Frontier Workers: Glass

Home Office written question – answered on 5th July 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to provide a 12 month extension to the Frontier Worker Permit scheme to allow the UK glass industry to continue to have access to critical overseas technical glass workers for the rebuilding and maintenance of glass furnaces, pending a longer term solution on that matter.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Citizens’ Rights Agreements protect those EEA or Swiss citizens who were frontier workers in the UK by the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020 and who continue to be so.

The UK’s frontier worker permit scheme, which has been open to applications since 10 December 2020, allows those protected frontier workers to obtain a permit, free of charge, as evidence of their right to continue entering the UK as a frontier worker after 30 June 2021.

There is no deadline by which protected frontier workers must apply for a permit, though it is mandatory for non-Irish frontier workers to hold a frontier worker permit to enter the UK for work from 1 July 2021.

Where an overseas worker is not protected by the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, the new points-based immigration system provides routes for skilled workers and specialist services suppliers which can be utilised by industries such as the glass sector. Such work visas are typically issued within three weeks, making the UK system one of the fastest visa services in the world.

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