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Nanny Visa UK: How To Bring a Nanny Or Au-Pair To The UK

The UK now allows foreign nationals access to a visa to work as domestic workers, including in positions as nannies. Applicants must already have an employer with whom they would be visiting the UK or extending their visa to a skilled worker.

If you are considering hiring a foreign national as a domestic worker in the UK, the Domestic Worker visa is ideal for nannies and many other domestic positions. Please note that we only work with employers to obtain this visa; we do not work with individuals, and we DO NOT provide jobs.

Call IAS today to get help understanding how this works and arrange the legalities to get your nanny into the UK as soon as possible. Call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375, or email us to get started today.

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    Overview Of The UK Nanny Visa

    This visa is available for those wishing to visit the UK with an employer if they meet the following criteria:

    • The applicant lives outside of the UK.
    • The applicant is a domestic worker in a private household.
    • The applicant has worked for their employer for at least 12 months.
    • The applicant meets other traditional criteria.

    The title ‘Domestic Worker’ applies to the following:

    • Nannies.
    • Cleaners.
    • Cooks.
    • Chauffeur.
    • Person(s) providing personal care for their employer and their employer’s family.

    These visas are best applied for up to three months before their travel date to the UK; a decision should be made on any application within three weeks of your application being received if it is sent from outside of the UK. This visa will cost £531 to apply for, and successful applicants can visit the UK with employers for up to 6 months; however, the applicant will need to return home after this period, and this visa is not extendable.

    Under this visa, migrant workers can:

    • Travel to and from the UK to complete their stage.
    • Change employers to a different job working as a domestic worker in private households because the applicant does not stay longer than a total of 6 months.

    Under this visa, migrant workers cannot:

    • Worker in any role other than as a domestic worker in a private household.
    • Get any public funding.
    • Live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits.

    Contact our immigration team for help with obtaining a nanny visa.

    Can Nannies Be Sponsored Via The Skilled Worker Route?

    If an employed nanny needs to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, they can get an alternative visa with a Skilled Worker visa.

    The list of eligible occupations for this visa includes occupation code 6122, which covers childcare assistants, nannies, childminders, and au pairs.

    This type of visa can be extended, unlike the domestic worker visa, and it can even be used to acquire indefinite leave to remain after five years have passed.

    The employer does require to hold a sponsor licence, which is okay for businesses that may wish to hire a nanny; however, most private households will not have one.

    Be aware, however, that a nanny can’t switch from an Overseas Domestic Worker visa to a Skilled Worker visa once they are in the UK.

    UK Nanny Visa Requirements & Eligibility

    There are two visa options for overseas nannies in the UK

    Overseas Domestic Worker Visas For Nannies Requirements

    Most overseas nannies will apply for the Overseas Domestic Worker visa, and this visa type will require its applicants to adhere to the following criteria:

    • The applicant must be over 19 years old.
    • The applicant must have worked for their employer for 12 months or more.
    • The applicant needs to carry out their job in the same household as their employer, or at least do so in one they use very regularly.
    • The applicant must be travelling to the UK with their employer.
    • The applicant needs to work as a full-time domestic worker in a household in the UK where their employer resides.
    • The Domestic Worker applicant needs to intend to depart the country at the end of the six months of the visa.
    • The worker needs to have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay.
    • The applicant must be paid at least the minimum wage in the UK, which is:
      • 18 to 20-year-olds: £7.49 per hour.
      • 21 to 22-year olds: £10.18 per hour.
      • 23 years old plus: £10.42 per hour.

    Applicants for a nanny visa will also need to show information regarding their employer. This includes information regarding the employer, as follows:

    • Proof showing that the employer is a British citizen who typically resides outside of the UK and is visiting the UK for no longer than 6 months.
    • Alternatively, proof must be available that the employer is a foreign national who is visiting the UK for less than 6 months.

    The applicant also needs to provide documents proving the work conditions and that the employer will meet the following requirements:

    • The employer will pay the national minimum wage, at least.
    • The employer will not force the employee to work excessive hours.
    • The employer will provide the employee with holiday pay as agreed.
    • The employer will provide the employee with substantial notice if employment ends.

    Skilled Worker Visa For Nannies Requirements

    If the worker intends on working in the UK as a nanny using a Skilled Worker visa, they will meet eligibility rules if they meet the following criteria:

    • The applicant must have received a Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer. This means that the employer must be a Home Office-approved sponsor licence holder for this type of visa.
    • The applicant needs to have a role with the employer as a childminder, nanny, au pair, or childcare assistant.
    • The applicant needs to receive a salary of £26,200 per year, or at least £10.75 per hour, whichever of these two is the highest. However, if the applicant is under 26 years of age, they only need to be paid 70% of the usual going rate for the job. This would make the salary £18,340 per year, or £7.52 per hour.
    • The applicant must be able to read, speak, and write English to a level B1 or higher (CEFR).
    • The applicant needs to have at least £1,270 for 28 days or more in finances to support themselves during their UK stay.

