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Is it possible to take domestic helper to UK

(40 Posts)
Nitig Fri 15-Feb-13 08:15:08

We are moving to UK from Singapore for my husband's work. We have a Tier 2 Intra-company transfer visa.
Is it possible to take our domestic helper with us to UK?
Earlier it use to be easy as the UKBA just needed the helper to have worked with the family for past 12 months. The rules changed in April 2012. I
have tried researching on Internet & calling related agencies but have not got a clear answer till now.
My helper has been with us for a long time and she is a part of my family now. My kids get very upset whenever her not being able to continue with us is talked about. She herself starts tearing up if I ask her to start looking for a new employer.
Please help me if you have any information regarding the matter. I am hoping that there would be a few of you who have moved in past 1 year and would know the procedure.
Also, just to put things in perspective, it is very common in Asia to have live in help. I always taught my kids to treat the helper like a family member and now that they think of her as an aunt, I can't let them feel that we are abandoning her!!
Please help

natation Fri 15-Feb-13 09:08:17

Have you read about the new conditions that it's a maximum of 6 months and no extensions? If you are settling permanently back in the UK, you cannot take with you a domestic worker. So if you are coming for longer that 6 months to the UK, your worker can come with you but but leave after 6 months.

A high percentage of domestic workers in the past have either been abused by their families and when they leave them, they have had to seek help to get back to their home countries, or they have claimed asylum on arrival, many down to non convention reasons such as abusive from their employers.

I am not implying anything in your case OP, this is simply the reason why the rules had to change.

natation Fri 15-Feb-13 09:09:29

Must correct myself a little, you cannot take a domestic worker permanently to the UK or for longer than 6 months.

Nitig Fri 15-Feb-13 10:09:20

Thanks Natation for the information does it mean that I can still take her along with us for initial 6 months? If so, what visa do I apply for, for her?

natation Fri 15-Feb-13 10:15:35

You apply according to the link I already posted. You must think seriously about this though, as she cannot stay with you or any other employer after that 6 months.

On past statistics, many of those who come to the end of their contracts just disappear into the UK, often surfacing and claiming asylum when caught working illegally and it means these women are far too often taken advantage of as they become overstayers. Think seriously, as it might be easier in the long run for your helper to stay in Singapore and find another family there than come to the UK for just a few months and have to return. It might be easier on your children too.

Nitig Fri 15-Feb-13 11:00:18

Thanks a lot Natation.
Right now I would opt for her being with us if I have a choice. For the simple reason that it makes transition easier for kids and will help them settle down faster. We are moving in the middle of school term and my husband's job requires him to travel extensively, so she would definitely be a big help.
My helper doesn't need to work for long anymore as she has almost achieved the goals she set out for herself( savings, house etc). She wants to go back to her home in another year or so. If she is able to follow us, then she would have achieved her targets in next 6 months with UK salary and wouldn't need to work as a domestic helper anymore. I hope the visa comes through.

natation Fri 15-Feb-13 11:09:54

Do expect a rough ride with the visa, prepare everything you can to show the stability of income and savings of your helper as well as your own personal circumstances. The visa I am guessing will be processed in Manilla (UK government cost savings) but biometrics are with an intermdiary called VFS in Singapore, it does mean things go slower, it's 554 Singapore $ cost.

Nitig Fri 15-Feb-13 19:17:58

Are we considered visitors to UK?
My husband would be on tier 2 intra- company transfer visa as I mentioned above. I am on a dependent visa.

natation Fri 15-Feb-13 20:34:56

No you are not considered visitors to the UK. Your husband will be on code 2 work conditions "no recourse to public funds, work only with the company named on his work permit". You and any dependants will be on code 1 "no recourse to public funds" so you can legally send your children out to work anywhere, if they are legally old enough, whereas dad can only work for a specific company :-) Do make sure the children are on dependants' visas, it's amazing how some people arrive thinking children are exempt and the result is the family have to turn straight around back to where they came and go back and get the children visas too.

I assume you have asked for permission to stay longer than 6 months in the UK? This will also have a bearing on a decision to issue a visa to your domestic worker, whereas I'd imagine if you were simply on a short term assignment to the UK, it would be far easy for the entry clearance officer to make a positive decision to issue the visa.

Nitig Fri 15-Feb-13 20:39:05

Hubby is on a 3 year contract sad. While filling the visa application for our helper, we were asked if the employer was going to UK as visitor.

Sachin Sun 12-May-13 09:17:17

I am Sachin. I am not a Mum, but a dad. I wanted to respond to this thread and hence Joined this site. My apologies if this site is meant only for Mums.

@Nitig, we also have exactly the same situation. My wife has got a long term 3 years project and we are going on a Tier2 visa. We also wanted to take our domestic helper with us as she has been working with us for more than 6 years.

I had called up the VFS and they told me there is no category under which we can take our domestic helper with us, since we are going on long term stay. Which means if we go as visitor we can take her but not if it we are going for long term.

