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Coming to the UK as an Au Pair

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 23 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Au Pair Uk Immigration Points-based Visa

Coming to the UK to work as an au pair has always been a popular choice for young people from overseas who wish to experience life in the UK. It can be an excellent way to improve English language skills and learn about British culture whilst earning a little money.

Citizens of most countries within the European Economic Area and Switzerland do not need permission to come to the UK to live or work and therefore are free to come to the UK as au pairs. However, different rules apply to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania who generally require a work permit before they can work in the UK. Citizens of those two countries will have to obtain an accession worker card if they wish to come to the UK as an au pair.

Citizens of countries outside Europe will require a visa or entry clearance before coming to the UK to work as an au pair.

What is an Au Pair?

Under the old immigration rules an au pair was defined as a young foreign national who came to the UK to learn English, lived with an English family and provided that family with help in the home for a maximum of five hours a day. In return the au pair received an allowance and had the opportunity to study English. Au pairs were also entitled to two free days a week and would be allowed to stay in the UK for a maximum of two years.

Introduction of the New Points-Based System

Until last year an application to come to the UK as an au pair was made under a specific au pair immigration category which applied only to nationals of certain countries. Depending on the country of origin, applicants may have required a visa in addition to entry clearance before coming to the UK. However, on 26 November 2008 the old au pair scheme came to an end to be replaced by the new Youth Mobility Scheme, which applies to applicants aged between 18 and 30.

Foreign nationals who are already in the UK under the previous au pair system will be entitled to continue their placement under transitional arrangements which are in force.

Applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme

Foreign nationals, other than those from the European Economic Area and Switzerland, who wish to come to the UK as an au pair must now apply under the Youth Mobility Scheme category of Tier 5 of the new points-based immigration system. Currently this scheme only applies to applicants from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. More countries may join the scheme in due course.

Under the Youth Mobility Scheme, the applicant’s own government acts as their sponsor for UK immigration purposes. Every year each government will be able to sponsor a limited number of people to come to the UK. Once the yearly quota has been reached no further applicants will be considered from that country. Applicants must be outside the UK when they apply. Under the new scheme applicants need not actually take up an au pair placement once they come to the UK.

Calculating the Points Needed

As with other the other tiers of the new immigration system, foreign nationals who wish to come to the UK as au pairs will have to satisfy the immigration authorities that they have enough points. To be successful under the Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will have to score a total of 50 points. Points are earned in three different categories as follows:
  • Nationality – applicants from one of the four countries currently participating in the Youth Mobility Scheme will earn 30 points based on their nationality.
  • Age – applicants who are aged between 18 and 30 will earn 10 points in this category.
  • Available funds – applicants must show that they can support themselves financially whilst they are in the UK. 10 points are available in this category for those who can prove that they have a minimum of £1600 available in cash funds so that they can support themselves financially whilst they are in the UK.
Candidates under the Youth Mobility Scheme must also prove that they have no dependent children under the age of 18 and that they have not previously been in the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme or as a working holiday maker.

Foreign nationals who come to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme may stay in the UK for a maximum of two years and are allowed to leave and re-enter the country during that time. They may not switch to any other immigration category once they are in the UK.

