The Domestic Worker visa was officially recognised as a visa under the immigration rules on 18 September 2012. Prior to this, domestic workers were required to submit an application outside the immigration rules. The Domestic Worker visa is designed to allow domestic workers currently employed by a person overseas to accompany their employer into the United Kingdom for a period of 6 months.
How to apply for a Domestic Worker Visa?
In order to qualify for a Domestic Worker visa Applicants must meet the requirements listed under paragraph 159A of the immigration rules. The key requirements listed under paragraph 159A that must be met are noted below:
- You must be 18 years of age or above;
- You must have been employed as a domestic worker under the same roof as your employer or in a household that your employer uses for themselves on a regular basis for at least one year;
- You must intend to travel to the United Kingdom with your employer and intend to work as a full-time domestic worker in the same household as your employer;
- You must be able to financially support yourself.
It is important to note that as a domestic worker your employer must be a British or an EEA national who is usually resident outside the United Kingdom or your employer must be a foreign national who is coming to the United Kingdom for no more than 6 months.
Your Employment Rights under the Domestic Worker Visa
The Home Office has taken positive steps to protect domestic workers travelling to the United Kingdom. In order to protect Applicants from unfair abuse and in some cases slavery the Home Office has introduced “employment rights” for Applicants who arrive in the United Kingdom on the Domestic Worker visa. Employers must comply with the following conditions:
· The domestic worker must be paid at least the national minimum wage;
· The domestic worker must not be made to work excessive hours and must be given adequate paid holidays; and
· The domestic worker must be given sufficient notice if the employment ends.
It is recommended for Applicants to agree on terms of their employment prior to applying for their Domestic Worker visa and have the same drafted into a written contract. In the event where your employer does not meet the above conditions, you may be entitled to take legal action against your employer through an employment tribunal or a civil court.
What you can and can’t do on a Domestic Worker Visa
Applicants who are granted a Domestic Worker visa will be granted entry into the United Kingdom for 6 months. It is important to note that under this particular visa route Applicants are required to return home once their 6 months are up. In some circumstances, an Applicants visa could be shortened, i.e. where the employer returns home permanently before the 6 month period. Similarly to all the other visas, there are some activities which are permitted on the Domestic Worker Visa. The following activities are permitted:
- Applicants can change employers to another role as a domestic worker in a private household within the United Kingdom (only if you don’t stay longer than 6 months);
- Applicants can freely travel abroad and return to the United Kingdom; and
- Applicants can stay in the United Kingdom if their employer decides to take a short holiday abroad.
However, there are also some activities which are prohibited on the Domestic Worker Visa. It is crucial Applicants are conscious of what their Domestic Worker visa permits because if an Applicant is found to be in breach of their visa conditions it is likely that this will have an adverse impact on any future applications. The following activities are not permitted on the Domestic Worker visa:
- Applicants cannot live in the United Kingdom for long periods of time through frequent visits;
- Applicants cannot secure employment in any other field or study in the United Kingdom;
- Applicants cannot apply to have their dependents join them in the United Kingdom but their dependents can apply separately in their own right (subject to meeting the requirements); and
- Applicants cannot apply for benefits or apply to have access to public funds during their time in the United Kingdom.
Applicants can apply for a Domestic Worker visa up to 3 months before the date of their travel. A decision is usually made within 3 weeks but in some circumstances, there could be a delay. It is not uncommon for the Home Office to delay applications which are not adequately prepared.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Domestic Worker Visa application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Domestic Worker visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Domestic Worker visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully submit a Domestic Worker Visa application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Domestic Worker visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Domestic Worker visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Domestic Worker visa application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.