EMEA

UK – New Frontier Workers Scheme.

IRELAND – Streamlined Irish Residence Permits Renewal Process, Improvement in Current Processing Times and Brexit.

APAC

AUSTRALIA –Travel is opening.


UNITED KINGDOM – New Frontier Workers Scheme for EEA and Swiss nationals from 10th December 2020.

The Home Office has recently advised that EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to make an application under the frontier worker permit scheme from 10th December 2020.

Applications will be free, and can be made online from inside or outside the UK. On approval, the frontier work permit will be valid for five years for workers, but only two years for the self-employed. The holder will technically be exempt from immigration control; however, whilst the work permit may be renewed the category does not lead to settlement in the UK.

From 1st July 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to possess a valid frontier worker permit and a valid passport or ID card, to enter the UK under the Scheme.

Who can be defined as Frontier Worker? Frontier workers are defined as being European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens who primarily live outside the UK, but have worked regularly in the UK prior to the end of the transition period, on 31st December 2020, known as IP completion day.

Someone will be considered as not primarily resident in the UK if at a “particular point in time” they can show one of the following:

  • They have been present in the UK for less than 180 days in the 12 month period immediately before the relevant day
  • They have returned to their country of residence at least once in the last six months or twice in the last 12 months before the relevant day unless there are exceptional reasons for not having done so.

The frontier worker scheme protects the lawful residence of certain EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who were resident in the UK on IP completion day but did not yet have a leave granted under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The frontier worker regulations could also be relevant for persons who have obtained pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, but were subsequently unable to meet the requirements for settled status relating to continuous residence in the UK.

Frontier working from 1 January 2021: From 1st January 2021, non-British, non-Irish workers who wish to begin employment in the UK while remaining resident outside the UK will need to apply through the UK’s points-based immigration system, most likely under the Skilled Worker regulations.

EU Workers Business Visits: There has been little thought so far given to EU workers who need to travel into the UK for business visits and whose activities go beyond the current range of permitted activities that visitors can do whilst in the UK. The strict prohibition on productive work under the Immigration Rules means that such people need a viable visa option. The frontier worker permit would appear to facilitate cross-border working, but only for those who start working in the UK before the end of the year.

IRELAND – Streamlined Irish Residence Permits Renewal Process, Improvement in Current Processing Times and Brexit.

The Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has announced as of 2nd of December that all applicants for Irish Residence Permits Renewals, will no longer need to be submit their original passport to the authorities. This new process is especially welcomed in Dublin, where applicants were 8 weeks without their passports.

Going forward the Immigration authorities will no longer be stamping applicants’ passports with permission stamps to remain; the Irish Residence Permits will now be the sole proof of residence and having registered with the authorities.

In Dublin, applicants will have to upload their passports to the online system, while for the rest of the country, the applicant will still need to present their passport as proof of identification but in both cases passports will no longer required a stamp by an immigration officer.

Brexit:

Requirements of UK Nationals: UK nationals will not have any immigration requirements due to Brexit past the 31st of December 2020. The rights of UK Nationals currently residing in Ireland are maintained due to the Common Travel Area (CTA), an agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom which predates the European Union. UK citizens residing in Ireland will continue to enjoy the right to live, work, study and access services and to vote in certain elections as is currently the case.

Benefits of the CTA: There will be no requirement for an entry visa, any form of employment permit or residence permit.

Non-EEA Nationals of UK nationals currently living in Ireland: From the 31st of December 2020, NON-EEA nationals who are dependents of UK nationals and hold an Irish Residence Permit with ‘EUFAM’ status granted on the basis of exercising EU Treaty Rights under the EU Free Movement Directive will still maintain the same rights in terms of living, working and studying in Ireland. However, holders will need to exchange their current Irish Residence Permit for a new Irish Residence Permit by 31st December 2021. Applicants will be issued with a new card stating their status now derives from EU Free Movement under the Withdrawal Agreement but providing them the same rights as the currently have.

Incoming NON-EEA Nationals of UK nationals: From the 31st of December 2020, Non-EEA nationals who are dependents of UK nationals and have yet to enter Ireland will no longer fall under the EU Free Movement Directive and will need to complete a separate preclearance scheme for their permission to reside in Ireland.

APAC

AUSTRALIA – Travel Update.

In addition to the Australia-New Zealand bubble established since October 2020, Melbourne Airport is opening to international travelers too, bringing more good news for Australia.

Who can benefit from this opening? Although the Australian International borders remain closed, there are exceptions and the list has gradually expanded over time to currently include the following:

  • Travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • Providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • Person with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • Person sponsored by an employer to work in Australia
  • Military personnel
  • A student in s/he final years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree

Or

  • Travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons

For more information on MSI’s Immigration Services please contact us at msi.immigration@msiimmigration.com

Information for this update has been provided by our global network of immigration partners. Given the nature of and speed at which online communications are developed, we will make every effort to maintain the accuracy of the information provided. However, materials contained in this alert are subject to change at any time without any notice.