We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Eligibility checks for EEA and Non-EEA workers

Initial checks

Departments must ensure that all staff and workers, both paid and unpaid, are eligible to work at the University. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that no work is to be carried out until these checks have been completed.

How to check

1. Obtain the document. The types of documents that employers can accept as evidence of the right to work are set out in two distinctive lists List A & List B. Information on the lists is available here

  • List A - an automatic and ongoing right to work in the UK without restrictions.
  • List B - you do not have an automatic right to work in the UK but have gained permission to do so subject to restrictions, i.e. for a time limited period.

2. Check the document

Key points to remember are that you must:

  • Undertake the check in the presence of the holder.
  • Check that photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance.
  • Ensure that the expiry dates of any limited leave to enter or remain in the UK have not passed.
  • Check if there are any UK Government endorsements (stamps, visas, etc.) that would indicate if the individual may undertake the role or if any restrictions apply (e.g. Tier visa holders).
  • Satisfy yourself that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder.
  • Obtain an additional document if the individual provides two documents that have different names, and ask them to explain the reason. The additional document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a deed poll or statutory declaration.

If you are presented with a particular document and you are unsure if the document entitles them to work in the UK, please contact

3. Copy the document

  • A copy of the passport. this must include any page with the document expiry date, nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details and photograph. In most cases this will be the 'bio-data' page of the passport. You must also take copies of the UK visa and/or stamp inside the passport. This must show that the holder has an entitlement to be in the UK and is entitled to undertake the work in question.
  • For EU nationals who present an ID card, both sides of the document must be copied.
  • Both sides of a biometric residence permit (where held).
  • All other documents in their entirety.

Certification of copied document

On each copied page, you must provide your signature and print your name and the date and time to confirm that you have seen the original page or pages of the document. You must also include the statement ‘" confirm that this is a true copy of the original, taken on [DATE AND TIME]"

Casual/temporary/fees workers including students

Departments must see the appropriate original documents and attach a copy to the authorised New Starters Taxable Fees Form which is sent to HR.

No worker or member of staff will be approved for payment through the HR system until this check has been carried out. Departments should clarify that those students who are studying under a Tier 4 visa are not to be offered work exceeding the maximum number of hours stated on their visa (this is normally 20 hours per week however maybe less, therefore documents must be individually checked).

Departments must obtain authorisation from before the hours are offered to the student to ensure the maximum number of hours are not exceeded. Without the code payment cannot be made.

Information about the employment of students, and an online web form to request a student employment authorisation code, can be found at:

For in depth guidance Immigration Checks – Guidance for Departments/Colleges


Right to Work Checks for non-EEA staff

All non-EEA staff who are appointed/engaged to work at the University must attend an Eligibility check with Human Resources before their first day of employment. During this appointment their original documentation will be checked and they will be required to sign an ‘obligations letter’ (confirming they agree to the Home Office conditions to working in the UK) and complete a personal details form

What documents they need to take to an Right to Work Check

  • Passport
  • Visa / Biometric Residence Card / other form of entry clearance
  • Highest qualification obtained (only required for first check)

Failure to attend or produce the relevant documents will have an impact upon the continued employment contract with the University.

Re-checks - The employee is then required to have their documentation re-checked every 12 months, this is university policy

For full list of documents accepted please see work eligibility document list - (List A & B)