Frontier Work Permit


The Frontier Worker Permit is primarily available to persons who had commuted into the UK for work before Brexit took place on 31 December 2020. The permit thus allows workers to work in the UK but primarily live in another country.

The Frontier Work Permit does not have some of the advantages of other UK work visas. So, discussing other work visas with your Breytenbachs consultant might be best before deciding to opt for the Frontier Worker Permit.

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How to qualify for a Frontier Worker Permit

Persons who want to work in the UK but live in another country can apply if they fulfil all of the following criteria:

You are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and living outside the UK.

You must live primarily outside the UK and will be eligible if you spent less than 180 days in total in the UK in any 12 months. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and you will still be eligible if, in the 12 months, you return to the country you live in at least once every six months or twice in the 12-month period. The Home Office will also consider exceptional circumstances, such as illnesses or accidents, that prevented you from travelling to your country of residence. Thus, this rule has many exceptions, and we strongly advise you to speak to your Breytenbachs consultant.

You began working in the UK on or before 31 December 2022. You must have started working in the UK while living elsewhere before this date. The employment could have been as an employed or self-employed person. The work must have been eligible work that is genuine and effective. It must not have been a one-off task such as an interview, signing a contract or a one-off competition or audition.

If you are unsure whether you fulfil any of the above criteria, please speak to your Breytenbachs consultants, as it seems the Home Office will consider exceptional circumstances and exceptions to the rules.

Irish citizens do not need to apply for a Frontier Worker Permit, but they can choose to do so if they want.

If you have only started working in the UK on or after 1 January 2021, you will have to look at other UK worker visa options.

Right to Work

If you have a Frontier Worker Permit, you can enter the UK as such. The permit will be valid for five years or two years if you apply with retained status.

You will be allowed to change jobs or move from being employed to self-employed without getting permission or having to inform the Home Office.

The permit will also prove your right to access certain benefits and services if you meet eligibility requirements.

You must inform the Home Office if you stop working in the UK and no longer meet one of the retained status criteria.

Renewing your Frontier Worker Permit

It is possible to renew your permit, but you will have to continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

Family Members

Unfortunately, this permit does not cover any family members.

It might be worthwhile to discuss the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) with your Breytenbachs consultant to determine whether your family members might qualify under the EUSS.

Immigration Health Surcharge

The good news is that there is no Immigration Health Surcharge payable with a Frontier Worker Permit application.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

The Frontier Work Permit does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How Breytenbachs can help you

We have a dedicated team of consultants specialising in the UK Business and Worker visa routes. If you are interested in applying for your Frontier Worker Permit or would like to find out about alternative options, please contact one of our consultants.

Frontier Work Permit

Please contact us today for further information or applications.