Visa requirements for au pairs in the UK

What are the entry requirements for au pairs travelling to the UK? Do you need to have an au pair visa? All the important information for both EU and non-EU citizens is available here for au pairs interested in spending time in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Young woman with suitcase at the airport

The travel regulations for EU citizens and non-EU citizens are different.

EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom
EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Citizens of all other countries

  • Information for au pairs from the EU

    EU citizens currently do not need to do so much paperwork in order to become an au pair in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. 

    Is your passport valid?

    Au-pairs need to make sure that they have a valid passport or identity card. It is not necessary to obtain a visa to travel to Great Britain.

    Au pairs from Croatia

    As of 1 July 2013, Croatia is a member of the EU. Croatian citizens therefore do not need a visa to become an au pair in the United Kingdom. However, there are still some special rules for Croatian au pairs. Au pairs who would like to stay in the United Kingdom for more than three months need to fill out a form in which they prove that they are financially independent. In addition they need to have comprehensive health insurance (which will cost between £ 87 and £ 300 per month in Great Britain).

  • Information for au pairs from non-EU countries

    For au pairs from non-EU countries there are two possibilities to become an au pair in Great Britain: the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme a student visa.

    Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

    The Youth Mobility Scheme makes it possible for young people (aged 18-30) from certain countries to spend a limited time living and working in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.

    Who can apply for this programme?

    Young people from the following countries are eligible for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

    • Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Monaco
    • British citizens of the overseas territories or British nationals living overseas

    For au pairs from Kong, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan, your own government will act as your sponsor during your stay in the UK. Bear in mind that the number of places and sponsorship certificates for nationals of these countries is limited. You need to apply for your visa within 3 months upon receipt of your certificate of sponsorship. (Please note: the latter is not a printed document, but a reference number).

    How does it work?

    Under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, points are given for nationality and age. It is crucial for applicants to have enough funds (maintenance) to support themselves for the length of the stay in Britain, and the applicant should provide evidence of having access to at least 1,890 GBP in savings.

    Step 1: Check passport validity

    Au pairs should make ake sure that they have a valid passport before planning a trip.

    Step 2: Sign the au pair contract

    The host family should send the signed au pair contract to the au pair. 

    Step 3: Apply for visa

    The au pair should make the arrangements for the visa, which can applied for online.

    When applying,  the following documents will have to be submitted to the British embassy or consulate in the au pair's home country:

    • a valid passport containing a blank page for the visa
    • a passport photo meeting the necessary requirements
    • a bank statement proving  access to at least GBP 1,890
    • results of a tuberculosis (TB) test if requiredsofern notwendig
    • certified translation of all documents that are not written in either English or Welsh

    It is advisable to check with the British embassy or consulate whether any further documents are required.

    The visa is usually issued to cover a period of 2 years. Therefore, the respective au pairs do not need to contact the Home Office* after 6 months. The au pair may leave and re-enter the country within this period of time. If an au pair who requires a visa needs to register with the police, this will be noted in his/her passport. In this case, the au pair should register within 7 days of arrival.

    * Please note: The 'UK Border Agency' has been replaced. 'UK Visas and Immigration' is now carrying out formalities for applicants wishing to visit, work, study or settle in the England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

    Good to know: The work permit which the au pair receives under the Youth Mobility Scheme is automatically valid for 24 months.

    Student visa

    Students from outside the EU / EFTA who have been offered a place on a course may be allowed to work a certain number of hours per week (usually up to 20), depending on their course level and sponsor. 

    It should be clarified between the au pair and host family, how many hours of au pair work are expected and how these hours will be scheduled. A full time study course may make it difficult to also accommodate au pair duties for a host family. Keep in mind that the immigration officials at the point of entry always have the right to refuse entry should they believe that the student is in truth intending to work full time. 

    If there are further questions regarding students visas for the United Kingdom, please contact the British authorities directly.

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

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