Can Employers Ask for Additional Documents During a Right to Work Check?

To ensure compliance with IER regulations, employers must allow employees to select which documents they present from Form I-9 list of acceptable documents. Learn more about right-to-work checks.

Can Employers Ask for Additional Documents During a Right to Work Check?

To ensure compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act (IER), employers must allow their employees to select which documents to present from the list of acceptable documents on Form I-9.It is also important to check that the appearance, age, date of birth, and names are consistent, as well as any employment restrictions and the expiration date of the immigration permit. The most recent guidelines make it clear that employers may face a civil penalty if they do not record the date the verification was carried out in this way and, in addition, that simply writing a date on the copy of the document does not confirm that this is the actual date on which the verification was conducted. Any right to work control conducted in accordance with these guidelines will provide the University with a legal excuse to hire them. The guide also states that it is up to the employer to determine if the information provided is sufficient.

Employers must treat their employees in a non-discriminatory manner, including when recruiting, hiring, firing, and verifying identity and authorization to work using Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, or E-Verify. This check must be done just before the employee's prior leave ends, so employers should be sure to record it in a journal. Before doing so, it is important to ask the employee for any information or documentation that indicates they have a pending application for a residence permit in the United Kingdom with the Home Office, that was submitted before their previous permit expired, or that they are pending an appeal or administrative review and thus cannot prove their right to work. The Home Office recently updated its guidance for employers regarding right-to-work checks, which is available here.

Employers don't need to see physical documents, as information on the right to work is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems. Alternatively, if the British or Irish citizen has a valid passport, the employer can subcontract part of the right to work check to an IDSP. Employees can choose which documents to show to verify their employment eligibility from the lists of acceptable documents on Form I-9.The responsibility for verifying the document and carrying out a verification of the right to work lies with the employer. When a document needs to be verified (as stated above), you must sign and print your name, date, and time to confirm that you have seen the original document.

If during the first 28 calendar days or during the six-month period of the VPN, an employee demonstrates that their case has been resolved and they have been granted a residence permit, then employers must prove their right to work as usual in order to maintain their legal excuse. In addition, verification by employers may be the only way to know when a follow-up check should be carried out with respect to employees with a limited-time work permit to work in the United Kingdom. It is also important from a reputational standpoint for employers to carry out checks to ensure that no one is hired who doesn't have the right to work in the UK.