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| 2 minutes read

A few immigration tweaks – too few to mention? I think not…

The politicians might have downed tools and joined the campaign trail, however, for Home Office staff, it has been more like business as usual with yet more 'tweaks' to the Right to Work Guidance published on 21 June 2024 (and stated to have effect from 13 June 2024). 

Whilst the changes are only ‘tweaks’, they are still worth noting – with fines at £45k for failure to provide a statutory excuse (£60k for subsequent offences), it’s too costly not to check.

Biometric residence permits (BRPs) and digitalisation 

These permits provide evidence of the holder’s immigration status in the UK. However, from the end of December 2024, these documents will be phased out and replaced with an eVisa. 

So, some BRPs may now have an expiry date of 31 December 2024 even though the holder has permission to remain in the UK after that date. This is not an error but is due to the phasing out of documentation and the move towards digitisation. 

If you are presented with a BRP with such an expiry date, make sure that you request a share code, which will enable you to check the expiry date of the immigration permission and not just the physical permit. Checking the physical permit alone will not amount to conducting a sufficient right to work check under the guidance.  

Application registration card (ARC) and asylum seekers

The ARC is used by asylum claimants to demonstrate they have made their asylum claim and are awaiting the result. They can apply for permission to work if their claim has been outstanding for more than 12 months. Claimants with an ARC and permission to work are permitted to work in jobs in the shortage occupation list (pre-3rd April 2024) or the jobs on the Immigration salary list (posted 4 April 2024). The cards are very similar to the BRPs. When employing an asylum claimant employers should verify their right to work and any potential work restrictions by obtaining a Positive Verification Notification through the Employer Checking Service. This check will last for six months, so a follow-up check must be made by the expiry of the six-month period to ensure the statutory excuse remains in place.

Pre-settled and settled status employees

From 13 June 2024, employers are no longer required to repeat checks on workers with pre-settled status (under the EU settlement scheme) when they are granted settled status. This is provided that initial checks were correctly undertaken at the start of their employment and that their employer is not aware of any reason why they should not continue to be lawfully employed in the UK. 

For more information

If you would like any further information or specific advice on right to work checks or for details on our right to work toolkit and supplementary documentation please contact me.

This guidance applies to right to work checks conducted on or after 13 June 2024 to establish or retain a statutory excuse from having to pay a civil penalty for employing a person who is not permitted to do the work in question.


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