A Frontier Worker permit lets you come and work in the UK if you live in another country and you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

You must have started working in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and continue to work here. If you have not worked in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you may need to apply for a different visa to work in the UK such as a Skilled Worker visa or Temporary Work visa.

You must usually have worked in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here. You may still be able to apply if you’ve had periods of unemployment or were unable to work during this time.

Your frontier worker permit will last for 5 years. You may be eligible for a 5-year permit if you’re on maternity or paternity leave when you apply, and you will return to your previous employment, or find another job, at the end of this period.

Working in the UK

You must

  • have started working in the UK while living elsewhere by 31 December 2020, either as an employed or self-employed person
  • do eligible work
  • usually have worked in the UK (as an employed or self-employed person) at least once every 12 months since you started working here

Eligible work

You’ll be eligible as long as your work in the UK is ‘genuine and effective’. This means it must be more than small, one-off tasks, such as:

  • an interview
  • taking part in a one-off competition or audition
  • signing a contract

Living Outside the UK

You must live ‘primarily’ outside of the UK. How you meet this requirement depends on how much time you’ve spent here since 1 January 2020.

You’ll be eligible if you’ve spent less than 180 days in total in the UK over the course of any 12 month period. You may be still eligible If you’ve spent 180 days or more in the UK within 12 months, if during that 12 months you returned to the country you live in at least either once every 6 months, or twice in the 12 months period.

You’ll still be able to apply if there are exceptional circumstances meaning you could not travel to your country of residence in this period, such as an illness or accident.

Once you receive your Frontier Worker permit, you should note that the following conditions will apply to your stay in the UK in this category.

You will be permitted the following activities on your Frontier Worker permit:

  • Work in the UK
  • Rent in the UK
  • Renew your Frontier Worker permit
  • Access benefits and services, including NHS healthcare, if you meet the relevant eligibility requirements

You will not be able to do the following in the UK on your Frontier Worker permit:

  • Bring your dependent family members on your Frontier Worker permit

Fairmont Lawyers can help you navigate the requirements and provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain a Frontier Worker permit.


To renew your permit, you need to show that you continued to meet the eligibility requirements over the period of time since you last applied.

If you’re not employed or self-employed at the point you apply to renew, or you’re temporarily unable to work, you’ll still be able to apply for a 2-year permit as someone with ‘retained’ status (as long as you meet the requirements).

There’s no fee to apply for the permit, and you do not have to pay the immigration health surcharge. You may have to pay £19.20 to submit your biometric information.