Frontier Worker Permit

This route has been created in December 2020. The work permit was designed to cater to the needs of EU citizens following the end of Free Movement. Frontier Workers are people who work in one country and live in another, freedom of movement in the EU meant that this type of lifestyle became very popular. However, following the UK’s departure from the EU and the end of the Brexit transition period, EU citizens can no longer move freely between the UK and countries in the European Union.

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement requires the UK government to ensure that frontier workers who were working in the UK prior to the 31st December 2020 retain their free movement rights. As a result, the new Frontier Worker Permit was created.

Eligibility requirements

Only nationals from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can apply for the Frontier Worker Permit Scheme. As well as this, you must be classed as primarily resident outside the UK. You can meet the primary residence requirement if you have spent less than a total of 180 days in the UK over any 12 month period. If you have spent over 180 days in the UK in 12 months then you can still be eligible if you have returned to your home country at least either once every 6 months or twice in the 12 month period.

Applicants for the Frontier Worker Permit Scheme will also need to meet the requirements for working in the UK. The working requirements are as follows:

  • You must have started working in the UK whilst living in another country by 31st December 2020.

  • The type of work that you do must be eligible for the permit.

  • You usually must have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you

    started working here.

    Eligible work includes both employed and self-employed work, to be classed as eligible your work in the UK must be “genuine and effective”, which means that it must be more substantial than one-off tasks. Eligible work does not include things like attending interviews, signing a contract or taking part in a one-off competition.

    Validity of Frontier Worker Permit

    Your permit will last for 5 years, or 2 years if you apply with ‘retained’ status.

    Switching to Frontier Worker Permit

    This route is not eligible for switching.

    Family members eligible to join

    Family members are not covered by your Frontier Worker permit.

    Your family member may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled or pre-settled status.

    Further information, help, and advice

    Our team of specialists has years of experience in visa services. We are registered with the OISC at Level 3 to provide Immigration advice and services.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at

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