Frontier Worker permit



Last updated 13 December 2023

You need to get a Frontier Worker permit if you want to work in the UK but live in another country.

You may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • you live outside of the UK
  • you have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020

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.

If you’re an Irish citizen, you do not need to apply for a Frontier Worker permit but you can choose to do so.

You cannot apply if you’re a British citizen (this includes dual citizenship).

If you have not worked in the UK by 31 December 2020

If you want to work in the UK from 1 January 2021, and were not working here before, you’ll need to apply for a visa.

The visa you’ll need depends on the type of work and how long you want to come for. Check which type of visa you’ll need.

You do not need a visa if you’re a British or Irish citizen.

What the permit allows you to do

Your permit allows you to enter the UK as a frontier worker.

It proves your right to access benefits and services, including NHS healthcare, if you meet the relevant eligibility requirements.

If you have a digital version of your permit you can also use this to prove your right to work or rent.

If you have a physical permit, you must prove your right to work.


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 to submit your biometric information (photograph or fingerprints).

When and how to apply

You must apply online.

You’ll be told if you’ll also need to go to an appointment at a visa application centre or UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

You will not usually need an appointment if you can use a smartphone app and have a passport or ID card with a biometric chip.

If you need an appointment

Allow extra time to arrange your appointment and travel to the centre - there may not be one near you. You may need to pay for your appointment.

The centre may need to keep your passport and documents while they process your application.

Family members

Family members are not covered by your Frontier Worker permit.

Your family member may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled or pre-settled status.