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The University of Southampton
Human Resources

Right to work checks

The University is an international institution with a global reputation for excellence. To continue to welcome international employees to the University, we are obliged to meet certain requirements in line with relevant UK Government legislation.

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act, the University of Southampton has a legal obligation to: 

Failure to check an employee or worker's right to work is a breach of Home Office guidance and could result in a civil penalty if the University is found to be employing an illegal worker. This risks losing our licence to sponsor anyone requiring a visa (this applies to staff and students). 

Process for right to work checks and follow-up checks

Initial right to work check

If you are going to be an employee, casual worker via UniWorkforce, or a sponsored visitor (via the Government Authorised Exchange UK visa route), HR’s Recruitment and UniWorkforce Team will contact you with options on how you can arrange a right to work check.

Types of check

You will need to undertake a right to work check in line with your status in the UK.

British and Irish citizens right to work check

You have two options to demonstrate your right to work in the UK if you are a British citizen or Irish citizen:

Remote digital check

If you have a current passport or Irish passport card, you have the option to have a remote digital check, removing the need for you to have your original documents checked in-person. If you choose this option, you will be sent a secure link for you to verify your document. Once you have completed your steps, you will be invited to attend a mandatory Teams video call to confirm identity, which completes the check. 

In-person check

You will need to bring in your original right to work document(s) and have these checked in-person by a University member of staff. This will normally be your passport but you can explore all acceptable documents via the GOV.UK Right to work checklist (copies will not be accepted). 

Home Office Online right to work check for international visa/permission holders

You can use this option if you hold any of the following:

You will need to prove your right to work using the Home Office online right to work check service available via Prove your right to work to an employer - GOV.UK ( You will be asked to attend a video call to complete the visual step of this check, and to provide a copy of your passport to verify your identity.

Follow-up right to work check

If you are employed on a contract and have an end date on your visa/permission to work in the UK and you are continuing to work, HR will be in contact with you approximately three months prior to your current visa/permission expiry date to ask you about your intentions for your continued right to work in the UK. ​​​

If you have a new visa, you will be invited to a follow-up right to work check. If you require a Certificate of Sponsorship to extend your Skilled Worker or Government Authorised Exchange visa, please let your HR contact know.

Getting help

For further general information on right to work checks, please contact Ask HR in the first instance.  They will try to answer your query, sign post you to the relevant information or escalate it to another HR team to action or respond to.

Internal University members can also view the right to work pages available via our UKVI SharePoint site for staff and visitors.

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