Did you succeed getting any more information? I am trying to find if there are local ( in UK) agencies for domestic helper like what we have in Singapore so that she can be legally employed there.


marchmad Sun 12-May-13 10:10:56

A domestic worker can still get entry clearance for 6 months maximum but when the employer is on a long term entry clearance or EU moving permanently, the chances of refusal of entry clearance for the domestic worker is extremely high. You would need to convince the entry clearance officer your domestic worker will conform to the 6 months maximum. History of previous domestic workers shows that the percentage of those who have overstayed their visas is extremely high, they are used, even if the employer holds them as genuine workers, as a means of entry to the UK and then they leave their employers in high numbers. The history of abuse of these domestic workers is also great, especially certain nationalities employed by certain nationalities too. It means it is hard for any genuine cases to be seen as thus.

marchmad Sun 12-May-13 15:48:19

Sachin, if your domestic worker is non EU national, she would have to apply for a visa and work permit to work in the UK in her own right, if you wish her to stay more than 6 months. She won't get a work permit to be a domestic worker though, it just doesn't exist. Servants aren't really very common in the UK.

Lozzamack Tue 14-May-13 15:54:07

I have spoken this week to the Visa office here in Sing regarding this. We are moving back to the UK and would like to take our helper with us. One of my children has extreme behaviour issues and currently attends weekly sessions with a clinical psychologist. She really does not transition well hence me wanting our helper to join us. I was told as we were settling in the UK (we are British) it would not be possible. If it were a long holiday up to 6 months that would be OK. Also, when she leaves the UK she has to be escorted by the employer back to P'pines. I asked if getting a report from the therapist would help the application and was told no. I would be very interested to hear if your visa application has been/ was approved Nitig

marchmad Tue 14-May-13 16:55:44

Visas for residents of Singapore are issued in Manila and it is there you need to talk to, not the private company which is the intermediary for UK visas.

I think it's reasonable to expect the employer to leave the UK and accompany the employee back to their homeland after 6 months, therefore pre-buying tickets to get you back to wherever as well as your servant.

Most people in the UK manage perfectly well without servants, that's why the visa officer will be highly reluctant to grant such a visa. I think if I were the ECO, I'd refuse I'm afraid.

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 16:57:39

IIRC, the government has really clamped down on this and it's pretty nigh on impossible unless you are coming as a visitor for 6 months or less.

Lozzamack Wed 15-May-13 08:16:32

marchmad why do you refer to these ladies as servants? Would you refer to a child minder or an au pair or a grandma in the same way?

Living in Asia and having a live in domestic helper is the norm. I understand it is not in the UK. Mothers who work and some that don't, sometimes find an extra pair of hands is necessary. In the UK mums may have their neighbour, friend or a relative to rely on to help out with babysitting when needed. That support is not available here. So, for many women the only option is taking live in help - which I might add is not an ideal situation for many people but purely a case of necessity. To be honest, I think if there was a choice most people would not have live in help but unfortunately the gov't here make it illegal to employ live out help. Yes, some people employ helpers and have no children and enjoy lazing by the pool and shopping and may even mistreat them but on the whole most people don't.

As Nitig mentioned her children have grown up with this lady and are attached to her. Moving to a different country with young children having to go to new schools is a very stressful and challenging time for all concerned. Having anyone along that can help make that transition a little easier is worth their weight in gold I would say.

I would like for our helper to come with us for 6 months to help settle the children in, I don't think she would like to stay more than 6 months if I'm honest. It could be a very lonely place for her without all her friends but at the same time it would be a wonderful experience for her.

pandith Tue 22-Apr-14 09:28:34

Dear marchmad, this thread is very informative, thx .. I do have a query as my husband has been relocated on a tier 2 visa, it does not put an end date on our stay in the uk. In such a case can we take our helper who has been with us for 4 years along to the UK? Is it true that the max time they are allowed to be in UK is only 6 months? Can we extend the visa after 6 months ? Pls revert it will help

sabaahmed1969 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:38:55

My husband has been relocated on a Tier2 visa to UK. My househelp/nanny of 17 years domestic help visa has been rejected. We are devastated. Is there anything that can be done to get her the visa please? Any immigration law firm that can help?

Want2bSupermum Sun 16-Apr-17 19:11:59

My friend did it by having her helper go back to the Philippines and apply to work as an au pair. She was young enough and with the kids going to school during the day my friend paid for her to study in the U.K. When you find the right person it is totally awful to have to let them go.

Another friend making the move back from Asia hired a norland nanny to work for them, starting in Asia and returning to London with the family. They had 3 DC aged 7 and younger and having someone who knew how to navigate UK systems was a huge help.

sabaahmed1969 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:50:21

Thankyou for your message. How does one apply to work as an aupair? Are there any companies that can do it?

sabaahmed1969 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:27:21

Just checked. Age limit for aupairs in UK is 17 -30years. Any other options please?

lifeisunjust Sun 16-Apr-17 22:27:36

Look after your own children perhaps?

No you cannot hire a lawyer to change UK immigration rules.

AnneofGreenGablesAgain Sun 16-Apr-17 22:36:26

Life I don't think people want to rewrite the rules, just to check if there are any exceptions and that is what lawyers are for.

AnneofGreenGablesAgain Sun 16-Apr-17 22:37:20

And why tell someone to look after their own dc? There re plenty of nurseries, cm, nannies etc in the U.K. too.

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