Virginia, US

Jan 03 2019

Online Right to Work Check to be Introduced

United Kingdom

The situation

Beginning January 28, 2019, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will allow UK employers to use an online service  to check eligible foreign national’s right to work.

A closer look

  • Eligible foreign workers. The new service will initially only be available for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and non-EEA nationals who hold UK biometric residence permits.
  • Online process. Under the new process, eligible foreign workers will be able to authorise  their current or prospective employer to view information regarding their immigration status and can see what information will be shared. Employers can then login with the foreign worker’s date of birth and an access code shared by the foreign worker.
  • Right to work confirmation alternatives. The new service is voluntary; employers can continue to request original documents if preferred or utilize the UKVI’s  Employer Checking Service when a foreign worker is unable to present original documentation.   


UK employers will be able to secure confirmation of right to work more easily and the new system will remove any uncertainty as to the validity of the right to work check and whether or not the foreign worker has the right to work.


Employers are required to conduct a right to work check on or before the first day of employment for both UK and non-UK nationals. As part of the check, an employee of the UK company is required to inspect the worker’s original right to work documentation; take a clear copy; sign and date the copy; and retain on file. If a foreign worker has an expiration date attached to their status, this must also be tracked. If the check is performed correctly, employers may avoid a civil penalty for employing illegal workers, for example, if the worker used forged documents or is working beyond the conditions of their immigration status.

Looking ahead

UKVI will shortly release new guidance on the use of the new online right to work tool and Fragomen will provide further information as it becomes available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].