If you have a passport sticker or biometric residence permit (BRP) that does not prohibit work, you are allowed to take employment as described in What kind of work can you do? and How many hours a week can you work? without getting any further approval or permission.
Your employer can check with the Home Office that you are allowed to work by contacting its business helpdesk or employers' helpline.
Employers have a legal obligation to check that you are allowed to work in the UK, so you must be able to provide evidence of this, usually by showing them your current passport and/or your current biometric residence permit. If your current entry clearance sticker is in a passport that has now expired, you need to apply to transfer your leave into your new passport by making a transfer of conditions application. Although you can travel using your old and new passports, employers cannot accept an entry clearance sticker in an expired passport, even if your period of leave has not yet expired. For full details of the documents employers can accept, see the Home Office's guide to Acceptable right to work documents.
Your employer will need to see information about the term and vacation dates for your course, so that it is clear to them and to the Home Office when you are allowed to work more than 10 or 20 hours a week. This information must be in one of the following formats:
- a printout from your institution's website showing the term and vacation dates for your course
- a copy letter or email that your institution has sent to you confirming your term and vacation dates
- a letter from your institution to your employer confirming these dates.
The Home Office has published guidance about the checks that employers must make and where they should go to find out whether a person is allowed to work.
You might not have your passport or biometric residence permit if, for example, it is with the Home Office because you have applied to extend your immigration permission in the UK. If you made your immigration application before your previous student immigration permission ended, you still have the right to work under the usual student conditions. However, a new employer must see evidence that you are currently in the UK with student immigration permission before allowing you to start work. The same can apply to your existing employer, who should have noted when your immigration permission ended and now wants to be sure that you still have the right to work. Since 29 February 2008, employers have been obliged to check your entitlement to work at least once a year. This does not apply if you start your job on or after 16 May 2014, but employers must check again when your immigration permission is about to expire.
In these cases, your employer must receive confirmation from the Employer Checking Service of the Home Office
Since 16 May 2014 it has not been possible to provide a combination of other documents which prove you are allowed to work, or to continue working, in the UK.
For some jobs, employers must also carry out criminal record checks before you can start work. The Home Office has information for employers about how to request these checks from countries other than the UK.