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American Au Pair in the UK -- am I dreaming?

(21 Posts)
Strix Tue 18-Mar-14 11:24:13

I am toying with the idea of my American niece coming to be our au pair in the UK. But, I suspect this a pie in the sky in terms of a visa.

Has anyone had an American Au Pair?

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 11:30:34

I think you're right that the visa would put a significant spanner in the works sad

Strix Tue 18-Mar-14 13:49:37

I think we could waggle a student visa. But it would cost an awful lot.

TheScience Tue 18-Mar-14 13:49:43

Possible for her to come primarily as a student and just help you out a bit?

Strix Tue 18-Mar-14 13:52:47

I think there is a visa where I can bring with me an existing employee. So I was wondering if I could hire her in the states (I am American too) and then she could come back with me. But I suspect when I look into it I will find it is not so easy.

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 14:38:22

The existing employee visa requires fairly lengthy pre-existing employment and is only good for about 6m IIRC. How long would you want her for?

Strix Tue 18-Mar-14 15:32:02

Probably 6 months, maybe a year. I'm flexible really. It would be great for my kids to know their cousin. And it would be great for me too. I miss her.

Sounds like the existing employee visa is not going to work out.

She has asked me about starting uni over here, but I'm not sure if that would transfer back to the states. We are just starting to look into it. But we are both very keen to find a way to make this work..... fingers crossed.

blueshoes Tue 18-Mar-14 15:44:52

If she can come here on a student visa, that would be ideal.

keepcalmandeatcupcakes Tue 18-Mar-14 21:15:45

She would be unable to come here to study and work on the normal student visas, and sadly au pairing is classed as work, even if it was unpaid. The only way you could swing it is by her coming here on a Tier 4 Student visa, but it would need to be to study a University Level course which would allow her 20 hours per week to work ( and full time in the holidays). However you would need to ensure she would only study up to 20 hours, and this can be difficult. It might be worth her looking at gap year / working options instead.

Strix Wed 19-Mar-14 16:23:29

I am looking into the tier 4 student visa option. Any idea what/where she could study to do this? We live in West london. No idea how one applies or gets a visa.

NomDeClavier Wed 19-Mar-14 18:50:03

She needs to have a place at an approved institution (shouldn't be an issue in London) but she's cutting it fine with an application this late. She's also going to need to factor in fees which are roughly on a par with college fees in the US. Subject would depend what she wants to go on an do. Once she had a pace the university will help sort the visa.

Strix Wed 19-Mar-14 20:35:59

I read earlier that open university courses would qualify. I am slightly puzzled by this since I thought the whole idea was you could do the course from virtually anywhere.

keepcalmandeatcupcakes Wed 19-Mar-14 21:44:46

I would be very surprised if Open University would be applicable as then they would not need to be resident in the UK for the course. Also I think it would be difficult for it to be classified as an HTS , which would prevent them sponsoring Tier 4 students.
NomDeClavier is right, even if you did get her over on the Tier 4 which is complex, you still need to ensure she has at least £800 per month available to her, in her account on application for the time she is here. The university fees are excessive, and unless she really wants to come here to study a particular subject in the UK I would stay away from the option. If she really wants to come over here, the aupair role is pretty much impossible for her unless she somehow can apply for an EU passport.

Strix Thu 20-Mar-14 08:13:24

Okay, the student option is sounding very unattractive at this point. :-(

But, I'm not giving up just yet... Has anyone out there ever hired an American Au Pair? Perhaps I could find her a nice British boy to marry? (Just kidding)

SoldeInvierno Thu 20-Mar-14 08:48:02

If nothing else works, can she not come over on a tourist visa for a couple of months? At least she would get to know her cousins. And maybe meet the nice British boy smile

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Thu 20-Mar-14 08:56:51

Have a look at the Tier 5 visas - she might be able to get in under that? She can come as a visitor for 6 months anyway. Does she have any other useful nationalities, like another Commonwealth country or an EU one?

mummytime Thu 20-Mar-14 09:00:01

Their used to be a Visa category for Au Pairs, but that has been abolished. There is a Youth Mobility category for Visas, but US nationals don't qualify, if she was Canadian or South Korean she would.
She can come as a visitor without a Visa.

Strix Thu 20-Mar-14 12:33:15

I have considered she could just come visit. But I'd still need an au pair, and there is only one (very small) bedroom.

Strix Thu 20-Mar-14 12:34:08

Oh, and definitely no other nationalities on offer. American through and through for many many generations.

hennybeans Thu 20-Mar-14 15:28:15

Perhaps if you trust your niece she could visit you as a house guest for 6 months and you could have an informal arrangement of room and board in exchange for help around the house. She would certainly need her own money and a return ticket to show to immigration. I'm American living in the UK and my mom regularly visits me from the US for 6 weeks at a time and of course she helps out when here and often babysits while DH and I go out. I don't pay my mom and she is coming to visit with her grandkids foremost. Maybe your niece could do the same- probably a bit of a gray area technically but as long as you don't pay her, she is just a relative coming for a visit since any house guest would naturally help chores, play with her cousins, etc

TheScience Thu 20-Mar-14 15:31:41

Since she is your niece, I would also just have her visit for 6 months and pitch in with childcare/housework as a family member. Of course, as a generous aunt you would ensure she had spending money (in cash).

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