislation
    • contact the Employer Checking Service (“ECS”) once you have the CoA
    • receive a Positive Verification Notice (“PVN”) from the ECS if an application was submitted, which together with the CoA provide you with a 6-month statutory excuse
    • carry out a follow-up check with the ECS, before the PVN expires, to maintain a statutory excuse
    • continue with follow-up checks until the application has been finally determined. If finally determined and refused, you must take steps to cease employment in line with relevant legislation


    It is recommended that UK employers keep good and compliant records. In addition, you would be well advised to diarise dates, and you may wish to do so in at least two different sources.

    If you have any EEA individuals in your workforce, you may wish to recommend that they make sure they submit an EUSS application by the deadline of 30 June 2021.

    It is also recommended that UK employers carefully review the new guidance and/or take appropriate legal advice to ensure your processes and procedures remain compliant. It will also be important to build up an awareness of the rules which apply up to 30 June 2021, and those which apply from 1 July 2021. By doing so you can minimise the risk of receiving a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.


    Other than looking at the EUSS deadline and various right to work rules, changes and immigration related news/cases you might want to take a note of include:

    • the new Graduate route goes live from 1 July 2021 – individuals with this visa will be able to work in the UK without sponsorship
    • some EEA citizens may be able to rely on recently published EUSS COVID-19 concessions
    • countries such as Malta, Madeira, Spain’s Balearic Islands and various Caribbean islands are due to be added to the UK’s green list countries taking effect from 4am on 30 June 2021, although some are being added to the “green watchlist” meaning changes could be made at short notice

    First published: 28 June 2021

    Further information

    If you have any questions and/or would like tailored advice on any UK immigration matter, please speak to us at: hello@dixcartuk.com or to your usual Dixcart contact.

  • New Year, New UK Immigration System, New Considerations

    Since the introduction of the new UK points-based immigration system on 1 December 2020, and the end of EU free movement rules on 31 December 2020, what exactly does this all mean?

    1 – EEA nationals

    Most “new” EEA nationals without an existing UK immigration right (e.g. status under the EU Settlement Scheme), will now need appropriate immigration permission before they can come to the UK.

    If they are visiting, they can usually do so for up to 6 months without first applying for a Visitor visa; however, as visitors, what they can and cannot do is heavily regulated, and there are strict rules about receiving payment from a UK source. For example, they must not do any work in the UK, unless it is something expressly permitted such as attending a meeting.

    If they wish to come to the UK longer term and to work, they will need to consider the same UK immigration options which apply to non-EEA nationals. For example: by being sponsored by an approved UK employer under the Skilled Worker visa category; by being sponsored under the Spouse visa (or other associated) category; or by investing a minimum of £2 million into qualifying UK investments under the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category. Some EEA nationals may even be eligible for a Frontier Worker permit. These visa categories give the right to work. There may be a number of other options available depending on the circumstances of each individual.

    2 – The new UK immigration system

    With the end of EU free movement rules, the new UK immigration system now applies equally to all non-British/ Irish citizens. It is now comprised of two parts:

    1. a non-tiered points-based system (PBS); and
    2. a non-PBS

    The end of the Brexit Transition Period means that the “Ankara Agreement” no longer applies to the UK. In most cases, Turkish citizens already in the UK may be able to extend their Turkish Worker visa or Turkish Businessperson visa, although there may be restrictions on who they can work for.

    In limited cases, Swiss based companies may still be able to send their employees to the UK to work for limited periods, regardless of their nationality under the Service Providers from Switzerland visa category.

    For the rest of the “new” immigration system, much of it has stayed the same, with most of the main visa categories being moved to another section of the rules (so they are no longer sitting within a points-based “Tier” system). In effect, the “new” system is mostly a rebranding job with little substantive changes, for example:

    Previous termsNew terms
    Leave to enterPermission to enter
    Leave to remainPermission to stay
    Tier 2 (General)Skilled Worker
    Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)Intra-Company Transfer
    Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)T5 (Temporary Worker)

    However, perhaps the biggest and most substantive change was to the sponsored work system. Under the Skilled Worker category, there is no longer the need to carry out the previously mandatory “resident labour market test” (the prescriptive 28-day job advertising requirement).

    Naturally, the 2 different types of “certificates of sponsorship” (CoS), restricted and unrestricted no longer exist, since there is no longer an annual quota. Instead, there is now the defined CoS and undefined CoS.

    Broadly speaking, the defined CoS is for someone applying for an initial visa from outside the UK, and the undefined CoS is for everyone. As with the unrestricted CoS, sponsors can apply for an annual allocation of undefined CoS which may potentially save HR advisers and employers time.

    There are also some other changes which we previously touched on such as a lower skill level under the Skilled Worker route, and changes to the minimum salary thresholds – giving 6 potential ways of meeting the salary requirements and “scoring” a necessary 20 points.

    Most of the requirements and obligations under the previous sponsored work system, and the wider UK immigration system more generally remain the same. For example, UK employers should still carry out necessary right to work checks, and repeat these where appropriate.

    3 – Conclusion

    Although there is a new UK immigration system, much of which was simply a rebranding job, individuals and businesses should be alert to the fact that the same complexities still exist. It remains advisable that immigration advice should be sought from a qualified adviser prior to submitting any application to the Home Office, to minimise the risk of any adverse decisions and potential impact on future applications.

    Other items to note

    Besides summarising what the new UK immigration system means, other changes and information you might want to take a note of include:

    • the Hong Kong (BNO) visa will formally be open to applications from 31 January 2021 – visa holders will be able to live, work and study without sponsorship
    • to avoid potential discrimination claims, UK employers should not insist that EEA nationals provide proof of their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021
    • it is expected that there will be a Statement of Changes announced in Spring, which amongst other things, will likely introduce the new “Graduate” visa route around Summer time – this seems to be similar in terms to the previous Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa which was discontinued in 2012, and should allow graduates to work for up to 2 years under this proposed visa category, probably without sponsorship

    First published: 22 January 2021

    Further information

    If you have any questions and/or would like tailored advice on any UK immigration matter, please speak to us at: hello@dixcartuk.com or to your usual Dixcart contact.