Au pairing in the UK after Brexit

What options do UK families and au pairs from the European Union and from other countries currently have in the United Kingdom after Brexit? PLUS: A major new petition campaign to keep the UK and EU open to young people: you can sign, too!

View of Big Ben and the Parliament
, in AuPairWorld News

Brexit has made the win-win solution of au pairing for UK families and international young people substantially more difficult to realise. Young people from EU countries are no longer able to travel freely to the UK for an au pair stay. They are now subject to the same conditions as young people from other countries.

In this update we present information on the current au pairing situation in the UK focusing on:

  • Options currently available for UK host families to find au pairs
  • Options currently available for young people who want to be an au pair in the UK
  • A new petition action to support the future of au pairing in the UK

How UK families can host an au pair after Brexit

Using the search option: "Show au pairs in my country"

With this option, families gain access to the following groups of au pairs on the AuPairWorld platform that are now eligible for au pairing under new GOV.UK guidelines

  • au pairs can come from an EU country and have pre-settled status in the UK
  • UK young people interested in an in-country au pair experience

To see au pairs currently in the UK (both UK nationals and Pre-Settled EU au pairs, for example), select the options for EU au pairs and UK au pairs in the AuPairWorld EasyFind search tool. Then use the filter setting "Show au pairs in my country" when you search for an au pair with AuPairWorld, as shown in the illustration below:

corona search functionallity

Adding other nationalities to your au pair search

The same GOV.UK au pairing guidelines also point out that au pairs from Ireland are eligible for au pair stays in the UK. Likewise young people from countries included in the Youth Mobility Scheme could obtain a visa. These countries are:  Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. These countries can also be selected in your search settings.

How to be an au pair in the UK after Brexit

There are a number of arrangements which can facilitate an au pair-style cooperation between UK host families and young people if you belong to one of the groups outlined below. We recommend you also take a look at the detailed information about visas for an au pair stay in the UK in our Info Host Countries section.

Pre-settled EU au pairs

Young people from the EU who have obtained pre-settled status are eligible for au pair stays without restrictions.

Young people from Ireland

Young people from Ireland interested in an au pair stay in the UK can continue to enter and work in the UK as au pairs without any restrictions resulting from the new Brexit deal.

UK residents

The new GOV.UK guidelines for au pairing also make au pair stays possible for young people from the United Kingdom if you are interested in an in-country au pair experience. To do this, UK au pairs need to include the UK as a preferred host country in their AuPairWorld profile to start searching for UK-based families.

UK Ancestry visa

Young people from Commonwealth countries who have a grandparent who was born in  in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man can apply for an Ancestry Visa which will allow unrestricted work or study in the UK for a period of 5 years. 

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

This visa option is available to citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. It allows participating young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend up to two years in the UK. 

Student Visa

This visa option is open to young people from all countries. For young people participating in a course of study provided by a licensed student sponsor (for example in a B2 language course or above), it may be possible to work up to 20 hours per week as an au pair in addition to the course of study being pursued. 

How to support open au pairing in the UK: Sign the Youth Visa petition

Graphic for Youth mobility showing a group of young people

For now, Brexit has stopped the vital connection between EU young people and UK families that has been crucial for au pairing in the United Kingdom. AuPairWorld is supporting a campaign to establish a new Youth Visa for Cultural Exchange between the UK and the EU that would open up this connection again in the post-Brexit era.

You can help with this campaign by signing the Youth Visa petition on that calls on the UK and EU to work together quickly and constructively to let productive cultural exchange continue to take place for young people through a new reciprocal Youth Visa.

Sign the petition now



We are continually researching and updating relevant information about Brexit for our au pairs and host families, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. And of course, if you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.