Until the 30th June, workers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland were able to evidence their proof of right to work via their passport or national ID card which employers were obliged to keep copies of.

After the 30th June EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will need to evidence their proof of right to work based on their immigration status, either by using the Home Office online system or through maintaining copies of original documents.

Individuals who don’t have a visa, a frontier worker permit or a status under the EU Settlement Scheme or entered the UK as a tourist will not have the right to work in the UK.


  • There is no requirement to obtain additional proofs for those employed by you before the 30th June assuming you have already obtained appropriate proof of right to work at the time of starting employment
  • Proofs must be obtained before starting employment
  • Agency staff who transfer to you as an employee must provide proofs of right to work

Statutory excuse

The Government has made it clear that if you adhere to the guidance set out in collecting proof of right to work you will have a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if it is later found that you have employed someone who is prevented from carrying out work due to their immigration status.

Key requirements for checking proof of right to work

To complete a manual check you must:

  1. Obtain original versions of the appropriate documents before starting employment
  2. Check the validity of the document in the presence of the person
  3. Copy the document and retain it for the duration of employment and at least 2 years afterwards

What to check on original documents

  • The documents are genuine, original and unchanged and belong to the person who has given them to you
  • The dates for the applicant’s right to work in the UK have not expired
  • Photos are the same across all documents and look like the applicant
  • Dates of birth are the same across all documents
  • The applicant has permission to do the type of work you are offering (incl. any limit on the number of hours they can work)
  • For students ask for evidence of their study and vacation times
  • If 2 documents give different names, the applicant must provide supporting documents showing why they are different, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree.

How to copy and store documents

  • Make a copy that cannot be changed, for example, a photocopy
  • Make sure the copy is clear enough to read
  • For passports, copy any page with the expiry date and applicant’s details (for example nationality, date of birth and photograph) including endorsements, for example, a work visa
  • For biometric residence permits and residence cards (biometric format), copy both sides
  • For all other documents, you must make a complete copy – e.g a visa
  • Keep copies during the applicant’s employment and for 2 years after they stop working for you
  • Record the date the check was made on a secure system indicating what was collected and the date it was checked and who did it

Checking immigration status online

If the prospective employee has applied for UK residency under the EU Settlement Scheme and has been successful, they will have a share code and their status can be checked here:

To check if a document allows someone to work in the UK you can use the online service below:

If the applicant cannot show any relevant documentation because they are appealing a decision or they have an application registration card you can check below: