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/ Government Guidance on Right to Work Checks and Visa Extensions During COVID-19 Crisis

21 April 2020

The Government has published guidance for employers carrying out Right to Work checks for immigration status during the COVID-19 pandemic and have instigated temporary changes which employers may take advantage of to make processing easier during the pandemic crisis.

  • Checks can now be carried out over video calls
  • Job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • Employers should use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

Read the Government guidance on Right to Work checks for immigration status

NSI approved companies are reminded that as the Government states ‘checks continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents listed in ‘Right to Work Checks: An Employer’s Guide. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.’

The Government will provide advance notification when these measures will end. After that date, you should follow the checking process set out in ‘Right to Work Checks: An Employer’s Guide.

For people in the UK whose visa was, or is, due to expire between 24 January and 31st May 2020, an extension to 31st May 2020 may be granted, if they are unable to leave the UK due to travel restrictions or self-isolation due to COVID-19.  Those affected by these circumstances must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) so they can update relevant records.

Coronavirus Immigration Helpline:
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) – calls are free of charge.
Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk