🇬🇧 Visas & Foreign Worker's in United Kingdom

Alastair Samson
Alastair Samson
  • Updated

Oyster policy is denoted in purple.

Statutory

Right to Work Check Methods

It is the employer’s duty to check if a candidate has the right to work in the UK before the employee begins working, and the fine for illegally employing someone is up to £20,000. Oyster complies with these requirements and conducts the necessary checks as a part of the onboarding process.

Citizens of the UK and Ireland and those with a valid settled or pre-settled status (also known as “indefinite leave to remain”) may work and live in the UK without further permission. Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein and their families who started living in the UK before December 31, 2020 and applied for the scheme by June 30, 2021, are eligible for settled status. Documentation acceptable to prove these persons’ right to work in the UK is contained in the below List A.

EU, non-UK nationals who did not obtain or are not in the process of obtaining, settled status, or were hired after July 1, 2021 must present proof of their settled status or an appropriate work visa in order to work in the UK. In that case, their passport or their National ID will not be accepted as proof of the right to work. Documentation acceptable to prove these persons’ right to work in the UK is contained in the below Lists B-1 and B-2, depending on the length of time of their right to work.

Family members of citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein may apply for a settlement scheme family permit. These persons will be allowed to live, work, study, and travel in and out of the UK for six (6) months. Documentation acceptable to prove these persons’ right to work in the UK is contained in the below List B-2, depending on the length of time of their right to work.

Students require a student visa to live and work in the UK. Students may apply for such a visa if: 1) they have been offered a placement in a course offered by a licensed student sponsor; 2) they have enough money to support themselves while in the UK and to pay for the course; 3) they can speak, read, write, and understand English; and 4) they have consent from their parents if they are 16- or 17-years-old.

A student’s right to work is restricted. Students must be classified as employees and may then work:       

  • 20 hours in any given week during term time if they are studying a full-time programme at degree level and above; 
  • 10 hours in any given week during term time if they are studying a full-time programme below degree level; 
  • Full time during vacation periods and after their official course end date; 
  • On a work placement, which must be an integral and assessed part of their programme of studies; or 
  • As a sabbatical officer in a Students’ Union for up to 2 years.

All right to work checks must be done before the employee commences employment.

 

Right to Work Documentation

The Home Office provides three (3) different lists of documents that are acceptable to prove the right to work. Employers are required to make a copy of the candidate’s identity documents, and must keep records of these identity documents for two (2) years after the copy is made.

  • List A: For individuals with the permanent right to work in the UK: UK passport, passport of a country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, evidence of permanent residence in the EEA or Switzerland, Biometric Immigration Document evidencing the right to stay indefinitely in the UK (requires proof of National Insurance number), birth certificate evidencing UK citizenship (requires proof of National Insurance number), or  naturalization certificate evidencing UK citizenship (requires proof of National Insurance number);
  • List B-1: For individuals with the temporary right to work in the UK: passport endorsed to show that the holder has the current right to work and live in the UK, a Biometric Immigration Document, Residence Card, or Immigration Status Document evidencing that the person is currently allowed to work in the UK and do the work in question (Residence Card and Immigration Status Document require proof of National Insurance number); 
  • List B-2: For individuals with the right to work for six (6) months or less: A Certificate of Application, an Application Registration Card, or a Positive Verification Notice.

 

2022 Changes to Employer Right to Work Checks

Starting April 6, 2022, Biometric Residence Permits and Cards, and Frontier Worker Permits are no longer acceptable as proof of the right to work. Holders of those permits will have to be verified through the Home Office online verification service.

For British and Irish citizens:

  • From 6 April, British and Irish biometric passports and Irish passport cards can be digitally checked through an accredited IDSP;
  • Out-of-date British and Irish passports are not permitted for digital checks but can be accepted as evidence of right to work if they are checked manually.

For non-British and Irish citizens with eVisas:

  • The right to work status must be confirmed by the Home Office via a right to work share code check;
  • From 6 April, BRCs and BRPs are no longer permitted as evidence of right to work.

For everyone else, employers can continue with remote checks and video calls until October 1, 2022, and after that date, employers will need to see an original document, unless the employer is using a certified Identification Service Provider.

For UK/Irish citizens, Oyster uses Veriff (Identification Service Provider). For all others, Oyster uses the home office online service. After all digital ID checks (in-date British/Irish or eVisa), an employer must confirm the candidate’s identity either via video call or in person after the check and before employment commences.

 

Available Visas

Employers may sponsor foreign nationals in the United Kingdom. However, in order to sponsor the foreign national, the employer must obtain a sponsor license. After obtaining that license, the employee may or may not successfully obtain the visa. The following types of employment visas require sponsorship:

  • Skilled workers;
  • Healthcare workers;
  • Someone on a ‘Global Business Mobility’ visa;
  • Scale-up workers;
  • Seasonal workers;
  • Creative workers; 
  • Charity workers; and 
  • Religious workers.

There is no remote working visa for individuals inside the UK to work for non-UK based companies.

If the candidate does not have the right to work in the UK, Oyster is unable to provide visa sponsorship at this time, but we can direct Customers to resources for further support on this matter. Oyster does not have the capability to hire or apply for the right-to-work

Employees hired through Oyster are subject to the same laws as all other employees and legally they must be a resident and remain in the country in which they are hired according to local laws.

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