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An individual may have an automatic or indefinite right to work in the UK because:

Right to work checks

If your new member of staff has an automatic right to work in the UK, or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you must still take copies of documents proving this right before they start work. The procedure for undertaking right to work checks correctly is set out in the Right to Work checks section of our webpages.

The documents which confirm the individual has an indefinite and ongoing right to work in the UK can be found in List A of the Home Office 'Employer's guide to right to work checks'. For ease of reference, you can find full details of the types of documents we can accept on the University's Job Opportunities webpages:

For departments paying an individual under the University Payment System (UPS), please see the UPS guidance on right to work checks.

List of EEA countries

All citizens of the countries listed below have the automatic and unlimited right to work in the UK. Please see the EEA FAQ for information/advice following the EU referendum result.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden


EEA accession states - Croatia

The nationals of countries newly joining the EU ("accession states") do not always have the same rights to work in the UK as other EEA nationals. Currently the only accession state is Croatia.

Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013 and Croatian nationals are able to move and live freely in any Member State of the EU. They do not need permission to reside legally in the UK, however, they do not have the automatic right to work in the UK. Croatian nationals must first obtain 'worker authorisation' prior to taking up employment in the UK, unless an exemption applies:

  • If a Croatian national has been working legally and continuously for a 12 month period prior to 1 July 2013, they are not subject to worker authorisation.
  • If a Croatian national has been working for a period of 12 months, they will cease being subject to worker authorisation at the end of that 12 month period.
  • Any Croatian national who is the spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of any British national, settled person or EEA national is not subject to worker authorisation.
  • Any Croatian national with Indefinite Leave to Remain is not subject to worker authorisation.
  • Any Croatian national who has acquired permanent residence under the European Regulations is not subject to worker authorisation.
  • Any Croatian national who is also a citizen of the UK or another EU Member State is not subject to worker authorisation.
  • Any Croatian national who has completed a degree from a UK Institution (see below).

Where an exemption applies

If one of the above exemptions apply, the individual must have been issued with a Blue Registration Certificate, and a copy must have been taken before the University of Cambridge can employ them. We cannot accept any other combinations of documents as proof that an exemption applies (for example a Croatian passport and a UK marriage certificate). This is line with paragraph 9 of the Home Office Code of Practice relating to the employment of Croatian nationals.

Students who have completed a degree from a UK Institution are exempt from worker authorisation and should apply for a Blue Registration Certificate as proof of this.

Note: Where a Croatian national is currently employed by the University of Cambridge and has completed a minimum 12 months continuous employment, they are not required to obtain another document confirming they are exempt from worker authorisation, even if that document has expired.

Where an exemption does not apply

If an exemption does not apply, and if the prospective employee has not worked in the UK before, they can gain the right to work by applying for a Purple Registration Certificate supported by either Tier 2 or a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship issued by the University.

Please refer to the Compliance Team for further information if required.