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I am 42 years old and I have an employer directly in UK to hire me as an au pair, I am in the Philippines right now. would it be possible I get the chance to be approved and get the job and may I ask what would be the process and requirements I need to get this job. Thank you.
shei - 23-May-19 @ 3:09 AM
Am a bit worried I dont what to believe. A family by the name Martin Graig are interested in me as the Au Pair.They sent some documents via uk_visas_migration which i signed and answered them.The last document indicates I should sent 1200GBP via money gram/RIA which I should choose a sender who's doesn't have the same surname and the receiver should me and the receiving country is United Kingdom. Is this correct? Please advise me.
Dennis Thoya - 17-May-19 @ 9:01 PM
Hi i just want to ask regarding the amount of funds that you can support yourself during you stay in Uk.There is a family in UK willing to hire me as a Nanny and i spoke to them and they ask me to deposit the money next to my kin in philippines amount of 50,000 pesos meaning i am the sender and the reciever isany of member of my family in philippines and once i send the money i will send the reciept to the agency and they will do verification within 72hrs b4 my family can claim the money.My question is this necessary or one of the requirements?I feel my money is not safe.Please i need the confirmation asap.Thanks.
Daks - 18-Feb-19 @ 11:06 AM
Good day, I would love to move to UK from South Africa and work as an aupair. Please advise how do I go about?
Avalon - 1-Feb-19 @ 2:46 PM
I am from Philippines. I wanted to ask about the insurance allowance for the Au pair in UK. What is the process for that?
Ivy - 13-Jan-19 @ 12:08 AM
Hi, I have a Brazilian Aupair interested coming to the UK to join me and my family. Which application form can she apply under and any information to add to this, will be brilliant. Thanks.
Ash - 11-Dec-18 @ 10:02 PM
Hi there I would like to get an au pair from South Africa. She has no uk passport of ancestral roots in the uk. Is it possible to get her here? She watched my son while we where there and would like to have her live with us as our au pair. Would she be able to do so and if so how would she go about applying for visa etc? Thank you
Mezza - 11-Dec-18 @ 9:49 PM
Which visa type should I apply for to come to UK as an aupair. Am from Uganda.
Essie - 30-Oct-18 @ 5:23 AM
Hi,I'm Kenyan/an aupair to be, I've gotten a host family and would like to move, which tier (5) should I apply please
Shay - 16-Jul-18 @ 8:45 PM
@AboutImmigration - Only individuals from certain countries can apply for a tier 5 visa and Kenya is not on that list.
TJ. - 10-Jul-18 @ 3:25 PM
alyce - Your Question:
Hi I am a Kenyan,can I become an aupair in UK? I would really love to be an aupair in UK. Any help on how to go about it?

Our Response:
You can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, please see link here. The link here may also help.
AboutImmigration - 10-Jul-18 @ 11:19 AM
Hi I am a Kenyan,can I become an aupair in UK? I would really love to be an aupair in UK. Any help on how to go about it?
alyce - 9-Jul-18 @ 1:56 PM
MP - Your Question:
I would like to have a Russian au pair, what visa will she need?

Our Response:
Please see link here , which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 8-Jun-18 @ 8:59 AM
I would like to have a Russian au pair, what visa will she need?
MP - 7-Jun-18 @ 4:34 PM
Can Ethiopian citizen come to UK as au pair,? If so what are the requirements?
Lidiya - 28-May-18 @ 4:37 PM
Can a Brazilian girl apply for an au pair visa in the UK? I couldn’t find any proper guidance on the websites I’ve looked into...
Bea - 27-Apr-18 @ 9:14 PM
Can a South African girl without an ancestral visa come to the UK as an au pair. I have heard if they come on a tourist visa and their host family writes them a sponsorship letter they can stay for 6 months?
Nicole - 9-Apr-18 @ 7:31 PM
Lee - Your Question:
Hello, Does the UK accept Kenyan aupairs I just got a family and it's tough getting Visa. Please advice on the way to go about it.

Our Response:
Please see the gov.uk link here which tells you which visa you would have to apply for and the eligibility requirements.
AboutImmigration - 8-Sep-17 @ 1:59 PM
Hello,Does the UK accept Kenyan aupairs I just got a family and it's toughgetting Visa. Please advice on the way to go about it.
Lee - 8-Sep-17 @ 5:56 AM
rinje - Your Question:
I want to travel to the UK and work as an au pair.what kind of visa can I apply for.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will give you more information.
AboutImmigration - 31-Aug-17 @ 10:39 AM
I want to travel to the UK and work as an au pair.what kind of visa can I apply for.
rinje - 29-Aug-17 @ 10:54 AM
Diamond - Your Question:
Can an African be an Au pair in the UK?

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which shows you how you can apply to work in the UK if you are considered domestic staff.
AboutImmigration - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:27 PM
feth - Your Question:
I am from Kenya am coming to the UK as an Aupair what are the requirements and how do I get Aupair visa??

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here .
AboutImmigration - 7-Jul-17 @ 3:05 PM
I am from Kenya am coming to the UK as an Aupair what are the requirements and how do I get Aupair visa??
feth - 25-Jun-17 @ 1:05 PM
Tintin - Your Question:
I am coming from kenya going to the uk as an aupair. Can you advice me on the visa I should apply for?Thank you

Our Response:
We can't specify exactly, as we are unaware of your full circumstances, but this visa may apply here. Or there are other visas via the link here . Your employer should also be able to advise.
AboutImmigration - 2-May-17 @ 10:05 AM
I am coming from kenya going to the uk as an aupair. Can you advice me on the visa i should apply for? Thank you
Tintin - 1-May-17 @ 2:57 AM
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