The Overseas Domestic Worker Visa in the UK is the most common immigration route for migrant workers who are coming to the UK to work for an overseas employer in a private household.
Although the Immigration Rules do not specify “domestic employees,” nannies, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, personal caregivers, and security guards frequently take this route.
Over the years, the domestic worker route has experienced many revisions, the most recent of which occurred in 2012. Domestic assistants who arrived in the UK through this pathway before April 2012 were eligible for stay and settlement extensions.
That is no longer the case, the visa is only valid for six months at a time (although individuals who arrived before 2012 can still apply for extensions or settlement).
We will be looking at the laws for the overseas domestic worker visa, including the major requirements and applications, for individuals wishing to bring their household personnel to the UK.
About the Overseas Domestic Worker Visa in the UK
Laborers who work in or for a private family or households are known as domestic workers. They provide both direct and indirect care and are thus important members of the care economy.
Cleaning the house, cooking, washing and ironing clothing, caring for children, elderly or sick members of the family, gardening, protecting the house, driving for the family, and even caring for household pets are all examples of their duties.
A domestic worker may work full-time or part-time; he or she may be engaged by a single-family or via or by a service provider; he or she may live in the employer’s home (live-in worker) or his or her own home (live-out).
A migrant domestic worker is someone who works as a domestic worker in a country where she is not a citizen.
76.2 percent of the 75.6 million domestic workers in the globe are women, implying that males make up a quarter of the workforce. Domestic labor, on the other hand, is a more important source of employment for female employees than it is for male employees.
Supporting Documents for Domestic workers in the UK
The applicant will require a variety of documents to support their application for a domestic worker visa, including:
- a valid passport (with a blank page) or other acceptable travel documents that demonstrates their identity and nationality
- financial proof that they will be able to sustain themselves while they are in the country
- a letter from you verifying their employment as a domestic worker in your home, including the length of time they’ve worked for you and the fact that their job is continuous.
- two copies of a signed written agreement between you and the applicant, in the form, set out in Appendix Domestic Worker Statement under the Immigration Rules, laying out the intended terms and conditions of their work while in the UK.
To demonstrate that they satisfy the job criterion, the applicant must additionally present one or more of the following documents:
- Payslips or bank documents proving salary payment.
- tax receipt confirmation.
- payment of health insurance confirmation
- employment contract
- their work visa, residency permit, or similar passport endorsement from the country where you’re now employed by them.
- If they’ve traveled with you previously, they’ll need visas or an equivalent passport endorsement.
- Additional documentation, as well as certified translations of any documents not written in English or Welsh, may be required, depending on the circumstances of the applicant.
Eligibility Criteria to be a Domestic worker in the UK
It’s worth noting that most UK visas include certain common requirements. These include the ability to sustain and accommodate oneself without relying on public funding, as well as not falling foul of the broad grounds for denial.
They must also get entrance clearance, which requires asking for a visa ahead of time: you cannot simply show up at a UK airport or port and request to work as a domestic helper.
The following are the core requirements for the Overseas Domestic Worker Visa in the UK:
- Your age
- Employment history
- A stay of 6 months
- Meeting with your employer
1. Your age
The applicant must be 19 or older on the date of application.
2. Employment history
For at least a year to their application, the applicant must have worked as a domestic worker under the same roof as their employer or in a household that the employer utilizes regularly.
A person seeking Overseas Domestic Worker entry clearance must have worked as a domestic worker for at least 12 months and lived with the employer or in a house that the employer uses as a home for themselves regularly for the 12 months before the date of application.
The employer must produce a letter confirming these, or one of the following papers for the same period:
- pay slips or bank statements demonstrating salary payment; or
- proof of tax payment; or
- proof that health insurance premiums have been paid; or
- a job contract; or
- a work visa, residency permit, or comparable passport endorsement from the nation in which the employer employed the domestic worker; or
- a visa or similar passport endorsement attesting to the applicant’s trip with their employment.
3. A stay of six months
This means that candidates must demonstrate:
- that the applicant will depart the United Kingdom after their six-month stay or at the same time as their employer, whichever comes first; and
- will not stay in the UK for long periods due to frequent or consecutive trips; and
- will not make the United Kingdom their primary residence.
4. Meeting with your employer
Domestic worker candidates must also “plan to travel alongside” their employer, spouse/civil partner, or kid. The employer can be a British national who normally resides outside the UK and will not be returning for more than six months or a non-UK national who is visiting the UK and will not be staying for more than six months.
How to Apply for the Domestic Workers Visa in the UK
If you want a member of your household staff to join you in the UK, they must first apply for and gain entrance clearance as an overseas domestic worker.
This implies that they must apply for a visa outside of the United Kingdom; they cannot just arrive at a UK port or airport and ask for authorization to work as a domestic helper.
The domestic worker route requires an online application for entrance permission. At an overseas visa application center, the applicant’s biometric information will also be gathered. This will contain a fingerprint scan as well as an image of their face.
A domestic worker visa application can be submitted up to three months before the individual’s intended date of arrival to the UK. They should receive a response to their visa application within three weeks, however, a speedier response may be purchased.
You will be liable for the costs of the application, as well as travel expenditures, as the employer of a domestic worker, and you will not be able to deduct any fees or expenses from the worker’s earnings.
An application for a domestic worker visa costs £516. The priority service (within 5 working days of receiving a judgment) will cost £500, while the super-priority service will cost £800. (for a decision by the next working day). Priority services have timelines that begin when the applicant provides their biometric information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the definition of a domestic worker visa?
A domestic worker visa is required by the UK Home Office for a person to travel to the UK to work in their foreign employer’s private household.
Can I bring my domestic helper to the United Kingdom?
You can bring an existing domestic assistant to the UK to work for you, but they may need to apply for an overseas domestic worker visa with the UK Home Office.
How long can I stay in the UK?
This visa allows you to stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of six months or until your employer departs the country, whichever happens first.
Is it possible to extend my visa?
If your prior visa was issued for less than 6 months, the only method to extend it is if it was issued for fewer than 6 months. Before your existing visa expires, you must request an extension and continue to satisfy the requirements of your original visa.
The application price for a Domestic Worker in a Private Household visa extension is £1,033.
In a nutshell, an application to extend a visa costs £1,033, while a settlement application costs £2,389, plus a £19.20 fee to have their biometric details collected at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services service point.
Using the regular service, a decision will normally be made within eight weeks, or sooner if you pay extra for one of the urgent options.
We hope this article was helpful in educating you on everything you need to know about Overseas Domestic Workers Visa in the UK.