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Right to Work checks are a legal requirement for all workers in the UK, and for tenants who are renting property. These are basic identity checks, to ensure that an individual is who they say they are and has the legal right to live and work in the UK. Identity checks usually involve showing a basic identity document such as a passport which confirms nationality, and then comparing the picture on that document to the person. These sorts of identity checks are essential for students too, and everyone starting at college and university will have to prove their identity as part of registration.

For new UK students, an identity check at the beginning of the term is an essential step in the registration process and obtain a student ID card. The primary purpose of this identity check is to verify the student’s identity and nationality. For British students, they just need to show their passport or other document such as driving licence to confirm their identity. Overseas students will require their passport with appropriate student visa attached, or biometric residence permit. If students can’t show these documents when requested, they risk not being allowed to register and missing the start of the course. Identity checks apply to all students, whether full time, part time, undergraduate or postgraduate.

Required Documents for Student Identity Check

During the identity check, students will need to present valid identity documents before getting their official student ID card. Students will need to provide one of the following documents for their identity check:

  • UK passport – this must be a passport which is currently valid, rather than one which has already expired.
  • UK long birth certificate – if you don’t have a passport. The long birth certificate is the version that includes the birthplace of your parents. If you don’t have a long version of your birth certificate, copies can be ordered from the registration authorities. If your parents were not born in the UK or Ireland, additional documentation, such as a passport, is required.

International Students

International students, including those from the EU, will have to provide different identity documents to verify their identity and prove their right to be in the UK and study. International students will need both their passport, and the share code which is provided by the Home Office which confirms your immigration status in the UK.

There are often delays in the immigration service, and students may be allowed into the UK before their visa and biometric residence permit is issued. Any delays in getting paperwork might mean delays in registering as a student and starting your course, so try to organise paperwork as soon as possible and reply immediately to any requests for information from the university or Home Office.

Annual Checks

As immigration status can change over time, this identity verification will be an annual process. If you have been through the process at the start of your first year at university, then you should be prepared better for the process a second time.