Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
immigration solicitors near me

Can you work while waiting for a decision of your visa?

You have the right to work while waiting for a decision on your UK visa as long as you have applied to vary your leave or for a visa extension, and this was submitted before your current visa expires. Likewise, we are also often asked, “can I work while waiting for my biometric card?” If your visa extension has been submitted on time, you can continue work while waiting for your new biometric card (i.e. biometric residence permit). For information on how your employer can check your right to work while your application is being considered, see below.

The immigration rules (section 3c of the Immigration Act 1971) allow a migrant to remain in the UK without being classed as an overstayer. This only applies if they submit their visa extension application before their current visa expires. A person in this situation is subject to the same conditions (i.e., they can do the same things) as shown on their visa. Therefore, if they were permitted to work for a sponsored employer, they can continue to do so until they receive a decision from the Home Office on their application.

When you cannot work while awaiting a visa decision

A person may not be able to work while waiting for a decision on a visa in the following situations:

  • They applied to extend their visa after their current visa expired
  • They are no longer sponsored to work for their employer
  • Their current visa does not provide permission to work
  • They failed to comply with any conditions of their leave (e.g., if they worked in excess of the permitted number of hours or if they applied for public funds when not permitted to)
  • If false information, false documents, or any form of deception has been used when submitting the visa application
  • The applicant already had a pending application being considered by the Home Office.
  • If there is an outstanding administrative review or appeal

It is important to be sure that you can work while waiting for a decision. Working without permission is a breach of immigration rules and may result in a refusal of your current and future immigration applications.

What if the decision on your UK visa is delayed?

In most cases, a person who is waiting for a visa decision and is able to work under the Section 3c rules (referred to as section 3c leave) will still be able to do so if the decision takes longer than expected (assuming the application has not been rejected as invalid). This is because section 3c leave lasts from when your application is received until you receive a decision, regardless of how long this takes. In most cases, you can expect to receive a decision from the Home Office on your application within 8 weeks. Unfortunately, delays can occur for a wide range of reasons outside the control of the applicant. This could be because the Home Office wishes to carry out additional checks before making a decision on your application.

Right to work check while the visa is being processed

All employers must check that their employees have the right to work in the UK. This can be done using the standard online right-to-work checking service1. A right-to-work check is carried out when a person starts work, and a follow-up is typically undertaken towards the end of the period of leave.

If an employee’s visa extension application is being processed and the employer wishes to carry out a right-to-work check, the member of staff may not have the documents to prove their eligibility to work. In this case, it is advisable to use the government’s online ‘Employer Checking Service’2. This is different from the standard right-to-work checking service and is specifically for employees who cannot show their documents or online immigration status because they have an outstanding visa application with the Home Office.

To use the Employer Checking Service, you will need to provide several items of information, including the employee’s:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • nationality
  • job title/role
  • hours being worked per week
  • UK home address
  • Home Office reference number or case ID


1 GOV.UK: View right to work online

2 GOV.UK: Employee immigration employment status

Get In Touch

Some of our Happy Client
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me

Reiss Edwards Awards


Reiss Edwards is absolutely amazing. As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that they know their stuff, gentle, responsive, care about you and not just about the money, very professional.

I mean I can go on and on! The entire team at Reiss Edwards is amazing!

Kiran Sardar

I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews


"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More
Back to Top