FRONTIER WORKER PERMIT

A Frontier Worker permit lets you come to the UK to work while living elsewhere.

You may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • you live outside of the UK
  • you began working in the UK by 31 December 2020 (However, you must hold a frontier worker permit to enter the UK for work from 1 July 2021 onwards.)

You must usually have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here. You may still be able to apply if you’ve had periods of unemployment or were unable to work during this time.

If you’re an Irish citizen, you do not need to apply for a Frontier Worker permit but you can choose to do so.

You cannot apply if you’re a British citizen (this includes dual citizenship).

Eligibility Criteria

You can only apply for a Frontier Worker permit if you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and you:

  • live outside the UK
  • started working in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and continue to work here 

If you have periods of unemployment in the UK, or you are unemployed when you apply for a permit, this may affect your eligibility. 

Your frontier worker permit will last for 5 years. You may be eligible for a 5 year permit if you’re on maternity or paternity leave when you apply, and you will return to your previous employment, or find another job, at the end of this period.

Requirements for working in the UK

You must have:

  • started working in the UK while living elsewhere on or before 31 December 2020,either as an employed or self-employed person
  • continued to be an employed or self-employed person in the UK and have come to the UK to work at least once every 12 months since then, or meet the requirements to retain your worker or self-employed person status
  • carried out ‘genuine and effective’ work in the UK

PROCESS

If you’re a frontier worker, you’ll need a permit to enter the UK to work from 1 July 2021. You can use your passport or national identity card until then.

You must apply online.

You’ll be told if you’ll also need to go to an appointment at a visa application centre or UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

You will not usually need an appointment if you can use a smartphone app and have a passport or ID card with a biometric chip.

FAQs

FRONTIER WORKER PERMIT

There are three steps to the application process: 

  1. Confirm your identity and contact The application form is accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone. You can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to verify your identity. You will need to enter your contact preferences and scan your passport. You can use someone else’s phone to prove your identity. If you are unable to use the app, you will need to attend a visa application centre to verify your identity. You may need to pay for this service where it is provided by a commercial partner.

  2. Prepare your application You will need to enter your personal details, including time spent in the UK, details about your work in the UK, and reasons for retaining your worker or self-employed person status (if relevant). You must also complete a criminality check. 

  3. Provide evidence and submit your application You will need to include details of your employment or self-employment history in the UK, such as contracts, and payslips or invoices relating to work carried out in the UK. If you are applying as someone who has, or had, retained status, you will need to provide proof of your reason for not working in the UK, such as a letter from your GP or proof of enrolment on a training course.

When you renew your permit, you’ll need to show that you continued to meet the eligibility requirements over the period of time since you last applied.

If you’re not employed or self-employed at the point you apply to renew, or you’re temporarily unable to work, you’ll still be able to apply for a 2-year permit as someone with ‘retained’ status (as long as you meet the requirements).

There’s no fee to apply for the permit, and you do not have to pay the immigration health surcharge. You may have to pay to submit your biometric information (photograph or fingerprints).

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on www.gov.uk.

LEGAL

Woodcock Law & Notary Public is the combined trading name of Woodcock Law Limited (Co. No: 12080697) and Woodcock Notary Public Limited (Co. No: 12085976). Woodcock Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (registration number 664924). Woodcock Notary Public Limited is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury for work undertaken by Mr Nathan Woodcock as a Notary Public. Woodcock Law Limited is a member of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. (Membership Number: 7980).

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