When you are nearing the expiry date of your visa, your employer may request for proof that you can continue working lawfully. Many clients, after submitting and waiting for a visa application or extension, have explained the fear of losing their jobs if they are unable to produce a new visa or Home Office letter proving permission to work immediately. The increased Home Office civil and criminal penalties for employers and employees who are caught to be involved with Illegal Working has inevitably caused most companies to be very cautious when hiring or retaining migrant workers.
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Can I Work While Waiting For A Visa Application?
In layman’s terms, the immigration rules simply state that as long as the switching or extension visa application is made before the current visa expires, the Applicant’s current leave is extended until a decision is made.
The relevant rules come under 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. This article seeks to highlight the rights to work and reside in the UK acquired under 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (as amended Immigration Act 2014).
The Immigration Law
Section 3C, what does it mean?
Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 states: Continuation of leave pending variation decision
- This section applies if—
(a) a person who has limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom applies to the Secretary of State for variation of the leave,
(b) the application for variation is made before the leave expires, and
(c) the leave expires without the application for variation having been decided.
2. The leave is extended by virtue of this section during any period when—
(a) the application for variation is neither decided nor withdrawn,
(b) an appeal under section 82(1) of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2002 could be brought [F2, while the appellant is in the United Kingdom] against the decision on the application for variation (ignoring any possibility of an appeal out of time with permission)
There are some exceptions to 3C, namely those who have acted in breach of immigration Rules or they may have submitted their renewal after the expiry of the current visa.
Who does this applies to?
Note that section 3c rights apply only to UK visa applications under the Immigration Rules. This does not apply for EEA Residence Card or Permanent Residence applications under the EEA Regulations.
How can an employer check my right to work while waiting for a Visa Application?
Normally, our clients’ employers are satisfied with their checks once we produce the Home Office receipt, acknowledgement letter or Certificate of Application.
With the Home Office reference number, employers can also check the migrant worker’s status through the Employer Checking Service
We can help!
QC Immigration can represent you in dealing with your employer’s checks. We can advise to ensure your pending visa application does not hinder your ongoing employment or accepting of a new job offer. We also assist employers in ensuring their recruitment and retention policies are compliant with immigration laws.