Employer checking service
This page provides information about the UK Border Agency checking service for employers. We advise that employers read the available online guidance before using this service.
The employer checking service is a developing service that offers employers the opportunity to check the status of individuals to work in the UK in the following specific circumstances:
- where the individual has an outstanding application or appeal with the UK Border Agency;
- where the individual has presented an application registration card (ARC) which requires validation; or
- where the individual has presented a certificate of application which requires validation.
If the individual does not meet these criteria, the employer checking service cannot currently confirm their right to work in the UK, regardless of their legal entitlement to work.
In addition, the employer checking service cannot process a verification request unless all of the requested information is provided in full.
We may continue to pilot other areas to be included in the service as it develops. However, until there is more information on this website, we will send a negative verification letter in response to any request that does not meet the above criteria.
All employers have a responsibility to make the appropriate checks when they recruit people, and to satisfy themselves that the documents presented to them are valid and relate to the applicant. The Comprehensive guidance for employers on preventing illegal working, published in February 2008, contains more information about the documentation that an employer needs to see.
Under the 2006 legislation, employers are required to check the validity of application registration cards (ARC) and certificates of application through the employer checking service when they are provided by an individual.
The service can also help an employer to check an applicant's right to work if the applicant cannot provide full documentation because they have an outstanding application or appeal with us.
While this service is not mandatory, it will not be possible to establish an excuse against a civil penalty in the above circumstances without completing this check.
Employers can use the service by completing the checking form and sending it to us by email. If you do not have this facility, please phone the sponsorship and employers' helpline to make alternative arrangements. A simple step-by-step guide will help employers through the process of checking the work status of individuals who are applying for work. The steps are:
- Step 1: The employer checks the documents presented by the new job applicant
- Step 2: The employer requires further verification of the individual's work status
- Step 3: The employer checking service undertakes a check
- Step 4: The employer is informed of the check result
- Step 5: If recruited, the employer manages the individual's period of employment
A useful interactive guide to assist employers in checking a person's entitlement to work in the UK is available on the Business Link and associated regional websites. You can find links to these websites on the right side of this page.