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Frontier Worker permit

What is a frontier worker permit?

The Frontier Worker permits allows individuals from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein to work in the UK but live in another country.

Applicants must usually have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since they started working here. Applicants must have first started working in the UK on or before 31 December 2020.

Requirements for a Frontier Worker permit

You will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You live outside the UK:  applicants must live ‘primarily’ outside the UK. Therefore, applicant must have spent less than 180 days in total in the UK over the course of any 12 month period. If the applicant has spent 180 days or more in the UK within 12 months, they may still be eligible to apply if, in that 12 month period, they returned to the country they live in at least:
  • Once every 6 months
  • Twice in the 12 month period

If the applicant has been unable to travel to their country of resident due to exceptional circumstances, such as illness, they may still be able to apply.

  • Meet the requirements for working in the UK, they must have usually worked in the UK (as an employed or self-employed person) at least once every 12 months since they started working in the UK
  • Do “eligible work.” Eligible work is work in the UK which is ‘genuine and effective’. This means it must be more than small, once-off tasks, such as:
  • An interview
  • Taking part in a one-off competition or audition
  • Signing a contract

The applicant must have started working the UK while living elsewhere by 31 December 2020, either as an employed or self-employed person

How to obtain a Frontier Worker permit?

Applications for a Frontier Worker permit must be made online. If you have a passport or ID with a biometric chip, you will usually not need an appointment if you can use a smartphone app. If you are required to attend an appointment to prove your ID, you will need to allow extra time and may be required to pay for your appointment.

What happens once your application is successful?

If an application is successful, you will be sent decision notice stating your application had been approved, this may be digital.

A Frontier Worker permit shall be granted for 2 or 5 years, depending on the applicant’s circumstances. Frontier Worker permit holders can change jobs or move from being employed to self-employed in the U without need to tell the Home Office.

Usually, applicants will have to pay tax on the income they earn in the UK.

If a successful applicant becomes involuntarily unemployed and is looking for work, they will keep their status for:

  • 6 months if they worked in the UK for less than a year before becoming unemployed
  • As long as they continue to look for work, if they worked in the UK for a year or more before becoming unemployed.

How much are the Home Office fees?

It is free to apply for the frontier worker permit.

Need help with your Frontier Worker permit application? Contact our expert business immigration lawyers at Davenport Solicitors here.

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