Guidance

Right to work checks on EU citizens if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

Guidance for employers on carrying out right to work checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members in the UK after Brexit.

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There will be no change to the right to work of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

You’ll need to check a job applicant’s right to work in the same way as now until 1 January 2021.

They’ll be able to prove their right to work using either:

  • their passport or national identity card if they’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • their biometric residence card if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member
  • their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or EU Temporary Leave Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service

You have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain until 1 January 2021.

Irish citizens will continue to prove their right to work in the UK as they do now.

A new immigration system will apply to people arriving on or after 1 January 2021. You will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing EU, EEA or Swiss employees.

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members who are living in the UK before the UK leaves the EU can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. You may want to share information with your employees about the EU Settlement Scheme using our toolkit.

European temporary leave to remain

If EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU and before 1 January 2021, they can apply for European temporary leave to remain. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2020.

Published 1 April 2019
Last updated 5 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated.
  2. First published.