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
1. Check entry requirements for your au pair candidates
New GOV.UK guidelines for au pairing identify four possible groups for recruiting au pairs:
- Au pairs from an EU country who have pre-settled status in the UK
- UK young people interested in an in-country au pair experience
- Irish young people interested in an au pair experience in the UK
- Au pairs from one of the countries covered by the Youth Mobility Scheme visa: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan
2. Use these groups for setting your search criteria
When you enter the corresponding countries into your search filter criteria you will receive profile suggestions featuring candidates that either are already present in the UK or who will be able to enter the country and join your family.
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.
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.
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
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 change.org 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.
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.