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Right to Work: Frontier Workers in the UK

Right to Work: Frontier Workers in the UK

If you live in one country but work in another, you’re a Frontier Worker. Better options in flexible working and cheaper international travel throughout Europe has made it easier for more people to work as Frontier Workers in recent years. Because the European Union offers freedom of movement – the right to freely live and work throughout the EU with little to no restrictions – Frontier Workers could easily come and go across the continent and the UK.

Brexit changed the idea of Frontier Workers coming to the UK, however. The UK coming out of the EU meant that we were able to take part in freedom of movement. Many EU citizens both living and working in the UK have been allowed to partake in the Settled Status scheme, which means if they’ve continuously lived in the UK for at least five years, they can receive indefinite leave to remain.

Frontier Workers however aren’t necessarily able to partake in this scheme as they may not be able to provide proof of a permanent residence in the UK over a five-year period. There are options though.

What Rights do Frontier Workers Have Post Brexit?

The deadline to apply for Settled Status is 30 June 2021. You can apply if you’re able to prove that you have lived and worked in the UK for at least five years as of 31 December 2020. This may be difficult to do if you’re a Frontier Worker, but it is possible. To start with, it may be dependent on how much time per week you’ve spent in the UK. The blog Free Movement suggests keeping a spreadsheet of the days you’ve spent in the UK and having proof of all flights back and forth.

If you’re not able to prove your right to Settled Status, then from 1 July 2021, you will need a permit to enter the UK as a Frontier Worker. It’s something you can easily apply for online, you will just need to ensure you have proof of employment (your contract) as well as payslips or invoices from your work in the UK. You’ll also need to provide valid identification, which can be checked through the UK Immigration: ID Check app.

Another option for Frontier Workers is to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, which, as opposed to the Frontier Worker permit, gives you the possibility of eventual indefinite leave to remain. A Skilled Worker visa is now the new route forward post-Brexit. It means you can come to work in the UK in a job you’re qualified for with an approved employer. You will need to have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer, be paid a minimum salary, and be working an eligible occupation. All of this must be confirmed before you apply for the visa.

Once you’ve secured your Skilled Worker visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for up to five years before needing to extend it further. If you change jobs during your five-year stay, you will need to update your visa with the new information.

If you plan to continue working in the UK and would rather a more permanent status, following the five years of living here on the Skilled Worker visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

How PSI Global Can Help

Everyone’s situation is different, and if you’re still unsure about what to do or need to discuss your situation further, you can call our team on 0800 009 2997 to discuss this with a member of our team.


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