A few facts to note :

  1. I am the spouse of an Irish/EU citizen, so we are part of the Common Travel Area.

  2. I have a resident card for Ireland, valid until 2021, at which point I can apply for citizenship.I've been living, studying, and working in Ireland over the last 7 years - all legally. Married since 2018.

  3. We entered via the ferry at Holyhead as we were moving our things over, and no passport check point ever occurred, so I've no documentation of entering in my passport.

After speaking with both government agents and solicitors - as well as employers, no one seems to be able to answer directly about proving my right to work, due to Brexit.

We have been in London for 2 weeks. I have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, and am awaiting my biometrics appt - scheduled for Oct 16. (Another lovely money-making administrative task for the govt!) Apparently, after speaking with a solicitor, the BRP in my case is no longer valid/necessary - and EU Settlement is the new process under Brexit.

I will likely not receive any physical documentation of my right to work from the EU Settlement scheme until end of October, but I would like to/need to be working ASAP. I have several upcoming interviews, and while I know I'm allowed to work, I can't seem to prove it

My question is this - if I fly to Ireland for a weekend with my partner, and return with documentation of our marriage cert - would this incur some type of stamp in my passport that could prove my right to work immediately?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!


1 Answer 1


As of today, you are the spouse of an EU citizen and are living in a second EU country. Therefore, under the free movement rules, you have the right to work.

All you should need to prove this is your marriage certificate (to prove you are married) and your spouse's passport (to prove their citizenship).

Of course, whether an employer will accept just those two documents is open to question. I think my advice would be to apply, and then argue it with the HR department once you have offered the job.

The rules could all change on 1st November in the event of a hard Brexit then. Your Irish partner will still be able to come to the UK (under the CTA), but bringing their foreign spouse will be subject to the much more restrictive rules that currently apply to UK citizens. It is therefore important that you apply for pre-settled status (you haven't been in the UK long enough to get settled status), so that you can stay in the UK under the rules that apply to people who are already resident here, rather than the rules that apply to people who arrive after Brexit day. In an ideal world, you would have stayed in Ireland until 2021, become an Irish citizen, and then moved to the UK under the CTA. However, real life has a way of intruding on plans like this.

  • Thanks @MartinBonner. In theory this is what I understand to be the case as well. Do you think that this is down to an employer decision if they will accept only that for proof? Can I reference any specific documentation for employers to confirm that I have provided enough proof? Oct 2, 2019 at 8:47
  • Employers are unlikely to accept the marriage certificate because the law on employee verification only allows a residence card or an application certificate for a residence card to be used in defence against a charge of hiring an unauthorized worker. Of course, they can also use the defence that she is in fact authorized, which she is, but in the current climate that seems unlikely.
    – phoog
    Oct 2, 2019 at 15:37
  • @MeriahNunn "The rules could all change on 1st November in the event of a hard Brexit then" is not correct. It is petty well established that free movement will continue for several months. The current government tried to change that, announcing an intention to end free movement immediately, but was forced to abandon that plan by the extreme difficulties it would cause.
    – phoog
    Oct 2, 2019 at 15:40
  • 1
    @phoog thank you for the extra detail with this ongoing query. It does seem to be that while I am legal, with Brexit/current climate, until I have the physical documentation that I can work - employers are unlikely to hire me. I am hoping to have proof of EU pre-settled status by the end of the month as mentioned. I appreciate all the additional ! Oct 3, 2019 at 11:01

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