Sections

Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

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 1 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

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.

Eligibility

You must prove that you:

  • are between 18 and 65 years old
  • have worked for your employer for at least 1 year
  • work in the same household as your employer or one that 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 household your employer will live in in the UK
  • 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 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 has applied for or been given a visit visa

Your employer can’t break any immigration laws while in the UK.

Employment rights

To work in the UK you must:

  • be paid the agreed rate, which must be at least the national minimum wage
  • not be forced to work excessive hours
  • be given agreed holiday pay
  • be given the notice you are entitled to if your employment ends
  • You should already have agreed your employment conditions with your employer and have a copy of these. Your employer can’t change your employment conditions unless you agree.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • 2 passport size colour photographs
  • proof you can support yourself during your trip, eg 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 when you enter the UK you’ll have worked for them in the same job for at least 1 year
  • a completed and signed statement of your terms and conditions of employment

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.

If you are applying from outside the UK.  You must apply online for this visa.  You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

Apply in the UK

You can only extend your visa if you’re already in the UK (unless you applied for your first visa before 5 April 2012).

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.

If you are applying to extend then you can:

  • apply online
  • download the form and apply by post - the address is on the form
  • download the form and use the premium service at a premium service centre

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

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, eg medical certificates, birth/death certificates, information about why you had to leave the UK.

How to extend your visa

Within the UK you can either:

  • apply online
  • download the form and guidance and apply by post - the address is on the form
  • download the form and use the premium service at a premium service centre

You can include your dependants (partner and children aged under 18) on your application. If you have any dependent children aged over 18 they will need to apply on a separate form.

How to apply to settle

Within the UK you can either:

  • download the form and guidance and apply by post - the address is on the form
  • download the form and use the premium service at a premium service centre

You can include your dependants (partner and children aged under 18) on your application. Your partner must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of English and life in the UK.  If you have any dependant children aged over 18 they will need to apply using a separate form.

Knowledge of English

You will need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply,

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in 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

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways and you won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of a majority English speaking country. A full list of countries is available from the Home Office website.

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 (eg a letter from them)

You can’t:

  • change your employer while you’re in the UK
  • change your job for your employer
  • bring in family members (‘dependants’) - they must apply separately
  • switch to another type of visa from this visa
  • get public funds