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UK Domestic Worker Visa: Myths or Facts?

05 January 2010

When it comes to apply for an extension under the 's category or for a change of employment, we have noticed that many employers and their domestic workers are somewhat baffled by the procedure and concerned about possible penalties. As the case of Baroness Scotland's employment of a person without permission to work goes to show there are indeed hefty fines to be paid even by private employers who do not mean to breach the Immigration Rules! This article sheds some light on the most common myths surrounding this particular category.

It is important to point out that there is no current amnesty for domestic workers who have overstayed their leave to enter and remain in the UK. However, there are ways to rectify a situation depending on the individual circumstances and history.

Further, it is a myth that a UK employer is able to employ or sponsor anyone under the domestic worker category. In the case of an initial application (or entry clearance), the UK employer will not be able to employ someone as a domestic worker unless that person has worked for one year or more immediately prior to the application for an entry clearance under the same roof as his employer or in a household that the employer uses on a regular basis and where there is evidence that there is a connection between the employer and the employee.

To make a successful extension application, the employer will need to provide an up-to-date contract of employment outlining the main conditions of employment including duties, rate of pay and hours of work. In addition, it’s advisable to provide pay slips and original bank statements as evidence of earnings. The UK Border Agency website also lists as required evidence a letter from the employer confirming that they want to continue employing the domestic helper and they will comply with UK law on the national minimum wage.

A  is allowed to change employer while she/he is in the United Kingdom, however at the time of submission they must still be employed as a domestic worker. The UK Border Agency must be notified in writing since otherwise the applicant might not be allowed to change to a different type of employment.

The correct form to be used for an extension is the FLR(BID) and not the FLR(0) form. The application will be returned as invalid if the incorrect form is used undermining a prospective right of appeal.

The UK Border Agency introduced mandatory biometric appointments for this category. Thus, pending the successful outcome of the application, the domestic worker will be issued wit Identity Card for Foreign Nationals (ICFN).

Finally, under the current UK Immigration Rules, a domestic worker will be able to apply for  having spent five years in the UK in continuous employment.

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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.