au pair

Au Pair in England / UK: visa information

Depending on where the Au Pair is from, they might need a visa to work in the United Kingdom. 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.
Au Pair visa UK

*** UPDATE ***

Great Britain is now officially no longer part of the European Union. This has significant implications for the Au Pair programme. Therefore, candidates from the EU can no longer officially enter the UK as Au Pairs. Alternatively, the Host Family can host the candidate as a student. 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.
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Applicants 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 the Student Visa will be a perfect solution. We want to point out that an Au Pair cannot work under a tourism visa. Tourists are not allowed to earn money during their stay. Applying for a tourist visa in order to become an Au Pair is illegal and can lead to serious consequences.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

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:
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • San Marino
  • Taiwan
You may also apply if you are a:
  • British overseas citizen
  • British overseas territories citizen
  • British national (overseas)
Please note that you need to have at least £2,530 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. The British government’s website says that “you will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.”

Moreover, you need to provide those documents:
  • a valid passport (or any other document proving your identity and nationality)
  • a bank statement showing at least £2,530 in savings
  • a tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a blank page in your passport for the visa
All of those documents must be translated if it’s not English or Welsh in the original version.
Don’t forget that you have to pay the healthcare surcharge when applying for this visa.

IMPORTANT: You cannot apply for this visa if
  • you have minor children who live with you
  • you are financially responsible for your children
  • have already stay in the UK under this visa before
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

1
The passport 
The Au Pair needs to have a valid passport before the application.
 
2
The contract
The Au Pair will have to give the original signed Au Pair contract to the embassy along with the visa application.
 
3
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
Note: Your fingerprints and photograph must be taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit).
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.  
 

What else?

  • 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. 

Student Visa

To apply for the Student visa, the applicant needs to fulfil the following requirements:
  • 16 years old or older (but to become an Au Pair in the UK: at least 18)
  • received an offer to enroll in a course in the United Kingdom
  • good English language skills (proven by a certificate, at least B1 or B2 depending on the course)
  • enough savings to pay for the course - the exact amount varies depending on the course

The course

To get a visa under this scheme, the Au Pair needs to enroll in a course that’s one of the following:
  • Full-time and giving a qualification that’s at least level 6
  • Full-time, with at least 15 hours per week of daytime study and leading to qualification that’s at least level 3
  • Overseas, equal to UK higher education course and being run by an overseas institution
You can find detailed information about the course on the official website of immigration authorities

Student Visa application

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 348 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.
For this visa you must show that you are able to support yourself. The only exception is when you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months.

How much money you need depends on where you will be studying. You’ll need either:
  • £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London
  • £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London

What else?

  • 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. You can start the application process 6 month before the course begins.
  • You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
  • The visa can be easily extended


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