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Adjusted right to work checks to continue until 30 September 2022


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Adjusted right to work checks have been extended until 30 September 2022 (inclusive), and will not in fact end on 5 April 2022 as the Home Office had previously announced.

We had justifiably believed that the 5 April end date was “for real this time”, following a series of plot twists in this area since the start of the pandemic. The Home Office says that the latest deferral is due to “positive feedback” to the announcement that employers can pay a fee to use “Identification Document Validation Technology” (IDVT) as a digital alternative to manual checks.

The real reason for delay seems more likely to be either the slowness of potential IDVT providers to come forward, or that many employers will not find IDVT worth the cost or bother and will revert to face-to-face right to work checks for their British or Irish employees — that is, the vast majority — once adjusted checks are no longer allowed. 

Industry and the Lords have argued that face-to-face checks are no longer viable in the post-coronavirus world and it isn’t clear that the government has come up with a lasting solution. In the short term, though, the extension of adjusted checks is a good thing. Until 30 September 2022, employers can rely on a scan or photo of ID together with a video call. 

It remains the case that, from 6 April 2022, biometric residence card holders can only evidence their right to work online. Employers can no longer accept physical biometric residence cards for the right to work check from that date.

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Gillian McKearney

Gillian McKearney is a senior associate at Fieldfisher. She has extensive experience in all aspects of business immigration, including work visas, business visitors, compliance advice and strategy, European applications, indefinite leave to remain, sponsorship and right to work checks.