Immigrants and overseas workers have long been an important part of the NHS workforce in the UK.

The law on preventing illegal working is set out in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Under the law, all UK employers must act to prevent illegal working by checking that any job applicant is allowed to live and work in the UK before they employ them.

In the past EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals have generally been employable without restriction due to UK membership of the European Union. However, in January 2020 the UK formally withdrew from the EU and a transition period now applies until the 1st January 2021 when new immigration rules will be announced. Until that time current rules on employment status for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals apply.

This topic covers how to perform appropriate pre-employment checks and how to sponsor an immigrant under the five-tier system.

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