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The new Frontier Work Permit: Who can apply?

05 February 2021
The new Frontier Work Permit: Who can apply?

This article shall examine the new Frontier Work Permit which allows EU workers, who worked part time in the UK before Brexit, to continue to do so.

Who is a frontier worker?

A frontier worker is someone who lives in one EU country and works in another.

Can a frontier worker apply for (pre) settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme?
Frontier workers who travel to and from the UK may spend enough time in the UK to qualify under the EU settlement scheme.

If they do not, they may be able to apply for a Frontier Work Permit which allows nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein to come to the UK to work whilst continuing to reside elsewhere in the EU, provided that have worked in the UK before 31 December 2020.

Who can apply for the Frontier Work Permit?

To apply for a Frontier Work Permit, an individual must:

  • Live outside the UK;
  • Have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020;
  • Be a national of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein;
  • Have kept working in the UK at least once every 12 months since the date they commenced working the UK.

An Irish frontier worker does not need to apply for a Frontier Work Permit but may choose to do so. However, workers who are a British citizens, including those who have dual citizenship, cannot apply.

Applying for a Frontier Work Permit

The Frontier Work Permit route is open and applications can be made online. There is no application fee, however, in limited circumstances, an applicant may be required to pay a fee to submit their biometric information (photograph or fingerprints). There is no deadline when applications must be made but frontier workers who want to enter the UK after 1 July 2021 will require the permit. If a frontier worker would like to continue to work and enter the UK before 1 July 2021, they will need their passport or national identity card.

What can a successful applicant do?

A successful applicant’s Frontier Work Permit will be granted for a minimum of 2 years and maximum of 5 years depending on whether they are a retained worker or not. An applicant who is successful will be able to work, rent property and access benefits and services (including the NHS) in the UK so long as they meet the relevant requirements.

Entering the UK as a frontier worker for the first time after 31 December 2020

Frontier workers who have not worked in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be required to obtain the appropriate visa and must have a sponsor who is a UK business, holding a valid sponsor licene. The appropriate visa will depend on the individual circumstances of each worker.

It is important that all organisations conduct right to work checks to ensure all individuals they employee have the right to work in the UK.

If you are a frontier worker or employ frontier workers and would like to speak to an expert immigration lawyer about your rights to enter the UK, please do not hesitate to call us on 02079036888 or email us via contact@davenportsolicitors.com.

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