Administrative requirements for Au Pairs

A new Au Pair moving into your house and into your life does not only bring along the additional responsibilities that you have for the Au Pair. But you also have to make sure that all administrative requirements for Au Pairs are fulfilled.

These are of course highly dependent on the two factors: Where do you live? Where does the Au Pair come from?

Is a visum an administrative requirement for Au Pairs?

Assuming that you live in the UK and are currently looking for a new Au Pair, things might be a bit tricky right now. With the decision of the British people to exit the European Union, several topics need to be clarified and are about to be discussed. And some prospective Au Pairs are a bit unsure about living in the UK because of Brexit and the latest terror warnings in the Summer of 2017.

As long as your Au Pair was born in a country which belongs to the European Union or the EFTA states (European Free Trade Association), it seems unlikely that, regardless of the progressing Brexit, EU residents will have to apply for Visa. Perhaps, a (electronic) Visa as the Australian government demands is more likely to be introduced. At least within the next two years (until 2019), prospective Au Pairs from the European Union will not be affected by the momentous decision.

In case your preferred Au Pair holds the passport of a country outside the European Union, there is more admin work required. But please do not make a decision against hiring an Au Pair from a non-european country because you fear the administrative workload: It is usually the Au Pair who needs to organise Visa related things. You as an Host Family in the UK might have to provide a few documents but it is usually no big deal.

What Visa requirements apply for non-EU Au Pair candidates?

Non-European Au Pairs who want to come to the United Kingdom, have different options to come to the UK and work there, depending on their nationality. If you are not sure whether your Au Pair really needs a Visa to travel and live in the UK, please visit the homepage of the Home Office. They provide good information when you select the country of origin of your Au Pair candidate as well as the purpose of the stay.

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme?

The Youth Mobility Scheme (also known as Tier Five Visa) enables residents of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco as well as British citizens from overseas at the age of 18-30 to work in the UK. Applying for this Visa can be done online and as soon as the British Government checked every necessary document, it is valid for two years (including the work permit). For those who are already older (e.g. Granny Au Pairs), coming from the countries mentioned before, the Tier 5 Visa asks for different documents.

Special rules apply to those Au Pairs from Hong Kong,Taiwan or the Korean Republic. The Chinese and Korean Government do, under certain conditions, usually sponsor the stay in the UK but consequently, the number of places is restricted. As soon as the future Au Pair got accepted, she/he has to apply for her/his visa within three month.

Is a student’s Visa an option for an Au Pair to come to the UK?

In case your Au Pair candidate is a Non-European student, he/she could try to go to the UK while studying abroad. In this case, it is important that the student knows how many hours she/he is allowed to work while attending lectures at the university. Please check on the website to find out more information about the student Visa for the UK (Tier four/General student Visa).  

No matter where you are from, please make sure that your Au Pair organises and hands in every required administrative document right on time. Proofing the documents takes some time and we want you to avoid trouble and stress right from the beginning so both can enjoy the Au Pair experience.

What kind of health insurance does the Au Pair need?

If you live in the UK, the Au Pair will automatically have access to the free health care service provided by the NHS. The only thing your Au Pair needs to do is to go to a local general practitioner practice (GP practice or surgery) with her/his Au Pair contract and passport and register with this surgery. As long as the surgery accepts new patients, there shouldn’t be problems.

However: Depending on the country your Au Pair comes from, she/he might be used to seeing a specialist doctor for nearly anything as the first doctor’s appointment. This is for instance the case in Germany where you would directly go to see an orthopaedist if you have twisted your food or to a dermatologist if you developed a rash. If your Au Pair is used to this kind of “special treatment” you should explain her/him how the NHS system in terms of GP appointments and referral letters to specialists work, well in advance.

With this information your future Au Pair can decide if she/he wants to take out a private insurance to see specialists straight away. Normally international health insurance are kind of a top up to the regular health insurance payment and don’t cost that much for the Au Pair.

Can our Au Pair drive in Great Britain with her or his driving license?

An Au Pair which owns a driving licence surely is a big plus.

You do not have to expect administrative problems as long as your Au Pair was born in the European Union and passed its driving licence in a country belonging to the EU.

A driving licence issued in an European Country or ESTA state is usually valid in every country belonging to one of these Unions. In the UK as well as in other countries, people from the age of seventeen are allowed to drive a car on British streets (at the age of seventeen only with the assistance of a “guardian” or people older than eighteen who can drive on their own).

As your future Au Pair surely will have to get used to the left side traffic and other differences like the steering wheel on the right side of the car, we advise you to help her/him practice a bit before you allow them to drive on their own. If the Au Pair prefers proper driving lessons with an instructor, you should invest into this peace of mind question.

If your prospective Au Pair passed his/her driving licence in a country which does not belong to the European Union or ESTA state, he/she has the right to use this driving licence as well as her/his international driving licence for twelve month.

After this period of one year, people from Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe can exchange their licence for a British driving licence, as long as they are residents of Great Britain.

For those who come from a non-European country or are not part of a ESTA state, they need to apply for a provisional GB licence, in case he/she wants to stay longer than twelve month. Those who want to pass the driving licence in the UK, the government demands a theoretical and practical driver test. Only after he/she successfully passed the test, the Au Pair is allowed to drive on British streets.

Once again we need to point out, that according to the ongoing Brexit, several administrative requirements for Au Pairs might change within the next few years. Incoming Au Pairs (until 2019) will not be affected by possible new regulations.  

We have a mortgage on our property. Do we need to inform the bank?

Some mortgage provider ask in the application to provide details of who lives in the property. We recommend to check your mortgage contract and maybe call the mortgage provider. You can always explain that this is a temporary solution because unfortunately you never know if the Au Pair arrangement works out and you may end up having had quite some hassle with the mortgage provider to find out after a few weeks or month, that the Au Pair arrangement simply doesn’t work for you. And then you will need to contact the mortgage provider again…

Does our children’s school need any documents from the new Au Pair?

As far as we know, it is only necessary to indicate to the school the name and telephone number of the new Au Pair so that she can drop-off and pick-up the children. We do also always introduce our Au Pairs to the children’s teachers so that they know each other.

Please also check with your children’s school about Au Pairs as child carers. The school might want to have information about whom to call first in case something is wrong with one of your children.


Please also check our page about the first things to do, if you are interested.

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