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Frontier Worker Permit

What is the Frontier Worker permit?

As a result of Brexit and the end of free movement, the UK government was in a position to introduce new routes for people to live and work in the UK. Frontier Worker permit is one of the new routes established.

Frontier Worker permits are ideal for those who work in the UK but live primarily in another country. This permit allows workers to enter the UK, prove their right to work, right to rent and gives the workers access to certain benefits and services, such as the NHS healthcare, subject to meeting certain eligibility requirements.

Permit requirements

To be eligible to apply for the permit, the following requirements must be met:

  • You are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein;
  • You live primarily outside the UK;
  • You must have been employed or self-employed in the UK while living outside the UK by 31 December 2020; and
  • You must have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working in the UK.

You can also apply for the permit as a retained worker.

Retained Worker

If you have been unable to work or have been unemployed in the UK during any of the 12-month period whilst you have been in the UK, you may still be eligible to apply for the Frontier Worker permit, if the below applies.

  • You were temporarily unable to work because of an illness or an accident;
  • You were temporarily unable to work because you were pregnant or had given birth;
  • You were unable to come to the UK and work because of coronavirus;
  • You were voluntarily unemployed and doing vocational training related to your last occupation;
  • You were involuntarily unemployed, and either looking for work in the UK or doing vocational training

Evidence of this will have to be provided in support of your application.

Duration and conditions of your permit

If you have been successful in your application, you will either be issued with a digital permit, or a physical permit that explains your leave in the UK.

Frontier Worker permits are issued for a five-year period, or a two-year period, if you applied with retained status.

With this permit, you will be able to enter the UK as a frontier worker and prove your right to work, your right to rent and have access to certain benefits and services, including the NHS.

There is no fee to the application.

Your family will not be able to come to the UK under this permit, however, they may be eligible under other immigration routes. Settlement is also unavailable under this route. You may wish to consider:

  • Skilled worker visa
  • Innovator Founder visa
  • Scale-up visa
  • Global talent visa

How Freeths can help

Our Immigration Team can assess your status and advise you on your eligibility under this route. We can assist you with your application and ensure that you have all the required evidence to receive a positive decision.

We are always on hand to respond to any of your queries and we are also proactive in our approach so you can feel confident that your matter will be dealt with effectively. We can provide you with visa options and advise on alternative visa routes for you and your family, to ensure that you chose the best option for you, depending on your circumstances.

We are always transparent about our fees, so you know you will not be hit with an unexpected bill.

Contact our business immigration team:


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