New immigration rights for workers and the self-employed who are not UK residents

  • The Citizens Rights (Frontier Workers) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 confirm that a frontier worker must be admitted to the United Kingdom on arrival if the frontier worker produces a valid identity document and a valid frontier worker permit.

Who will be eligible?

  • For the purposes of getting a permit, a frontier worker is defined as someone who met the following criteria before end of the implementation period on the 31 December 2020 and has continued to meet them since:
    • They are an EEA national (including Swiss nationals)
    • They are not primarily resident in the UK and they are one of the following:

•           A worker in the UK

•           Self-employed in the UK

•           A person who has retained the status of being self-employed/a worker under regulation 4

  • Status can be retained under regulation 4 if the worker has had to stop working due to a range of circumstances. These include discontinuing work due to illness or an accident, pregnancy or childbirth, unemployment or undertaking vocational training.
  • Such workers will not need to apply for a visa via the points-based system and instead will qualify for a Frontier Worker Permit.  They will not require leave to enter or remain in the UK and will be free to enter and work in the UK.
  • Applications for the permit need to be made by 30 June 2021.  Individuals entering the UK to work for the first time after 1st January 2021 will be subject to the new points-based system.
  • We understand that an application for a frontier worker permit will need to be made online using the relevant pages of and the applicant will need to submit;
    • the required biometrics;
    • a valid identity document; and
    • evidence the applicant is a frontier worker.

Although there is no information yet on when the application will be available.

  • Once approved the permit will be valid for five years from the date of issue or two years for those who have retained frontier worker status under regulation 4.
  • A frontier worker may be removed, and their permit revoked if they cease to be a frontier worker or the Secretary of State deems their removal justified in accordance with regulation 15 of the act.


Aspire Comment:

This additional visa is good news those who would not qualify for Settled or Pre-settled Status in the UK but regularly come here to work.

It will come as welcome news to employers and contractors who rely on the skills of such workers.

We await further clarification of the process for applying for the permit.

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