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American nanny working in UK

(28 Posts)
MrsCurly Tue 02-Nov-10 10:13:01

I wonder if anyone can give me advice on the legality of employing an American nanny here in the UK.

I am very keen to employ her as she seems great and has excellent references. She has just moved to the UK with her boyfriend as he is studying here. She says she has the right to work here.

I've read here before that Americans can't come as au pairs. She says she can do any job while she is here. Is this right?? Surely if you employ someone from overseas you have to show that no local person can do the job? Or are there visas available which are open ended?

If anyone can give any advice on the legal situation Id be very gratfeful. I'd love to employ her but I want to make sure it is all above board, as I know I could be prosecuted otherwise.

With many thanks and best wishes,


ilovemydogandMrObama Tue 02-Nov-10 10:19:44

Ask her how she has the right to work here. Make her show you documents (visa, ILR etc). In other words, she needs to prove how she can work in the UK.

There is quite a bit of information on the Home Office web site as far as what Visas entitle a foreign national to legally work.

frakkinstein Tue 02-Nov-10 10:50:53

Generally no, Americans can't be nannies but it's not impossible.

Do ask her exactly what visa she has and whether there are any working restrictions on that. For example, American students can work but only up to a certain number of hours per week in term time (typically 20 if theyre studying a degree).

She may have dual nationality with an EU passport which would entitle her to do any kind of work, or dual nationality with a country under the Working Holidaymaker Scheme.

I suspect she does have some form of right to work, the key will be establishing what. It is very rare for it to be 'any job'. Assuming her boyfriend is on a tier 4 General student visa it's unlikely she's been able to come over as a dependent as that used to be limited to spouse/children so she's probably under her own steam.

General UKBA info

Preventing illegal working

Assuminng you've interviewed already, did she show her passport? Do you remember what it said on the visa?

frakkinstein Tue 02-Nov-10 10:56:39

Guidance on checks including pictures of work permits and the exact wording used on various residence permits and visas.

MrsCurly Tue 02-Nov-10 11:10:41

I've met her once but she is coming back tonight for a second interview and to meet DH. I'll ask her to bring her passport.

Thanks for all the advice.

frakkinstein Tue 02-Nov-10 11:36:27

Her passport, birth cert and any other documentation showing her right to work in the UK - she might also have a biometric residence permit for example.

You need to check 2 things - her right to be in the UK and her right to work in the UK.

Spookberry Tue 02-Nov-10 14:42:47

She could have either a student visa like Frakk has said, or a spouse visa, or ancestry.

There is no other way she can come here to work as a nanny, frankly. So you are looking for a big visa in her passport (not just a stamp) - I'm American and it really riles me when others come over and say they have right to work and they don't as I jumped through all the hoops and paid over 2k to get a visa! angry

<rant over> blush

frakkinstein Tue 02-Nov-10 15:24:55

Ancestry wouldn't give an American the right to work unless she's additionally a citizen of a Commonwealth country.

Whatever you do don't take her word that she's a citizen/has the visa/is eligible to work. You need to take copies of the documents and verify them.

Spookberry Tue 02-Nov-10 15:31:04

Sorry didn't mean Ancestry meant dual. blush

nannynick Tue 02-Nov-10 17:23:50

If she is going to be offered the job. Take copies of documentation, especially the passport and visa and contact UKBA Employer Helpline

Phone: 0300 123 4699
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 0900 - 1700 (excluding public holidays)

To be paid, she will need a National Insurance number. So ask if she has applied for that yet.

BonkersforBonJovi Tue 02-Nov-10 22:21:57

I'd be interested to hear the outcome of this.

gruber Tue 02-Nov-10 22:47:06

As a nanny employer anyway you would need to hold a copy of her passport showing right to work anyway so either way you'd need to see it.

MrsCurly Wed 03-Nov-10 07:36:47

She brought her passport last night. She has a tier 4 visa, as her boyfriend's dependent. The restrictions say she cannot claim benefit and cannot train as a doctor or dentist.

She says she has applied for a NI number.

Thanks Nannynick for the UKBA number. Will give them a call. If all goes well, I need to get her OFSTED registered so we can use childcare vouchers. Do you think there might be any problem with that?

