Post Brexit immigration rules have undergone a massive change in Great Britain. Importantly, these changes mostly are for the citizens from the European Union who earlier enjoyed a lot of privileges in the country. One of the biggest change that is going to come into effect from 1 July 2021 is regarding frontier worker permit. UK’s new frontier worker permit will come into effect from this date under which it will be mandatory for each frontier worker to have a valid frontier worker permit.
Apart from that, they must also carry either a national identity card or a valid passport for entering the UK for work. The frontier workers are the residents of Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or the European Union and are either self-employed or employed in the UK. This permit will allow these residents to come into the United Kingdom while they continue to reside anywhere else.
Eligibility Criteria for UK’s New Frontier Worker Permit
This new worker permit is applicable only to those residents of the European Union, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway who were already working as frontier workers in the UK before 31 December 2020 although they were living outside the country. Importantly, to be eligible for this privilege these frontier workers must have worked in the UK for at least 12 months on or before 31 December 2020.
These residents will be able to continue working using their frontier worker status albeit they will have to apply for the new work permit in the UK for that. The applicants do not have to pay any immigration health surcharge or fee for obtaining this permit. But the officials may make submission of biometric details like fingerprints or photographs mandatory.
How Can Ineligible Workers Retain Their Worker Status?
Those frontier workers who came to the UK for working on or after 1 January 2021 or did not work in the UK before 31 December 2020 are not eligible for this new worker permit. For working in the UK these workers will have to apply for work visas through the new points-based immigration system.
In certain cases, however, they may be able to obtain the new frontier worker permit. The UK government offers certain allowances that can make it possible. A frontier worker who earlier worked in the UK but was living elsewhere on or before 31 December 2020 can claim or retain worker status if during the last 12 months he could not work due to accident, illness, pregnancy, or delivery of a child, unable to come to the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions, was doing vocational training or was looking for work in the UK.
Applying For UK’s New Frontier Worker Permit
The application for this worker permit will be accepted until June 30, 2021. Self-employed frontier workers will get a work permit valid for five years. However, those who come under the retained worker status will get a work permit with a validity of only two years. Nonetheless, permits in all the categories can be renewed. Applications for the permit can be made online using UK Immigration: ID Check” app. Those who could not access this app can directly apply from the official site online.
Apart from a valid passport or national identity, the applicants will also have to submit a few documents to the UK Home office. These include employment contract or contract of work, copies of invoices or payslips proving work carried out by the applicant in the UK. Applicants who became eligible under retained status may have to submit proofs along with the application. For example, if they were outside the UK due to illness then a doctor’s certificate treating the applicant will have to be submitted.
Successful candidates will receive notifications either physically or through email. Those who used the app for submission will be notified digitally.