How To Apply As A Domestic Worker In The UK?

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To many, the United Kingdom is one of the best places to work for as domestic workers, housekeepers, nanny and cleaners. In 6 April 2012, many changes were implemented to control the privileges to domestic workers.

If you came after 6 April 2012, then you cannot change employer, cannot extend visa, cannot bring any dependants or family members and cannot settle in the United Kingdom.

If you want to apply as a domestic in the UK, you must:

  • be aged 18 to 65 inclusive;
  • have been employed as a domestic worker for 12 months or more before the application under the same residence as the employer or in a household the employer uses for themselves on a regular basis;
  • provide evidence to demonstrate the connection between employer and employee
  • provide a letter from the employer confirming the domestic worker has been employed by them in that capacity for the 12 months immediately before the application
  • provide one of the following documents covering the same period of employment as covered in the letter above:
    • pay slips or bank statements showing payment of salary
    • P60 form detailing earnings, tax and national insurance contributions paid
    • confirmation of health insurance paid
    • contract of employment
    • work visa, residence permit or equivalent passport endorsement for the country in which the domestic worker was employed by that employer
    • visas or equivalent passport endorsement to confirm the domestic worker has travelled with the employer
  • intend to work for the employer while they are in the UK and intend to travel in the company of either:
    • a British or European Economic Area (EEA) national employer, or that employer’s British or EEA national spouse, civil partner or child, if the employer’s usual place of residence is outside the UK and the employer does not intend to remain in the UK more than 6 months
    • a British or EEA national employer’s foreign national spouse, civil partner or child where the employer does not intend to remain in the UK beyond six months
    • a foreign national employer or the employer’s spouse, civil partner or child where the employer is seeking or has been granted entry clearance or leave to enter under part 2 of the Immigration Rules
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of six months or at the same time as the employer, whichever is the earlier
  • have agreed in writing, terms and conditions of employment in the UK with the employer, including specifically, that the applicant will be paid in line with the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, and produces evidence of this in the form set out in appendix 7 of the Immigration Rules with the entry clearance application
  • not take employment other than within the terms of paragraph 159A of the Immigration Rules to work full time as a domestic worker for the employer in a household the employer intends to live in and provides evidence of this in the form of written terms and conditions of employment in the UK as set out in appendix 7 of the Immigration Rules and evidence the employer is living in the UK
  • maintain and accommodate themselves adequately without recourse to public funds
  • hold a valid entry clearance for entry in this capacity


Period of previous employment

The applicant must have been employed with their current employer as a domestic worker for a minimum period of 12 months immediately prior to their application for entry clearance.

  • The purpose of the minimum period of previous employment with the employer is to ensure that there is a genuine existing employer/employee relationship. It is also to prevent recruitment of overseas domestic workers by people in the UK.
  • A short gap within the 12 months does not necessarily disqualify the applicant. An explanation of any gap in employment must be provided with the application to ensure that any break does not indicate the lack of a genuine existing employer employee relationship.
  • Applicants must provide a letter from their employer stating their previous length of employment and any one other document showing employment over a continuous 12 month period in the form of:
  • Regular pay slips from the employer. Or
  • Evidence of tax paid to the relevant Government authority. Or
  • Evidence that the applicant has been issued a visa by the UK to travel with their current employer or
  • Visa showing working in the country where they have worked for the employer or visas to show travel with them and or family.

Terms of employment

Prior to coming to the UK you must have carried out duties as a domestic worker in the private household belonging to the employer. These duties must have been carried out under the same roof of the person receiving the services, or working in a household that the employer has sole responsibility to maintain/control and uses on a regular basis, i.e. their own private family home(s), therefore establishing that there is a legitimate employer employee connection. Duties that were carried out in a home belonging to family members of the employer will not qualify the worker for admission under this category.


Job description

Domestic workers may include cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, and cooks, those carrying out personal care for the employer or a member of the employer’s family and nannies, if they are providing a personal service relating to the running of the employer’s household.

You must be intending to work full time in a domestic capacity under the same house as their employer or in a household that the employer lives in. You must only hold one full time job for one employer.

You may not be employed to work as a domestic worker for a business, agency or be self-employed.

The employer’s company may pay you wages provided it is part of the employer’s employment package. If the employer owns the business they may arrange to pay the domestic worker through their business, but care should be taken to ensure that the domestic worker will be working only in the employer’s private household.


Travel arrangements

You must travel to the UK with your employer, the employer’s spouse / civil partner or the employer’s minor child as stated in the Immigration Rules.


Maintenance and accommodation

The employer must sign a written undertaking that he will maintain and accommodate the you  adequately and provide you with a separate bedroom if living in. You are not required to live in the same dwelling as the employer. However, if this is not the case, care should be taken to ensure that either the employer intends to pay for the accommodation or that the domestic worker’s wages are sufficient to cover the expense. Employer’s Undertaking will be signed by the employers.

Statement of terms and conditions of employment

The employer must provide a signed statement including:

  • Maintenance and accommodation
  • Confirmation that the domestic worker can maintain and accommodate themselves adequately without recourse to public funds.
  • Confirmation that the domestic worker will have their own separate bedroom if living in the employer’s house. This is a requirement and must be provided.
  • Specific terms and condition of employment

Employers should complete the ‘statement of terms and conditions of employment’ found at appendix 7 of the Immigration Rules and the ODW should sign it to confirm acceptance of the conditions. Appendix 7 includes confirmation of pay – i.e. that the ODW will be paid in accordance with National Minimum Wage legislation, time off, and holiday entitlement.


Don Magsino MBA is a student of Oxford Brookes University at Post-Graduate Degree in Law in Oxford, England, UK. He is a graduate of Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. He is a qualified and a practicing Immigration Lawyer in the UK. His mobile phone is 07446888377 / Direct Line: 0207 316 3027 Email is don@stanfordlawassociates.co.uk. His London office is located at Regus, 239 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SN. He is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 3: highest level in immigration professionals. He has represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration Detention Courts and Deportation and Bail Hearings and to the Upper Tribunal and won many difficult cases in immigration law in the United Kingdom.

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