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Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa

You can apply for a visa to visit the UK with your employer if you:

  • are a domestic worker in a private household
  • have worked for your employer for at least one year
  • are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

Domestic workers include:

  • cleaners
  • chauffeurs
  • cooks
  • those providing personal care for the employer and their family
  • nannies

Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility and options for free on 0203 384 4389.

Further Information

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

How long you can stay

You can use this visa to visit the UK with your employer for up to 6 months.

You must return home at the end of the 6 months or when your employer returns home, whichever is sooner.

What you can and can't do

You can:

  • stay in the UK if your employer takes a short trip to another country during the visit
  • travel abroad and return to the UK to complete your stay, though you must prove you still work for your employer, for example a letter from them
  • change employers to another job as a domestic worker in a private household – only if you don’t stay longer than the 6 months

You can’t:

  • change your job for the employer you came to the UK with
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • bring in family members (‘dependants’) – they must apply separately
  • get public funds

Eligibility

You must prove that you:

  • are 18 or older
  • have worked for your employer for at least 1 year
  • work in the same household as your employer or one they use regularly
  • plan to travel to the UK with your employer, their partner or children
  • intend to work as a full-time domestic worker in a UK household your employer will live in
  • plan to leave the UK at the end of 6 months or at the same time as your employer, whichever is sooner
  • are able to support yourself in the UK without the need for public funds

Your employer

Your employer must be either a:

  • British or European Economic Area (EEA) national who usually lives outside the UK and who doesn’t intend to remain in the UK for more than six months
  • foreign national who is coming to the UK on a visit and who doesn’t intend to remain for more than 6 months

Your employer must also pay you at least the national minimum wage.

You could lose your visa if your employer breaks any immigration laws while in the UK.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • proof you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
  • details of where you’ll be staying and your return travel booking

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You must also provide information about your job, including:

  • a letter from your employer confirming that you’ve worked for them in the same job for at least 1 year
  • a completed and signed statement of your terms and conditions of employment
  • a statement from your employer confirming they’ll pay you at least the national minimum wage while you’re working for them in the UK

You must also provide 1 of the following documents covering the same period of employment:

  • pay slips or bank statements showing payment of salary
  • confirmation of tax paid
  • confirmation of health insurance paid
  • contract of employment
  • work visa, residence permit or equivalent passport endorsement for the country where you’re currently employed by your employer
  • visas or equivalent passport endorsement if you’ve travelled with your employer before

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

Extend your visa

You can only apply for a visa extension if your current Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa is for less than 6 months.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must continue to meet the eligibility criteria of your original visa.

How long you can stay

You can only stay 6 months with a Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa. You can apply for an extension so that the total is 6 months if your original visa was for less than 6 months.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal applications
  • usually same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Domestic workers who applied before 5 April 2012

Different rules apply to you if you’re a domestic worker who applied for entry to the UK on or before 5 April 2012.

You can:

  • extend your stay in the UK every 12 months
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK after 5 years
  • bring your partner and children under 18
  • move to a similar job in the UK

How long you can stay

You can apply to extend your visa for 12 months at a time.

If you’ve worked in the UK as a domestic worker for 5 years you can apply to settle permanently in the UK.

You should apply before your current permission to stay expires.

Eligibility

To extend your visa you must:

  • be a domestic worker in a private household
  • have applied for your domestic worker visa on or before 5 April 2012
  • apply while you’re still in the UK

To settle in the UK as a domestic worker you must:

  • have applied for your domestic worker visa on or before 5 April 2012
  • have been living here legally for at least 5 years
  • currently have permission to stay here as a domestic worker
  • have been in the UK as a full-time domestic worker continuously throughout the 5 years (you can’t have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 consecutive months)
  • have maintained and accommodated yourself and any dependants without the use of public funds throughout the 5 years
  • have sufficient knowledge of English and life in the UK

Documents you’ll need

To extend your visa you must provide both of the following:

  • a letter from your employer confirming that they want to continue to employ you
  • a completed and signed statement of your terms and conditions of employment

To settle in the UK you must provide:

  • a letter from your employer confirming that they want to continue to employ you
  • evidence that you can satisfy the English language and knowledge of life criteria
  • a letter from your employer detailing any absences and annual leave you’ve had over the entire 5 years you’ve worked for them

If you’ve had any absences because of serious illness, births or deaths in your family, or had to leave the UK, you also need to write a letter detailing these. You should also include any related supporting documents with your letter, for example medical certificates, birth/death certificates, information about why you had to leave the UK.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Knowledge Of English

If you want to settle in the UK, you’ll need to prove that you can satisfy the English language requirement.

You can only settle as a domestic worker in a private household if you applied for entry on or before 5 April 2012.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways. Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances

Your Employment Rights

When you work in the UK your employer must:

  • pay you an agreed rate, which must be at least the national minimum wage
  • not force you to work excessive hours
  • give you agreed holiday pay
  • give you the notice you’re entitled to if your employment ends

You should already have agreed your employment conditions with your employer and have a copy of these in writing. Your employer can’t change your employment conditions unless you agree.

If your employer doesn’t meet these requirements, you can take legal action through an employment or industrial tribunal or the civil courts.

If you’re a victim of slavery or human trafficking

You can apply to stay in the UK for up to 2 years if all the following apply:

  • you entered the UK on a domestic worker visa
  • you have a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) confirming that you’re a victim of slavery or human trafficking
  • you are able to support yourself in the UK

Apply

You must apply within 28 days of getting confirmation you’re a victim of slavery or human trafficking.

Applying for a different visa

If you apply for a different type of visa within 28 days of getting confirmation but are refused, you can still apply as a victim of slavery or human trafficking.

You must do this within 28 days of getting the refusal.

Working in the UK

You’ll be able to work as a domestic worker for up to 2 years.

You don’t need to have a job offer before you apply. You can change job while you’re in the UK.

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