Updated Guidance on the Frontier Worker Permit Scheme

30 Mar 2021 Déarbhla Sloan    Last updated: 30 Mar 2021

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The UK Government has updated its guidance on the Frontier Worker Scheme and provided clarification to rules around eligibility.

On 10 December 2020, the UK’s Frontier Worker Permit Scheme was opened to enable European nationals who were working in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 to continue to do their work after the UK left the EU.

A frontier worker is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who is employed or self-employed in the UK but lives elsewhere, and includes those non-British or Irish people living south of the Irish border but work in Northern Ireland. Although Irish citizens are exempt from the requirement to apply for a frontier worker permit, they can still apply if they want to.

Frontier workers employed in the UK on or before 31 December can apply for a frontier worker permit however those who commenced their employment after this date will need to apply for a visa.

Eligibility

The UK Government has recently clarified that:

  • Frontier workers who are continuously employed only need to travel to the UK for work at least once every twelve months to be eligible.
  • If a frontier worker has had a period of unemployment in the UK, or is unemployed when applying for a permit, this may affect their eligibility.

The guidance on the application process for frontier workers has been updated, and includes information on who can apply, how to apply, what happens after your application has been submitted and how the renewal process works.

Frontier Worker Scheme implementation

Although there is no deadline to apply, from 1 July 2021 Frontier Workers will be required to hold a valid frontier worker permit and valid passport / national identity card therefore it is advised that applications are made as soon as possible. Frontier Workers can continue entering the UK as a worker using only their valid passport or national identity card until the end of June 2021.

Applications for the frontier worker permit are free of charge and frontier workers can apply online.

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