    Our expert team of immigration solicitors can help households and business hire nannies from overseas.

    UK Nanny Visa Application Process (Domestic Worker Visa)

    Overview

    For an applicant to successfully apply for an Overseas Domestic Worker visa as a nanny, they will have to complete several steps. These steps are as follows:

    1. The applicant needs to collect all of the necessary paperwork and supporting documents for the application. This includes proof of information from their employer.
    2. Next, they must complete and submit the application form online. This needs to be done from outside of the UK and up to 3 months before the date they intend to travel to allow plenty of time for the visa to be approved.
    3. The visa application fee of £531 must be paid.
    4. The applicant will now need to book and then attend an appointment with their local UK Visa Application Center, also known as VAC. This is done to provide biometrics, such as fingerprints and a photograph.
    5. The applicant will now need to upload any documents they need to provide to the Home Office in support of their application, as requested.

    The majority of these applications can take up to three weeks to be processed. However, the processing time does depend on the country from which the applicant is applying.

    In some cases, location-dependent, it may be possible for the applicant to pay an additional £500 fee for a priority service that grants a decision in five working days. Alternatively, a super-priority service may be available for £800 for a decision to be granted in a single working day.

    Documents You Will Need To Provide To Apply For A Domestic Worker Visa

    When the applicant applies for a Domestic Worker visa as a nanny, they will need to provide the following documentation alongside their application:

    • A current passport or other form of valid travel ID.
    • Proof that the individual can support themselves during their trip. This could be bank statements or a payslip for the previous six months.
    • A completed and signed ‘Appendix Domestic Worker Statement. This must be signed by both the employer and the applicant.
    • A letter from the employer that confirms the applicant’s job title, that the applicant is a permanent employee, as well as the length of the employee’s employment with them.

    The applicant will also require a blank page in their passport, on which the visa will be placed.

    Additionally, the applicant also needs to provide at least one document that covers the same period of employment. This can be any one of the following:

    • Confirmation of health insurance being paid.
    • Confirmation of tax having been paid.
    • A pay slip or a bank statement that shows the payment of the employee’s salary.
    • A work visa, residence permit, or an equivalent passport endorsement that is from the country in which the employee is currently employed by the employer.
    • A visa, or an equivalent passport endorsement if the employee and employer have travelled together in the past.

    All of the above documents will need to be provided in a certified translation if they are not in English or Welsh.

    The applicant may need to provide extra documentation, depending on their specific circumstances.

    Nanny Visa UK Validity Period

    Employees working as nannies on the Domestic Worker visa will only be able to stay in the UK for six months. When the employer leaves the country, the employee must also leave. Alternatively, if the employer is still in the country for over six months, the employee still needs to leave the country once the visa expires at the end of the six months.

    This visa can technically be extended, yet the total overall time spent in the UK on this visa can be no longer than six months. It can be extended if it is granted for less than six months; otherwise, the applicant would have to leave the UK and make an entirely new application.

    This visa is temporary; therefore, it does not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain. Those who have been on this route before the pre-2012 rules may be able to get Indefinite Leave to Remain.

    However, if a nanny applies through a Skilled Worker visa, this is different. On a Skilled Worker visa, a nanny can stay in the UK for up to 5 years as long as they are still working for the same employer. If they change employers or jobs inside the UK, they will need to update or extend the visa. This visa can also be extended as many times as required as long as the applicant still meets the requirements, and after 5 years, the applicant may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

    Contact our team of experts to secure a Domestic Worker Visa for your nanny in the UK today.

    IAS Can Help With UK Nanny Visas

    There are many things that applicants for a nanny visa and their employers need to consider. Choosing between the Domestic Worker visa and the Skilled Worker visa options is one of the considerations, and understanding the eligibility criteria is key.

    If an applicant does not meet the criteria for a Skilled Worker visa, but their employer will be in the UK for over six months, knowing how this would work with a Domestic Worker visa is critical. This is where IAS can help. IAS has a team of expert lawyers and legal advisers who can help employers and employees understand how a nanny visa will work for them.

    Whether you need help with understanding the differences, deciding which visa is best for your circumstances, filling out the application, or more, IAS lawyers can help. Give IAS a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 and get started with the application for your nanny visa.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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