UK Frontier Worker Permit

EU parliament - frontier worker

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


Frontier workers are people who live in one country but regularly work in another. This includes any EU citizen or citizen of the EEA or Switzerland who is employed or self-employed in the UK but lives elsewhere. These individuals are also referred to as cross-border workers.

For this reason, frontier working comes in a variety of forms, for example, a Spanish employee of a multinational company could share their time between offices in Madrid and London.

To speak to one of our solicitors about the Frontier Worker permit and how to make a successful application. Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

Illustration turquoise - woman and phone

What is the Frontier Worker permit?

The Frontier Worker permit allows EEA and Swiss nationals to work in the UK while living in another country.

Individuals with a Frontier Worker permit will be able to:

  • Work or rent in the UK
  • Travel freely in and out of the UK for the purposes of work
  • Access benefits and services, if they have the right
  • Access NHS healthcare

Irish citizens do not need to apply for a permit; they have the right to enter, live and work in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangements.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Illustration turquoise - man thinking

Am I eligible for a Frontier Worker Permit?

To be eligible for a Frontier Worker Permit, you must:

  • Begun working in the UK by 31 December 2020, either as an employed or self-employed worker
  • Do eligible work
  • Usually have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here

Eligible work is defined broadly. You must demonstrate your work in the UK is ‘genuine and effective’, which essentially means it must be more than small, one-off tasks

You may still be eligible to apply for a Frontier Worker Permit despite the gap of more than 12 months if you were:

  • Temporarily unable to work because of an illness or accident
  • Temporarily unable to work because you were pregnant or had given birth
  • Unable to come to the UK and work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Voluntarily unemployed and undertaking vocational training related to your last occupation
  • Involuntarily unemployed, and either looking for work in the UK or doing vocational training

This is known as having ‘retained worker’ or ‘retained self-employed person’ status.

If you become involuntarily unemployed and are looking for work, you will keep the frontier worker status for as long as you continue to look for work, as long as you worked in the UK for a year or more before becoming unemployed.

Experience working with Jessica

“Jessica acted promptly, precisely and responded immediately to any enquiries that we had. Her involvement elicited a quick, positive decision from the Home Office.”

Client – Mr Burton

Business women with papers

How to apply for a Frontier Worker permit

The application for a Frontier Worker permit is free of charge and can be made online from either inside or outside of the UK via the gov.uk site. Applicants will be required to prove their identity as part of the application, which can be done either via the UK Immigration ID check app or by attending a visa application centre to submit biometric information.

Documents that you may need in order to apply for a permit include:

  • A valid passport or valid national identity card
  • Employment contract, contract to complete work or employment letter/agreement, which should include:
  • Evidence of your employment start date, your place of work and the nature of your work
  • Confirmation from the employer that the frontier worker is required to travel to the UK for work purposes
  • Payslips or invoices demonstrating the pay you have received in exchange for your work
  • Evidence of social security contributions in the UK based on work undertaken here
  • Copies of business accounts showing proof of payment for work
  • Email or text communications showing work organised in the UK
  • References from clients or examples of business advertising in the UK
  • Letters outlining proof of self-employed status
  • Income tax letter from HMRC

If an application is approved, a digital permit will be provided - a physical permit will be available. Permits will be valid for five years unless you hold retained frontier worker status, in which case, permits are granted for just two years.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Turquoise illustration - woman writing left hand

How we can help

We specialise in all aspects of work and business immigration law to ensure that employees have the right to work in the UK. Our specialist immigration lawyers can help with the application process for Frontier Worker permits by:

  • Checking if you are eligible for a permit
  • Preparing and submitting applications on your behalf
  • Liaising with the Home Office on your behalf regarding your application
  • Making an extension application
  • Handling refusals for applications

We can also discuss your long-term plans and individual circumstances and help you to understand what visa options are available.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has significant experience of preparing successful Frontier Worker Permit applications. Thanks to our extensive knowledge of immigration rules, we are able to provide pragmatic advice and meet our clients’ needs. We have connections with the Home Office and other immigration authorities so we can advise you with confidence, and ensure the entire immigration procedure runs smoothly and efficiently for you.

Working with a law firm can be a big decision, which is why we ensure that our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We are a highly driven team that is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice.

As a boutique law firm specialising in UK-inbound immigration, our experts understand the complexity and uncertainty that constantly shifting visa and residence policies create for EEA and Swiss nationals looking to work here whilst living overseas. Our lawyers can provide up-to-the-minute legal advice on how any changes will impact your application.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of your Frontier Worker permit application so you can start your successful journey towards working in the UK today.

Illustration laptop - white

Contact us

As the requirements for a Frontier Worker permit visa are complex now that the 31st December 2020 deadline for beginning work in the UK has passed, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that your supporting documentation is compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

Frontier Worker Permit FAQs

How much does it cost to make a Frontier Worker permit application?

There are no application fees for a Frontier Worker Permit application, and individuals are not required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

How long does it typically take to process a Frontier Worker permit application?

Frontier workers should receive their permits within 10 days of receiving the decision notice about your application.

Can I apply for settlement under a Frontier Worker permit?

A Frontier Worker permit does not not lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain) as it acts as a right of admission for a person who is exempt from immigration control. However, permits can be extended indefinitely provided the applicant continues to fulfil the requirements of a frontier worker or cross-border worker.

Can family members apply as dependants under the Frontier Worker permit?

Family members are not able to apply as dependants.

What countries is the Frontier Worker permit open to?

The Frontier Worker Permit Scheme is open to nationals of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Can Frontier Worker permit applications be refused?

Like most immigration applications, applications can be refused if the immigration status of that individual is lost (i.e. that person stops working and loses their frontier worker status), or for reasons of public policy, security or health. Appeals and administration reviews can be sought against refusals in certain circumstances.

Our other relevant visa services

Global Business Mobility Visa

Global Business Mobility (GBM) visas provide overseas businesses with various routes to operate in the UK. If your company transfers workers from the EU and other countries to the UK, or wishes to establish a presence here, it is important that you understand what is required of you and how to apply. Failure to make use of the correct visa routes could result in delays to business productivity, costing you time and money.

Global Talent Visa

The UK welcomes highly skilled people from overseas and offers the Global Talent visa for those endorsed in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, research, digital technology or the arts. You need to demonstrate that you are either a recognised leader (global talent) or an emerging leader (global promise).

Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. It is open to individuals wanting to work in the UK who have been offered an eligible job by an employer with an approved Sponsor Licence

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Meet our experts

Latitude Law logo

Contact us now to arrange a FREE initial consultation with an experienced UK-inbound immigration lawyer

Call on 0300 131 6767 or complete our contact form and we will get back to you within 1 working day

Your information will be used in accordance with the privacy policy