Right to work checks go fully digital

Service allowing firms to check potential employees’ immigration status can be transacted entirely online


Users can now access the government’s Right to Work Checking Service entirely digitally.

The online service, which launched in April, allows employers to check whether staff have the right to work in the UK. But, until now, firms were still required to request copies of paper documents – in case they later needed to demonstrate that they had conducted the necessary checks on the immigration status of overseas workers.

But the online tool now enables companies to evidence that the required checks have taken place – meaning the service can be used from beginning to end entirely digitally. 

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Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “This is another step we are taking to simplify and modernise the immigration system. The online Right to Work Checking Service makes the checks simpler for employers and provides greater security, as they no longer need to rely on physical documents when checking migrants’ status, further reducing the risk of forged documents being presented. Above all, our new checking service makes it easier than ever for migrants to view and prove their right to work in the UK.”

The service can be used for checks of people from outside the European Economic Area who hold a biometric residence card or permit. After the UK leaves the European Union, the service will also be used by European citizens granted settled status under the government’s EU Settlement Scheme – which is currently in pilot phase, before launching fully sometime in the next few months.

Workers will be able to authorise firms to undertake the online checks, and “will be able to see exactly what information will be shared”, according to the government.

Sam Trendall

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