Frontier workers in the UK: rights and status

If you’re a frontier worker who wishes to continue working in the UK or wish to begin employment in the UK, the Home Office has released new guidance.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 11 November 2020)

On 1 January 2021 the UK’s points-based immigration system will come into effect, and there are some changes frontier workers need to be aware of.”

“You’re a frontier worker if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you are employed or self-employed in the UK but live elsewhere.”

Frontier working before January 2021

“You’ll be able to keep your frontier worker status if you’re frontier working in the UK by 31 December 2020, but you’ll need to apply for a frontier worker permit.

Irish citizens will not need a frontier worker permit but may apply for one if they wish.

You may also keep your frontier worker status if you’ve previously been a frontier worker and one of the following applies:”

  • you’re temporarily unable to work because of an illness or accident
  • you were working in the UK but are now involuntarily unemployed, and are looking for work in the UK
  • you’re in vocational training while involuntarily unemployed
  • you’re in vocational training while unemployed, and the training is related to the work you carried out in your previous work
  • you’re temporarily unable to work as a result of pregnancy or childbirth
  • you’re on maternity or paternity leave, and you will return to your previous employment, or find another job, at the end of this period

Frontier worker permit

“On 10 December, the government will launch a frontier worker permit scheme. You’ll be able to apply if you have frontier worker status.

Applications will be free. You’ll be able to apply online from inside or outside the UK.

From 1 July 2021, you’ll need to hold a valid frontier worker permit, as well as your valid passport or national identity card, to enter the UK as a frontier worker.”

Frontier working from 1 January 2021

“From 1 January 2021, non-British, non-Irish workers who wish to begin employment in the UK while remaining resident outside the UK will need to apply through the UK’s points-based immigration system.”

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information on Frontier workers in the UK: rights and status, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

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