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Domestic worker – rights and wrongs.

17 September 2010

It is often the case that domestic workers have been "part" of the expat family for several years before its decision to relocate to the UK. The UK Government recognises the importance of domestic workers by having a specific visa category whose requirements are found in the Immigration Rules under paragraph 159. Domestic workers, wrongly referred to as servants, play a significant role in helping with the children' upbringing, housekeeping and general domestic chores, as well as offering palliative care and assistance for elderly members of the family.

However, unscrupulous employers have also tainted the valuable role played by domestic workers with the potential for exploitation.  In the last few years, there has been a growing campaign against the abuses suffered by domestic workers. That is why in order to extend a domestic worker's visa, the UK Border Agency will assess whether the domestic worker has been paid at least minimum wage, national insurance contributions as well as annual leave together with free lodging. Further, a domestic worker is entitled to change his/her employer and if threatened, to report any form of violence or intimidation to the police. Charities such as Kalayaan (www.kalayaan.org.uk/) have created greater awareness by championing the cause of domestic workers, particularly their employment and immigration rights.

There are two essential, but often misunderstood factors that will help in making a  successful entry clearance application. The domestic worker, according to the Immigration Rules, should have work in the habitual residence of his/her employer for at least 12 months.Therefore, an Entry Clearance Officer will check whether there is a direct link between the employer and the domestic worker. In addition, the British Embassy might refuse an application if the domestic worker is not working "legally" in the country where his/her employer resides.

For further assistance, or if you have a specific query or wish to discuss your immigration concern, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Speak to one of our Blog visa consultants now to discuss your tailor made visa solution. Call us on +44 20 3384 3075.
Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.