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Visa extensions and right to work checks

Right to work checks for up-coming new employees

A number of queries have been raised in relation to right to work (RTW) checks for new starters at UCL. 

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) has updated its guidance for employers regarding right to work (RTW) checks. To ensure you access the latest up-to-date guidance and advice from central government, we recommend you visit the UKVI website.

Below are instructions on how RTW checks should be carried out whilst UCL offices remain closed. 

  • RTW checks must continue to be carried out prior to or on the day the individual starts employment at UCL. In most cases RTW has already been checked and therefore the individual can start work, albeit remotely, on their confirmed start date.
  • RTW checks for those who hold a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card or a status issued under the EU Settlement Scheme, can be carried out using the UKVI online checking service. Details of the online service can be found in the UKVI guidance or from HR Services Support Desk.
  • During the office closure period, for those who hold a UK or EEA passport their RTW can be checked live over an MS Teams meeting and you should ask the individual to send you an electronic copy of their passport. You should sign the copy to confirm that the check was carried out over Teams along with the date. On the first day back in the office their RTW should be checked in person, a new copy taken and verified. 
  • Any other individual who requires a RTW check, but who cannot fulfil one of the above, will unfortunately have to have their start date at UCL delayed until they are able to present their RTW to a UCL employee in person. If you are concerned about the impact of this for a high profile or business critical role please let HR Services hr-services@ucl.ac.uk know, we can discuss the options available on a case by case basis. 
  • If a new starter is unable to travel to the UK and you would like to explore the individual starting work for UCL overseas, please do let HR Services hr-services@ucl.ac.uk know so we can explore the tax and employment law implications of an arrangement such as this.

Until new guidance is issued by UKVI UCL will continue to comply with current UCL immigration obligations, which includes reporting changes in employment for tier 2 workers and monitoring visa expiry dates. 

The right to work situation for staff whose visa is due to expire

UKVI issued revised guidance on 24 March 2020 which is being regularly updated, for those whose visa is due to expire up to 31 May 2020.

In summary if the visa holder is in the UK and their leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, it will be extended to 31 July 2020 if they cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). They must request an extension by updating their records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if their visa is expiring and they cannot leave the UK at present but are not planning to stay in the UK in the long-term. If their visa has already been extended to 31st May 2020 it will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020. Once confirmation has been received that their visa has been extended, they will need to send this evidence to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk