What is a right to work check?

A right to work check is a Home Office process to establish that each employee or casual worker has the right to work in the UK before they start their employment.

In addition, those with time-limited right to work in the UK (i.e. those who hold a ‘List B’ document such as a visa) must have a repeat check before their visa/document is due to expire.

     

    Right to work check required
    Right to work check not required
    Any employees working for the University
    (British citizen/visa holder)
    Anybody working entirely overseas
    Casual workers Anybody continuously employed
    since before 27 January 1997

    Temporary Worker/Tier 5 visa holders

    Self-employed workers
    Examiners (in some circumstances) Agency workers
    Out-tutors arranged by department Workers supplied by the
    Temporary Staffing Service
    Unpaid workers Volunteers
    Anyone doing work experience
    who is over the age of 16
    Anyone doing work experience
    who is under the age of 16

    Student/Tier 4 visa holders
    (Most are restricted to 20 hours per week)

     

    Visitors (either British citizen,
    or someone holding a visitor visa)

     

     

    External electoral board members/committee members
    who are carrying out unpaid occasional tasks
    (their expenses may be reimbursed)

     

     

    Employing Student/Tier 4 student visa holders

    Please note that most student visa holders are restricted to work up to 20 hours per week. Before employing a student, please ask them to complete the Student Employment Declaration form to check whether they are working for another employer and whether their visa permits them to work full time outside term. 

    For more information about this, please see the Employing student visa holder pages

    Where a Student/Tier 4 visa holder is applying to switch into Skilled Worker, they are permitted to start work during their application for a Skilled Worker visa. See Switching from a Student/Tier 4 visa into Skilled Worker for additional information

     

    Right to work scenarios

    Please see our RTW scenarios guidance on right to work checks for different scenarios such as re-hiring previous employees, internal transfers, casual workers etc. for further information.

     

     

    BREXIT transition period has ended

    The transition period ended on 31 December 2020 and the right to work rules changed on 1 July 2021. New employees/casuals who are EU/EEA citizens need to show that they have Pre-Settled or Settled status or a UK visa (instead of just their passport) to evidence they have the RTW in the UK before starting work. Showing just a passport will then only be acceptable for British and Irish nationals. Retrospective checks will not be required for EU/EEA citizens employed prior to 1 July 2021, but casuals starting a new engagement will need to meet the new RTW rules even if they have been engaged before.

     

     

    Expand All

    List A and List B documents are two lists of documents which can be accepted as proof of right to work. Whether an employee falls under List A or List B depends on their nationality and/or their current immigration status in the UK.

     

    List A
    (unlimited leave to remain)

    List B
    (time limited leave to remain)

    British or Irish national Tier 1 visa holder
    National of EU/EEA country with Settled status Skilled Worker/ Tier 2 visa holder
    Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) holder  Student/ Tier 4 visa holder
      Tier 5 visa holder
      Dependant visa holder

     

     

    List A documents

    Permanent proof of right to work - no repeat checks are required during employment

     

    •  A passport (current or expired) showing the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
    •  A passport or passport card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the Republic of Ireland.
    •  A current document issued by the Home Office to a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen, and which indicates that the holder is permitted to stay indefinitely in the UK.
    •  A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted unlimited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
    •  A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit - BRP) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
    •  A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
    •  A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
    •  A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
    •   A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
    •   A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

     

     

     

    List B documents:

    Time limited right to work. A repeat check must be done for all list B holders before the document expires if employment is expected to continue
     

    •  A valid entry vignette in a current passport showing holder is allowed to enter the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question (please note a repeat right to work check must be done before the vignette expires).
    •  A valid Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit - BRP) issued by the Home Office to the holder under a particular visa route (Global Talent, Skilled Worker/ Tier 2, Student/ Tier 4, Tier 5, or Dependant, for example) which indicates that the names person can currently stay in the UK and is allowed to do the work in question.
    •  A current document issued by the Home Office to a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen, and which indicates that the holder is permitted to stay in the United Kingdom for a time limited period and to do the type of work in question.
    •  A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
    •  A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey or the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Employer Checking Service, showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules or Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008, on or before 30 June 2021.
    •  A Frontier Worker permit issued under regulation 8 of the Citizens' Rights (Frontier Workers) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.
    •  A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

     

    There is no requirement to carry out a right to work check for the following:

    • People providing a service for which they invoice the department or college  under a contract for services and for which they are self- employed according to HMRC rules
    • Academic and other visitors who are citizens of the UK/Ireland or already in the UK on an appropriate visa.
    • Individuals invited to Oxford to carry out occasional  tasks for which they are unpaid but for which expenses may be reimbursed e.g. external electoral board members or committee members
    • Agency workers (right to work is checked by the agency)
    • Temps sourced through the University Temporary Staffing Service (right to work is checked and held by the Service)
    • Volunteers (voluntary activity must not amount to unpaid work, volunteer work or job substitution). In order to be considered as a volunteer: 
      • there should be no payment, other than reasonable travel and meals expenditure actually incurred (not an allowance for the same);
      • there should be no contractual obligations;
      • the service should not be a substitute for employment (i.e. fulfilling a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil).

    Failure to comply with Right to Work check requirements poses a serious risk to these licences:

    • University of Oxford sponsor licences withdrawn - all sponsored workers and students required to leave the University and UK
    • Licences downgraded – may retain current visa holders but not sponsor new visa holders
    • Prevent the recruitment of international talent (students and employees)
     
    • On-the-spot fines of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker
    • Up to 2 year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine
    • Financial and reputational loss
     
     

    A breach from a single college or department (including those who do not have any Skilled Worker/Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored visa holders) may result in potentially serious consequences for entire Collegiate University.

     

    Departments and colleges should check and record the visa status of:

    Copies of the passport and appropriate visa should be taken and retained for the duration of the visit.

     

    Training for Administrators


    The team runs regular training courses on Global Talent visa, Skilled Worker visa, Tier 5, Visitors and Right to Work

    BOOK A PLACE ON A TRAINING SESSION

     

    Forms & Guidance 


    Download the forms and guidance documents

    FIND A FORM 

     

    Contact us


    Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM  / UAS / Continuing Education / Colleges

    Angelina Pelova, Email: angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk 

    Jennifer Brewer, Email: jennifer.brewer@admin.ox.ac.uk

     

    MPLS / Social Sciences

    Lyn Davis, Email: lyn.davis@admin.ox.ac.uk

    Richard Birt, Email: richard.birt@admin.ox.ac.uk