Frontier worker permit scheme

When the Brexit transition period ends, frontier workers will be impacted by the end of freedom of movement.



Frontier worker permit scheme

The new frontier worker permit scheme will be introduced from 1 January 2021 with applications open as of 10 December 2020. A frontier worker, for the purposes of the Scheme, is an individual who is resident in one country in the EU, EEA or Switzerland (excluding Irish citizens) who is not primarily a resident in the UK but who regularly travels to work or for self-employment in the UK. For further detail regarding the definition of a frontier worker see the Government guidance here.

Frontier workers already working in the UK by 31 December 2020

Frontier workers who are working in the UK by 31 December 2020 will need to apply for a permit in order to retain their frontier worker status after 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021 a frontier worker will require a valid frontier worker permit as well as a valid passport and national identity card to enter the UK and to demonstrate a right to work. Those who obtain a frontier worker permit will be exempt from the need to have leave to enter or remain in the UK.

Irish citizens working in the UK do not need to apply for a permit and can continue working in the UK from 2021.

Applications are free and individuals can apply from inside or outside the UK. Applications will be valid for 2 or 5 years and will be renewable indefinitely.

For further detail on the scheme, please see the Government's guidance here.

Workers who intend to begin frontier working from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, non-British, non-Irish workers who wish to begin employment in the UK whilst remaining a resident outside the UK will need to apply through one of the visa routes available under the UK's points-based immigration system. For example, sponsorship through the Skilled Worker route or one of the other routes available.