A frontier worker is an EU (EEA) or Swiss citizen who is employed or self-employed in the UK but is a resident elsewhere. Frontier workers who were working in the UK on or before 31st December 2020 can still enter the UK for work. However, they must hold a frontier worker permit to enter the UK for work from 1 July 2021 onwards. Frontier Workers can change jobs or move from employed to self-employed in the UK without needing to notify the Home Office.

Here are the eligibility criteria in order to classify yourself as a Frontier Worker:

  1. You need to be a national of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  2. You need to live outside of the UK
  3. You need to have worked in the UK by December 31st 2020
  4. You need to have continued working in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working there.
  5. You need to meet the general suitability criteria (This means that your application may be refused, if you’re in any way considered a threat to public security, subject to a deportation order or if perhaps preventing entry would be beneficial to the public good)

You can apply for a Frontier Worker Permit online (Click the application page on gov.uk). Once granted, applicants within the UK will be issued a digital permit. There is no deadline by which workers need to make an application, but it is desirable for workers to apply as soon as possible and definitely by 30 June 2021. There will be a grace period lasting 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021 during which frontier workers will be allowed to continue coming to the UK without having obtained their frontier worker permit. However, starting 1st July 2021 frontier workers will be in the obligation to poses a valid frontier worker permit under the new scheme in order to enter the UK as a frontier worker.

A frontier worker permit, if granted, has a validity period of five years for workers or two years for the self-employed. However, it can only be used as a right of admission to the UK and you cannot use it to obtain settled status or settlement in the future. If the eligibility requirements are met, it can be renewed. Depending on the type of work and longevity of the work will dictate the type of visa you will require.

Your Frontier Worker permit can be used to enter the UK and show your right to:

  1. Work
  2. Rent
  3. Access benefits and services, including NHS healthcare, if you meet the relevant eligibility requirements

For more detailed information, click here.