Thanks everyone for your advice.

frakkinstein Wed 03-Nov-10 07:50:07

Glad it's worked out

Interesting she's been able to come even though they're not married! It used to be hellish for students to bring unmarried dependents over but I suppose the tiered points system has changed that. Make sure you check the exact wording and appearance of the stamp - you can't be too careful because as long as you prove you carried out all the checks even if it turns out she's not allowed to work you'd be in the clear.

To be OFSTED registered she will need to jump through all the hoops regarding the common core qualification, paediatric 1st aid certificate, insurance and CRB (which will take a long tine to process).

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 03-Nov-10 08:00:35

Glad it's working out smile

Interesting stipulation about not training as a doctor or dentist hmm. Mine just said, 'no recourse to public funds.' I assumed that meant not using the NHS, so tried to pay for treatment...

StarExpat Wed 03-Nov-10 10:00:18

You usually can't come as a dependent if just a boyfriend/girlfriend. There are some fiancee arrangements, I think. They might be secretly married wink I only say this because DH and I did this before we had our wedding and got "officially" married. We didn't tell my parents or his parents or anyone. Just went to local US embassy in the country we were currently living in and got the marriage certificate. Now dh is my dependent as I have a working visa and he can work anywhere he wants. I'm tied to my current job but he can work anywhere and change as he pleases hmm
ILR soon, though so that will be a relief!

StarExpat Wed 03-Nov-10 10:02:20

ilove - "recourse to public funds" does not include NHS, interestingly. I think it refers to benefits (?).

frakkinstein Wed 03-Nov-10 10:14:19

That's correct, star. NHS healthcare is based on residency so anyone resident in the UK is entitled to it, along with the entitlement to education for under those of compulsory school age. Benefits are reserved for those with citizenships/equivalent rights.

I wonder if they are married!

StarExpat Wed 03-Nov-10 10:33:24

I bet they are. Only explanation.
Also I figured out that I should get NHS once I realized how much of my paycheque is paid out in taxes. I was shock but feel better about it since it includes healthcare. Sort of like my salary in the US including health insurance.

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 03-Nov-10 10:37:30

Think it's 12 month residency requirement? Every time we go to Children's Hospital, am asked whether I have been in the UK continuously for the past 12 months. They ask everyone so as not to discriminate

frakkinstein Wed 03-Nov-10 10:49:01

Technically no. If you don't answer yes to that question you don't automatically have to pay but they'll look at whether you are genuinely resident which will probably involve producing extra paperwork, like evidence of a bank account, a job, a contact with a landlord for an extended period... Anything which shows you are genuinely resident in the UK on a permanent basis, which confusingly doesn't mean you'll be there forever, more that you're there for the forseeable future, not there temporarily for a month or so whilst permanently resident somewhere else.

A classic example is international students. They're covered by the NHS from the day they arrive, even if they're only staying for 9 months.

StarExpat Wed 03-Nov-10 11:10:27

I have never been asked how long I've been here...etc. Just for my dr's name. Strange.And I've visited A&E a fair few times with ds.

frakkinstein Wed 03-Nov-10 12:53:16

Emergency treatment in A&E or a walk-in clinic is free at point of delivery regardless of residency. It's also free to be sectioned and access services relating to family planning plus certain infectious disease which would otherwise pose a hazard to public health. I think TB is one of those.

<why do I remember this stuff?>

BonkersforBonJovi Wed 03-Nov-10 13:06:07

You can definitely come as an unmarried dependant now on a Tier 4. HOWEVER she could NOT have a Tier 4 in her possession if she did not apply as a student. She would have a completely different immigration category as 'dependent of a Tier 4 student', NOT a Tier 4 visa herself.

And under the stipulations of a Tier 4, a student can not hold full-time employment. They can work 20 hours/wk in term time and full-time during holidays.

I would get this checked out further.

MrsCurly Wed 03-Nov-10 14:07:08

It said dependent of a tier 4 student, if I remember correctly. It had his name on it. I will make a photocopy of it, as people have advised, but couldn't last night.

I'll talk to UKBA as suggested. I've now offered her the job subject to this getting sorted out.

Thanks again for taking time to give me such useful advice.

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