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Bahrain or Jordan: Should I hire a nanny from here or over there after we move?

(13 Posts)
tama Wed 20-May-09 10:07:06

We will be moving to Bahrain or Jordan at the end of this year with two children under 3. I have a live out British nanny here 4 days a week, and want to get a good nanny where we move. I want the nanny to travel with me and the kids back to the UK a few times per year. I need advice from mums in the middle east about whether i should hire a nanny here and take her with us, or whether I should just wait until we get there and then hire one? Many thanks

Natje Wed 20-May-09 11:48:54

Hi there! I haven't moved to Bahrain yet but from what I saw/heard most maids/nannies out there come from the Philipines or the Indian Subcontinent. I'm not sure whether it is possible to find Bahraini nannies. I am also not sure how easy it is for them to travel back to the UK for holidays etc as you would have to get visas for them etc and I presume this is pretty complicated. Something to look into. Are you any closer to deciding on where you will move? I remember you saying it may be Jordan too? I do strongly recommend you look into schools though as waiting lists are huge!

mumoverseas Wed 20-May-09 15:39:17

Hi, not in Bahrain but am next door in Saudi.
As Natje has said, the majority of the nannies are from the Philipines/Thailand (although mine is African) and you will definitely have issues getting a visa for them to travel to the UK. If I was you, and you do want them to travel with you, you should look into a UK hire one. I would imagine it will cost you more but at least you wouldn't have any issues. They are very cheap out here (around SR20 ph which on the current exchange rate is around £4 although a year ago it was £3)

Also look into schooling if you are intending being there long enough for your DC to attend school there. There are quite a few British Schools in Bahrain which have nurseries attached but you will probably have to go on a waiting list. Not sure about Jordan.

Good luck

DoThisDoThat Wed 20-May-09 19:23:16

Hi Tama, a maid or nanny hired locally would be SriLankan/Phillipina/Ethiopian and unlikely to get into the UK or be able to travel around with you. If that's what you need, then best to hire in the UK. They would not be able to get their own Bahraini work visa, though, and likely to have to leave the country every three months and be here as a vistor, I think. It would also cost you as a UK nanny would expect a UK salary - that'd be much more expensive than a local maid/nanny in Bahrain who would be paid around BD150 a month (that's a max rate). It's a tricky one. Sorry not to be more help.

tama Wed 20-May-09 21:23:56

Hi all, thanks so much for your replies, really appreciated. It sounds like we might need to hire a UK nanny if we want her to travel with us. In Bahrain, though, how easy would it be for her to leave the country every 3 months? Is it just a matter of driving across into Saudi (or something similar) or something more difficult I wonder. Oh well, never mind, at least there are good shops in Bahrain, unlike Jordan which is our other possibility. Thanks for the advice re schools too. I have been in touch with both St Chris' and the British School and now have to fill in various application forms so will do that but not even sure if we can get our 3 year old into British school next Jan. In the next couple of weeks we should find out whether the move will be to Jordan or Bahrain. I am hoping Bahrain but if Jordan at least the weather is good and it is quite beautiful. If Bahrain, we will probably be visiting there in June or July and move later in the year. Natje when are you moving? Dothisdothat I would love to meet up with you when we are there for a coffee (or wine!) when we visit if you are around and free. Thanks so much all

Natje Wed 20-May-09 22:20:30

Tama - we will arrive in Bahrain in August, just in time for schools to start. Unfortunately, your nanny would need a Visa to get into Saudi or surrounding countries and from what I hear this is very difficult to get. So you my have to end up having to send her further away every 3 months. Also, would the Bahraini customs officials not get suspicious of her leaving/returning every 3 months. All the best with the preparations!

mumoverseas Thu 21-May-09 04:48:53

Natje is right, you'd need visas to drive across the causeway into Saudi and hell would freeze over before a nanny would get one (or even yourselves) Before DH and I were married I couldn't get a visa for Saudi so I used to fly to Bahrain and he would drive over and meet me. Once were were married we applied for my visa and it took forever to get. we currently have multi exit re-entry visas which are valid for 6 months from date of first issue but they are very expensive (own expense, company doesn't pay) and it is only recently we could get them. Prior to that, we had to apply for a visa every time we wanted to leave Saudi and it was only valid for the one trip out and on our return when wanting to leave again had to apply for another one. Real PITA.

tama I hope that you enjoy your visit to Bahrain although please bear in mind it will be awfully hot in August. Most of us sensible ex-pats flee the M E in the summer, I'm back to the UK next month til September.
Good luck with your visit and proposed move and hope you sort your nanny issues out

DoThisDoThat Fri 22-May-09 17:58:35

Hi Tama. We'll be in the UK from mid July to 1st September.Let me know if you're visiting before then!

letswiggle Sun 24-May-09 22:15:39

On visas - you can really easily get a working visa for a nanny from anywhere to go to the UK with you provided you can prove that she/he has been legally working for you for 12 months. It's quite expensive - about 100 pounds for 6 months validity, and you have to fill in lots of forms. But it's not difficult if you meet the time criteria. You won't be able to do it if your nanny is not legally resident in Bahrain though (which would presumably mean you'd be breaking the law by hiring him/her?)

tama Mon 25-May-09 20:01:33

Hi everyone - thanks so much for all your advice. Based on what you've all said, this is what I think we'll do. (1) Hire a UK nanny for one year; travel with her to Bahrain and UK having to leave every three months if necessary, (2) for the same first year also legally hire a maid/ nanny who is legally resident in Bahrain, (3) wonder how we will fit them both in the same house, (4) once our UK nanny moves on, travel with the Bahrain nanny. That's one possibility anyway, we'll see what eventuates! Thanks so much everyone. Tomorrow I think we find out whether it'll be Jordan or Bahrain we move to. I'm hoping Bahrain because I can't find any info anywhere on Jordan. Think Bahrain might be easier place to live as an expat.

Natty54321 Sun 14-Jun-09 10:30:26

Hi there,

Just read your post and i'm a British qualified nanny, currently in Dubai but very possibly moving to Bahrain.

Do you know where you are moving to now as we could possibly have a chat if it is Bahrain.

Let me know if you would like to.

JJsandcat Sun 14-Jun-09 12:57:39

I am in Dubai here and not content with the level of childcare offered by the few nationalities from which I can pick a nanny (India, Philippines, Ethiopia, Indonesia & Bangladesh). No thank you very much. As others have pointed out you'll probably have a lot of pain coming at you if you want any of these girls to travel with you.

I would love to hire a European, pref. British nanny but getting her a visa is impossible unless we spend thousands of pounds setting up a 'bogus' company in one of the 2 free zones or hell freezes over and my DH's employer has a word with the authorities hmm.

[Natty], may I ask you how your employer got a visa for you? Kensington nannies for example told me they (and other agencies) don't arrange visas and don't send anyone if the visa is not offered by the employer. Many thanks.

Natty54321 Sun 14-Jun-09 15:33:47

JJ Sandcat, would you like to email me and we can have a 'chat'?
nchallenger at hotmail dot com,

I may be able to give you some help/advice

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