WRK2.1 Overseas domestic workers in private households
On this page
- WRK2.1.1 What are the requirements?
- WRK2.1.2 Period of previous employment
- WRK2.1.3 Terms of employment
- WRK2.1.4 Job description
- WRK2.1.5 Travel arrangements
- WRK2.1.6 Maintenance and accommodation
- WRK2.1.7 Statement of terms and conditions of employment
- WRK2.1.8 Interviews
- WRK2.1.9 The National Minimum Wage
- WRK2.1.10 British National or EEA
- WRK2.1.11 After entry
- WRK2.1.12 Endorsements for overseas domestic workers in private (not diplomatic) households
- WRK2.1.13 Dependants
- WRK2.1.14 Appeal rights for overseas domestic workers in private (not diplomatic) households
This is internal guidance for use by entry clearance staff on the handling of visa applications made outside the United Kingdom (UK) for overseas domestic workers in private households. It is a live document under constant review and is for information only. For further more detailed information please see the Modernised Guidance on Domestic Workers in Private Households
WRK2.1.1 What are the requirements?
Rules Paragraphs 159A - 159H
Prior entry clearance is mandatory.
WRK2.1.2 Period of previous employment
The applicant must have been employed with their current employer as a domestic worker for a minimum period of 12 months immediately prior to their application for entry clearance.
- The purpose of the minimum period of previous employment with the employer is to ensure that there is a genuine existing employer/employee relationship. It is also to prevent recruitment of overseas domestic workers by people in the UK.
- A short gap within the 12 months does not necessarily disqualify the applicant. An explanation of any gap in employment must be provided with the application to ensure that any break does not indicate the lack of a genuine existing employer employee relationship.
- Applicants must provide a letter from their employer stating their previous length of employment and any one other document showing employment over a continuous 12 month period in the form of:
- Regular pay slips from the employer. Or
- Evidence of tax paid to the relevant Government authority. Or
- Evidence that the applicant has been issued a visa by the UK to travel with their current employer or
- Visa showing working in the country where they have worked for the employer or visas to show travel with them and or family. .
WRK2.1.3 Terms of employment
Prior to coming to the UK the applicant must have carried out duties as a domestic worker in the private household belonging to the employer. These duties must have been carried out under the same roof of the person receiving the services, or working in a household that the employer has sole responsibility to maintain/control and uses on a regular basis, i.e. their own private family home(s), therefore establishing that there is a legitimate employer employee connection. Duties that were carried out in a home belonging to family members of the employer will not qualify the worker for admission under this category.
WRK2.1.4 Job description
Domestic workers may include cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, and cooks, those carrying out personal care for the employer or a member of the employer's family and nannies, if they are providing a personal service relating to the running of the employer's household.
The applicant must be intending to work full time in a domestic capacity under the same roof as their employer or in a household that the employer lives in The applicant must only hold one full time job for one employer.
Domestic workers may not be employed to work as a domestic worker for a business, agency or be self-employed.
The employer's company may pay the domestic workers wages provided it is part of the employer's employment package. If the employer owns the business they may arrange to pay the domestic worker through their business, but care should be taken to ensure that the domestic worker will be working only in the employer's private household.
WRK2.1.5 Travel arrangements
The domestic worker must travel to the UK with the employer, the employer's spouse / civil partner or the employer's minor child as stated in the Immigration Rules.
WRK2.1.6 Maintenance and accommodation
The employer must sign a written undertaking that he will maintain and accommodate the employee adequately and provide him / her with a separate bedroom if living in. Domestic workers are not required to live in the same dwelling as the employer. However, if this is not the case, care should be taken to ensure that either the employer intends to pay for the accommodation or that the domestic worker's wages are sufficient to cover the expense.
Undertaking to be signed by the employers of overseas domestic workers in private households in the UK (a copy of this can be downloaded under 'Related links' on the right of this page).
WRK2.1.7 Statement of terms and conditions of employment
The employer must provide a signed statement including:
- Maintenance and Accommodation
- Confirmation that the domestic worker can maintain and accommodate themselves adequately without recourse to public funds.
- Confirmation that the domestic worker will have their own separate bedroom if living in the employer's house. This is a requirement and must be provided.
- Specific terms and condition of employment
Employers should complete the 'statement of terms and conditions of employment' found at Appendix 7 of the Immigration Rules and the ODW should sign it to confirm acceptance of the conditions. Appendix 7 (which can be located by clicking here) includes confirmation of pay - i.e. that the ODW will be paid in accordance with National Minimum Wage legislation, time off, and holiday entitlement. This information will also be required when a leave to remain application is made or, in the cases of pre April 2012 applicants, when an application is submitted for the domestic worker to remain with a new employer.
Where an interview is appropriate, applicants should be interviewed on their own, at least on their first application, to establish that they understand the terms and conditions of the employment and are willing to go to the UK. For further information see Domestic workers section.
Successful applicants should be given the website address www.direct.gov.uk for information explaining their rights under the UK's criminal and employment laws.
WRK2.1.9 The National Minimum Wage
Domestic workers must be paid at least the NMW unless they are subject to an exemption.
If the applicant is a member of the employer's family and lives in their home they will not qualify for the NMW if:
- they help run the family business, or
- they work in their employer's household and share in the tasks and activities of the family.
If the applicant is not a member of the employer's family but they live in their home they will not qualify for NMW for work done for their household if they are treated as a member of the family which includes:
- sharing in the tasks and leisure activities of the family, and
- having meals and accommodation provided free and as if they were a member of the employer's family.
As a domestic worker the applicant will usually have a formal employment relationship with their employer and if any of the above conditions are not satisfied then they will be entitled to the national minimum wage.
For all applications, the employer must sign the statement of terms and conditions that they will pay the ODW in accordance with National Minimum Wage legislation. If the employer has not signed the document and the Entry Clearance Officer has evidence (such as previous travel and compliance in the UK) that the employer will be able to meet the National Minimum wage requirements, then they should defer the application and ask the employer for confirmation and signature that they will pay the ODW in accordance with the National Minimum Wage. If there is no such evidence that the employer is able to meet the National Minimum Wage requirements, then the application should be refused.
WRK2.1.10 British National or EEA
ODW can travel with their British or EEA employer or that employer's British or EEA national spouse, civil partner or child where the employer's usual place of residence is outside the UK and where the employer does not intend to remain beyond 6 months in the UK or where a British or EEA national employer's foreign national spouse, civil partner or child has obtained or is applying for entry clearance as a visitor and where the employer does not intend to remain in the UK beyond 6 months.
WRK2.1.11 After entry
There is provision in the Immigration Rules for extensions of stay to be granted but only if entry clearance was granted for less than 6 months. As entry clearance is normally granted for 6 months any requests for an extension should be unlikely.
WRK2.1.12 Endorsements for overseas domestic workers in private (not diplomatic) households
ODW Private Household
(name of migrant)
To work with xxxxx
No recourse to public funds
leave to enter will be granted for up to 6 months only and not the length of proposed stay in the UK.
This is not a visitor route and applicants are not eligible to apply for one or two year visas.
No dependants allowed
WRK2.1.14 Appeal rights for overseas domestic workers in private (not diplomatic) households
Refusal of entry clearance as a domestic worker in a private household attracts a full right of appeal, except where the applicant does not meet the age requirements.