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Immigration rules changed 10 January 2019 & Right to Work

A 12 month cooling off period has been introduced for tier 5 religious workers and charity workers which means that previous holders of the visa will need to spend at least 12 months outside the UK before returning under either category.

Religious workers have the additional change imposed that they will no longer be able to do ‘preaching and pastoral work’ or take the role of ‘minister of religion’ (which now comes under tier 20).

Ensure your HR teams are aware of these changes.

Right to Work

“Right to work” checks have been modernised as an alternative to requesting and retaining right to work documents from prospective employees, the Home Office’s Employer Checking Service will be updated to enable employers to use an online checking service to verify a prospective employee’s right to work in the UK and, subject to receiving a positive confirmation, will establish a statutory excuse to a civil penalty for illegal working. This new service was launched on 28 January 2019.

However, note that initially the service will only be available for verifying the right to work of some non–EEA and non-Swiss nationals, so it will not replace conventional right-to-work checks completely. The new online right to work checking service is not mandatory and employers can elect to continue to request and retain documents if they prefer. For more information please visit

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