Depending on where the Au Pair is from, they might need a visa to work in the United Kingdom. Participants from outside of the EU or EFTA states will need to apply for a visa.
Most of the Au Pairs need one of these visas:
Which visa the Au Pair needs depends on their nationality. For more information read the article below.
*** UPDATE ***
Great Britain is now officially no longer part of the European Union. This has significant implications for the Au Pair programme. According to the website of the British government, there is no current information on an Au Pair visa. Therefore, candidates from the EU can no longer officially enter the UK as Au Pairs. Alternatively, the Host Family can employ the candidate as a domestic worker. However, other requirements, taxes and insurances apply. Please check the British government's website on Employing someone to work in your home and contact the British embassy to find out more.
Au Pairs from EU countries can enter the UK without a visa until the end of 2020. However, they must apply for a pre-settlement status before 31.12.2020 to be able to stay in the UK legally. Obtaining this status allows them to stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years without any further visa applications. When applying for the pre-settlement status the candidate will need a proof of identity and a proof of address. It is best to provide a passport and the confirmation of a British bank account. We advise you to check the government’s website regularly. Please read more about the regulations for entering or returning to the UK and stay tuned in our blog post about the consequences of Brexit for the Au Pair program.
Participants from countries not belonging to the EU or EFTA need to apply for a visa to participate in the Au Pair program in the UK. In most cases, the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme or Tier 4 (General) Student Visa will be a perfect solution.
The Scheme allows young people, aged 18 - 30, to stay and work in the United Kingdom for a predefined period of time.
The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme applies to applicants from the following countries:
Republic of Korea
British overseas territories
To stay in the United Kingdom under the Scheme, the Au Pair has to prove that they have enough savings - at least 1 890 GBP.
In case of applicants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea, the government will be the sponsor during the whole stay in the UK. The number of places for both visa and sponsorship certificates is limited. Moreover, the visa application has to be submitted up to 3 months after receiving the sponsorship certificate.
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme - visa application
The Au Pair needs to have a valid passport before the application.
The Au Pair will have to give the original signed Au Pair contract to the embassy along with the visa application.
The visa application
The Au Pair is in charge of the visa application - but it is possible to submit the application online. The Au Pair has to submit several documents to the British embassy or consulate along with the Au Pair contract:
a valid passport
a photograph meeting the Scheme requirements
a bank confirmation of the necessary savings
optionally, a results of your tuberculosis (TB) test
All the files have to be in English or the certified translation has to be submitted along with the original file.
AuPair.com recommends the Au Pair to contact the embassy or the consulate and discuss all the details with the authorities before the application.
The visa is usually valid for 24 months - during this period of time the Au Pair can leave and re-enter the United Kingdom.
The work permit received along with the visa under the Scheme is also valid 24 months.
The visa allows the Au Pair to work part time, but immigration officials can refuse the entry if the applicant intends to work full time.
The Au Pair needs to apply for a visa up to 3 months before the start date of the course. The cost of the visa application is roughly 328 GBP (+ healthcare surcharge) and the applicant will receive a decision within 3 weeks.
How long the visa allows the Au Pair to stay depends on the kind of the course. The applicant can arrive to the United Kingdom:
One week before the start date of the course, if the course lasts 6 months or less
One month before the start date of the course, if the course lasts more than 6 months
The Au Pair can extend the stay when they enroll in a course.
Under this scheme, the applicant can both study and work in the United Kingdom as long as the visa requirements remain fulfilled
You can submit the application from inside or outside the UK
The visa can be easily extended
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