Getting offered an NHS position is a great feeling, especially as an international medical graduate who has worked hard to reach this stage. Luckily, the end is in sight. It’s not over yet, though – before starting your first day in your new role, you’ll need to complete the NHS pre-employment checks.
One of these employment checks involves checking your right to work. As you have moved from another country to the NHS, your visa will prove you can work in the UK. You don’t need to show your visa confirmation to your new NHS employer, though, as in recent years, the way for IMGs to prove their right to work has become a lot easier with the implementation of the right to work share codes.
You can skip ahead to the full story or watch this informative video which explains everything in just two minutes!
A right to work share code is a nine-digit alpha-numerical code that IMGs can use to prove their right to work. It is provided online by the UK government and is a code designed to be shared with the appropriate people (such as an employer or landlords). Once you share the code, it shows the other party the kinds of jobs you have the right to do in the UK, as well as how long you have the right to work.
The NHS needs to know the identity of every new employee, including IMGs. For assurance, checking the person’s right to work is crucial, as it proves that the person is who they say they are, that they have gone through the correct visa process and have been given the right to work by the UKVI.
Without it, the NHS would risk hiring people who have potentially stolen identity or applied for the NHS with criminal intentions. So basically, all employment checks – including checking the right to work – are about ensuring safety for all.
Fortunately, proving your right to work is easy thanks to the introduction of the right to work share code.
First, you will need at least one of the following:
From there, log into your UK government account (the one you where completed your visa application). Once you log in, you’ll be able to see your immigration status. There should also be a link named “generate a share code” – click on this.
Once you’ve clicked on the link, you’ll be asked some questions, such as why you are generating the code. In this case, you will answer that it’s for an employer, so click on that option. After answering the appropriate questions, you can create a share code, a nine-digit alpha-numerical code that’s completely unique to you.
Now that you have the right to work share code, all you need to do is share with the NHS trust that has given you a job offer! Once you provide your code and date of birth, they can check your right to work on the Government website under “view right to work”. With this code, your NHS employer will be able to see what type of work you can do and how long you can do it for. So, for example, if you are on a three-year health and care visa, they’ll be able to see that you can work in healthcare for three years in the UK.
Once generated, your right to work share code is valid for thirty days. So, once you have it, it’s a good idea to share it with your NHS employer as soon as possible. You don’t want it to run out; plus, you’ll want to get started in your new medical career quickly!
The reason right to work share codes don’t last indefinitely is to protect against fraudulent activity.
If thirty days pass after generating the code, you will simply have to go through the process of acquiring another code. Thankfully, the steps are simple and should only take a few minutes. When you do this, you’ll receive a brand-new code.
Remember that once those thirty days are up, your code will no longer work, and even if your employer tries to use it, it won’t come up with your immigration information.
Right to work share codes were officially introduced by the Home Office in July 2021 before being launched in April 2022. Before that, IMGs will have used other methods of proving their right to work, such as ID cards. Here are the benefits that the switch to right to work share codes offers:
One of the main reasons right to work share codes are so beneficial is that they completely speed up the process. As it’s all done online via a code, your NHS employer can quickly see your immigration status. With just a few short clicks, that stage of the pre-employment check is complete.
It’s also effortless. As it’s all online, neither you as the IMG nor your new NHS employer should have much difficulty proving your right to work.
It’s virtually impossible to fake a right to work share code on the UK Government website, which ensures improved safety for the NHS.
With these benefits, it’s understandable to see why the Home Office decided to make this move!
To work for the NHS, first, you must complete the necessary pre-employment checks, including proving your right to work. Thankfully, this step is one of the easiest, as you only need to generate a nine-digit code on the Government website and then share that code with your employer. It’s quick and simple. Once you’ve done that – and completed all the other NHS pre-employment checks – you’ll be ready to start your first day at your new medical job!
Before you get started on your pre-employment checks you’ll want to find the perfect medical job in the NHS. Contact us if you would like support and guidance with your NHS jobs applications, CV and interview preparation.
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