With the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31st December fast approaching, we will see major changes to our immigration policy.

The post-Brexit immigration system is starting to take shape; we now know that there will be a new visa called the Frontier Work Permit visa.

So what is this visa about?

This visa is aimed at people who work in one country but who live primarily in another. In short these individuals are cross-border workers. Currently this is not an issue as we have freedom of movement between different EU Countries but this disappears at the end of the transition period. Most individuals will be able to secure visa status through the EU Settlement scheme or obtain intra-company transfers. However, this visa aims to cover those who are not eligible for that visa.

So will I be eligible?

A frontier worker will be someone who has satisfied the following criteria before 31st December 2020 and continues to meet them:

  • They are an EEA National
  • They are not primarily a resident in the UK

Not primarily a resident means someone who can show that they have been present in the UK for less than 180 days in the 12 month period immediately before the date that they apply or that they have returned to their country of residence at least once in the last 6 months or twice in the last 12 months before the date that they apply unless there are exceptional reasons for not having done so.

  • They are one of the following:
    • A worker in the UK;
    • A self-employed individual in the UK; or
    • A person who has retained the status of being self-employed/a worker.

It is also interesting to note that there is no deadline for making an application and therefore this visa could be seen as a backup option for EEA Nationals who need to move into this category if they are unable to qualify in another.

Is there a minimum time?

Ask yourself this, how little time must someone need to spend working in the UK in order to qualify for this permit? Will a person who comes to the UK for business purposes be able to secure this visa if they come to the UK once every few months? At present it is unclear and we are awaiting guidance from the Home Office.

If a person is successful, workers will have a permit for 5 years, or 2 years if they are self-employed. However, this permit does not lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It can be renewed but it is not likely to allow the individual to try and get a visa through the ten year long residence route. For more information regarding this article, please contact Arif Khalfe, Partner on 01904 561402 or Arif.Khalfe@luptonfawcett.law

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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