Immigrating as a family, there is often a need to bring a helping hand along. Similar to many other Western nations, the UK government demands a helper to apply for a Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa. While this visa is only valid for 6 months, the renewal and extension of this domestic helper visa become employers’ major source of headache – a repeated one.
The bad news is the possibility of indefinite residence and in-country visa extension is only applicable for those who applied on or before 5 April 2012 now. Employers could only renew a domestic worker visa if the helper was initially granted permission to stay for less than half a year. Otherwise, the staff member has to leave the country and make a fresh application.
With the tightening of the rule, there are, of course, fewer options left for families. Read on for some how-to tips for renewing the UK Domestic Helper Visa.
Who is eligible?
Types of recognised domestic helpers qualified for a Visa application and renewal include:
- home cooks
- personal caretakers for the employer and their family members
- nannies for children
What are the basic requirements?
To meet the basic requirements to enter the UK with a Domestic Helper in a Private Household Visa, the applicant must be:
- aged over 19 years old
- worked for the employer for 12 months or more before the date of application
- been under the same roof or same household with the employer for 1 year or more
- intending to travel along with the employer
- in possession of a written contract that ensures payments in accordance with UK’s minimum wage law
The key point you have to pay attention to
Currently, an official extension is only allowed for applicants with a UK Domestic Worker in a Private Household visa applied on or before 5 April 2012. They now enjoy the right to extend their residency every 12 months and bring their other family members. After 5 years, a permanent settlement application would be opened for domestic helpers in this scheme. This kind of visa renewal for domestic helpers is only applicable when the worker is still staying in the UK. In a nutshell, the UK government is starting to rule out the Domestic Worker in a Private Household Visa for applicants in recent years as a means of indefinite settlement. This is believed to be an attempt to protect in-country workers’ rights. The Visa renewal for a domestic helper is solely achievable for those who do not live in the UK on a continuous basis. You must be really careful since “Frequent, successive” visits is an absolute no-no under the immigration rules.
What should you do as an employer?
At the moment, there are, in fact, no concrete definitions or limits stated for the number of Visa renewals for a domestic worker working in the UK. Make sure you consider all the circumstances and look at everything before you start a new application on a domestic helper visa renewal.
Before you go the extra mile to ensure your helper can stay on a long-term basis, it is crucial to talk to a UK immigration consultant. This type of immigration visa is one of those which have undergone the most changes. Despite the vagueness of the wordings that might seem like a loophole, insider knowledge of the UK immigration system is key before you try your luck.
If you have any concerns or questions about your domestic helper’s visa renewal, get in touch with our UK government-trained staff. Based in Hong Kong, we are just one call away and possess extensive experience in handling all sorts of UK immigration challenges. Get advice from our experts today.