Au pair in the UK
Information for au pairs from non-EU countries

Are you a non-EU citizen? Have you already done the Quick Check? This page explains the formalities and the visa step-by-step.

Are you a citizen of an EU or EFTA state? In this case, different rules apply to you. Find more information here.

Info on Youth Mobility visas for au pairs in the UK

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

Under this scheme, young persons (aged 18-30) from specific countries may live and work in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a defined period of time.

Who is eligible to apply for this programme?

The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme is suitable for young people from:

  • citizen of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan
  • British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen or a Britsh national (overseas).

If you are a citizen of Hong 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 to have enough funds (maintenance) to support yourself for the length of your stay in Britain, and the applicant should provide evidence of having acess to at least 1,890 GBP in savings.

Step 1: Check the validity of your passport

Make sure that you have a valid passport before you plan your trip.

Step 2: Sign the au pair contract with your host family

Ask your host family to send the signed contract in good time.

Step 3: Apply for your visa

You are responsible for your visa application. You can also apply online.

When applying, you will submit the following documents to the British embassy or consulate in your country:

  • your valid passport containing a blank page for your visa
  • a passport size colour photograph meeting the necessary requirements
  • a bank statement proving that you have access to at least GBP 1,890
  • the results of your tuberculosis (TB) test if necessary
  • a certified translation of any document which is not handed in in either English or Welsh

Please check with your local British embassy or consulate if you need to hand in any further documents.

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. You 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 UK.

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. Bear in mind, however, that most host families wish their au pairs to work 30 hours per week.

Clarify with your host family in advance how many hours per week you are expected to work and how your individual work schedule will look like. A full time study course may make it difficult for you to coordinate your working hours with your course schedule. 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. 

Please turn directly to the UK government if you have any further questions concerning the student visa for the UK.

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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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