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Remote control: Checking right to work documents for employees working from home

Posted: 31 Aug 2021

The Spencer West immigration team prepared this short summary of how to check employees’ documents by video conference in June 2020 and updated it on 31 August 2021.

Temporary coronavirus right to work checking policies apply since 30 March 2020, to both initial right to work checks and rechecks.

Extension of right to work checking by video conference

The Home Office has extended the concession for checking hardcopy documents by video conference to 5 April 2022. The extension is welcome because otherwise UK citizens and others who can only evidence their right to work in the UK with hardcopy documentation would have to present themselves in person for their employer to check their documents.

Manual checks

To check hardcopy documents remotely under the concession, request a scanned copy or photo of the original document. Arrange a video call and ask them to hold the original document up to the camera. Check the document they hold up against the electronic copy they have already provided to you.

Keep a record of the date of the check, e.g. in a spreadsheet. Make the notation ‘adjusted check undertaken on [date] due to COVID-19’. If they have a temporary right to work in the UK, recheck them as normal.

Online checks

Where an individual holds a biometric residence permit, status issued under the EU settlement scheme, or has digital immigration status because they used an app to verify their identity during their visa application process, you may check their right to work online:

  • The individual gives you permission to check their right to work online and provides the generated ‘share code’ to you.
  • Arrange a video call. During the video call, go to https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-work and enter their share code and date of birth. Check the photograph on the online profile.
  • A positive online check profile will state that the individual has the right to work in the UK.
  • Print the profile page or save it as a pdf or html file.

Employers will be able to undertake online checks of immigration status by video call beyond 5 April 2022.

Digital process for UK citizens in development

The Home Office is working on a digital checking process to include UK and Irish citizens who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service. It seems that the Home Office hopes to have the new process in place by 5 April 2022.

For more comprehensive support with right to work checks, please contact Samar Shams, Immigration and Global Mobility Partner, at samar.shams@spencer-west.com.


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