Check an employee’s right to work using a biometric residence permit
This page contains information to support employers who are checking an employee's biometric residence permit to confirm their right to work in the UK. We call this a 'right to work' check.
The online 'right to work' checking service helps you perform fast and effective 'right to work' checks on an employee's biometric residence permit.
This service is only for checking biometric residence permits. An example of a biometric residence permit is shown below: it is made of plastic and is the same size as a credit card.
guidance documents on preventing illegal working. We also have guidance on biometric residence permits that helps you to check them and their security features yourself. You should familiarise yourself with this guidance and always make physical checks on the document first.
Requirements for a 'right to work' check
You should first confirm with the person you wish to check that they do not have an outstanding application or appeal with the UK Border Agency. If they have an outstanding application or appeal, you cannot use this service and must use our employer checking service.
Before requesting a 'right to work' check using a biometric residence permit, you will be asked to confirm:
. that you have examined the original document and that you have taken all reasonable steps to check that it is genuine
. that the person you are checking has given their express permission for the check to be carried out
. that the details you have provided in the form accurately reflect those on the biometric residence permit
. that you have taken reasonable steps to satisfy yourself that the holder is both the person named on the biometric residence permit and, subject to the result of this check, is allowed to do the type of work you are offering
. that you are familiar with the preventing illegal working guidance, particularly the three step checking process.
How to request a 'right to work' check
To request the 'right to work' check you will need to provide the following information:
- the name of the organisation or business making the check,
- the address of the organisation or business making the check
- the Company House Registration Number or VAT Registration Number of the organisation or business making the check
- the name of the person making the check
- The email address of the organisation or business making the 'right to work' check to which our response will be sent. If the organisation or business does not have a dedicated email account, you should give us the most appropriate email address.
- the contact telephone number of the organisation or business making the check. If the organisation or business does not have a dedicated telephone number, you should give us the most appropriate personal telephone number.
- biometric residence permit card number;
- the name as it appears on the card (if there is only one name, put it in the top box); and
- date of birth as it appears on the rear of the card.
Make sure you enter the information exactly as it appears on the card. Information is provided above to help you identify the releavnt details on a biometric residence permit. If you enter any information incorrectly we will not be able to conduct a proper check, you will receive a certificate stating that the biometric residence permit is invalid and you will have to conduct other checks.
Perform a 'right to work' check
Once you are confident you have all the information you need, you can use our form to request a check on an employee's right to work in the UK.
What happens next?
We aim to return all checks within 6 working hours (08:00-17:00, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays). When we have completed the check, we will send a certificate to the email address you give us. This will tell you if the biometric residence permit is valid and give you the 'right to work' status of the person. If we cannot complete your check within 6 hours, we will contact you.
The certificate will also contain a colour photograph from our records of the person to whom the biometric residence permit was issued. If that photograph does not match the one on the card presented to you, or does not look like the person who gave you the card, you must contact us immediately. Details of how to do so will be given on the certificate sent to you.
If you have any questions about the certificate we send you, please e-mail us at RTWCheckEnquiry@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
For more information about biometric residence permits please see the guidance on the right side of this page.
Who needs to apply for a biometric residence permit?
If you are applying for a visa for 6 months or longer you must apply for a biometric residence permit (unless you already have one) if you are currently in the UK and you want to:
- extend your temporary permission to stay to a total of 6 months or more;
- apply for permission to settle in the UK (known as 'indefinite leave to remain');
- transfer your permission to stay from an old passport or similar document using form TOC or NTL; or
- apply for a Convention travel document (1951 refugee or 1954 stateless person) or a certificate of travel.
If you applied in a category that did not require you to enrol your biometric information and your application is granted on or after 1 December 2012 you must apply for a biometric residence permit. We will write to you and explain how to apply for a permit.
A requirement to pay money that can be imposed for an offence without the need for a court conviction.
- Biometric residence permits - guidancePDF 395KB opens in a new window