Au Pairs Working Permits And Visas
Most of our Au Pairs are from the European Union with a large number coming from France and Spain. However, we sometimes get inquiries from candidates who are not European Citizens.
For candidates who are not from a European country, different rules will apply depending where they are from. It is not because someone is allowed to enter the United Kingdom that they have the right to work as an Au Pair here. For example, on a tourist visa, they are not allowed to take an Au Pair placement because this is against the status of their visa. They could get in big troubles if found out and even sent back to their home country with interdiction to come back to UK under any visa.
Let’s see more in detail who are the people who don’t need a working permit or visa to work as an Au Pair in UK.
- Nationals of the 25 EU member states – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic*, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia*, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary*, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland*, Portugal, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
- Those with Indefinite Leave To Remain in the UK (Permanent Residence)
- Commonwealth citizens with ancestry visas (sometimes called partiality) – these visas are available to Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the UK. They should be applied for by the candidate at the British High Commission in their home country. They are usually issued for a period of four years; after four years in the UK the candidate is generally eligible for permanent residence.
Nationals of those countries with a (*) above must apply for a registration certificate under the Worker Registration Scheme within one month of commencing a new job in the UK.
Tier 5 states:
Candidates from the EU or from an EFTA state can become an Au Pair under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme. The following persons may apply:
- citizens of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan
- British overseas citizens, British overseas territories citizens or British nationals (overseas).
For applicants of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, the local governments act as sponsors. There is, however, a limited number of places and sponsorship certificates for each country. Au Pairs must apply for their visa within 3 months upon receipt of their certificate of sponsorship (please note: the latter is not a printed document, but a reference number).
Someone on a student visa might be allowed to work as an Au Pair, but this will be dependent on each individual situation. If they are able to work as an Au Pair, it would be limited to 20 hours per week maximum, including babysitting. This can vary slightly depending on their course level and sponsor
More about visas:
Au Pairs can apply for their Tier 5 visa online or get in touch with their local UK embassy. The Tier 5 visa is usually issued for a period of 2 years. Additionally, the work permit Au Pairs receive under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme is valid for a maximum of 24 months. It cannot be renewed nor extended.
Au Pairs entering the UK on a visa need to register with the metropolitan police within the first 7 days upon their arrival. This will be noted in their passports.
All visa applicants need to demonstrate that they can afford their stay in the UK should they not find work, this usually involves them proving that they have a large sum of money in savings, around £900 to £2,000 depending on the type of visa applied for.
Please consult the following government pages to get more information on visas:
Tier 4 Visa – Student visa:
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa :
Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange:
Please note that we cannot be a sponsor to your application. This is because the process takes an average of 3 months, and our families tend to look for an Au Pair maximum 1 month in advance, meaning you cannot have a job offer before applying for your sponsorship and visa and get to the family in a reasonable time frame.
Candidates can apply for a visa via the government website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa
Only once a candidate has a valid visa in place, allowing them to work as an Au Pair, will we register him/her on our books.passeport, right to work in uk, travel, visa, working permit
This post was written by Sarah Cozens