Are you offering jobs to Ukrainian nationals?
If so, as is the case for all your other employees, it’s important that you correctly check Ukrainian individuals’ right to work in the UK before their employment commences.
Ukrainians that have obtained permission under any of the following schemes are able to live, study and work in the UK, as well as have access to public funds:
- Homes for Ukraine Scheme: Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members can enter the UK if they have an approved UK sponsor;
- Ukraine Family Scheme: Ukrainian nationals can enter the UK to join an immediate or extended family member who already lives in the UK; or
- The Ukraine Extension Scheme: Ukrainian nationals and their families can stay in the UK if they hold any valid UK visa or held one that expired on or after 1 January 2022.
Ukrainians who enter the UK with permission under one of these schemes will ultimately be given a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). As we’ve previously reported Remote right to work checks of valid British and Irish passport holders to continue after 5 April 2022 – Torque Law, employers are now required to check a BRP holder’s right to work by using the Home Office’s online checking service (manual checks are no longer acceptable).
Ukrainians with a valid Ukrainian passport
If the individual has a valid UK passport, they can apply to any of the schemes without having to provide their biometric details at an overseas Visa Application Centre first. Instead, they’re provided with a letter confirming their permission to travel. That letter should be shown to the UK Border Force on arrival to the UK and, on doing so, their passport will be stamped with an LOTR (Leave Outside the Rules) stamp.
The LOTR stamp is valid for six months with no restriction on employment or access to public funds and provides the individual with a time-limited right to work in the UK.
If an individual presents their passport with an LOTR stamp to you as evidence of their right to work, you should conduct a manual right to work check before employment commences. It’s important to bear in mind that, provided you’ve carried out the check correctly, you’ll only have a time-limited statutory excuse against a civil penalty; you must carry out a further check, prior to the expiry of that period (see below).
Prior to the expiry of the six-month period, which is validated by the LOTR stamp, the individual will need to obtain a BRP, which will provide the individual with permission to stay for up to 36 months; to do that they will need to provide their biometric details. Once the individual has received a BRP, you should carry out an online right to work check to obtain an ongoing statutory excuse.
Ukrainians without a valid Ukrainian passport
Individuals without a valid Ukrainian passport need to attend an overseas Visa Application Centre to provide their biometric details before they travel to the UK. Once they’ve provided their biometrics, they’ll be given an entry clearance vignette attached to a ‘Form for Affixing the Visa’.
Once the individual is in the UK, they’ll be able to collect their BRP. As detailed above, you should carry out an online check of any BRP presented to you before employment commences to obtain a statutory excuse against a civil penalty.
If, by the time the individual is due to start work with you, they haven’t yet received BRP, the ‘Form for Affixing the Visa’ can provide you with a statutory excuse, but only if you also obtain a positive verification notice via the Home Office Employer Checking Service. This would give you a time-limited statutory excuse; you must carry out a further check before its expiration.
If you have any questions about employing Ukrainian nationals or business immigration queries generally, please contact Emma Cousins at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01904 437 608.