Au Pairs: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 1st July 2021.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to bring forward proposals to enable au pairs from the EU to live and work in the UK via the youth mobility visa scheme.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

As has been the case since 2008, successive governments have decided the UK’s immigration system will not offer a dedicated visa route for au pairs. Au pairs are typically young, far from home and reliant upon their host family for accommodation and living costs, consequently a visa which is linked to one type of employment or employer and restricts their ability to seek work more generally may render them vulnerable to exploitation.

While we have not commenced formal discussions with any EU Member State, we remain open to negotiating Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) arrangements with other countries but they must be reciprocal as the YMS is not simply a one way route to recruiting cheap labour overseas.

Those who have employed an au pair can either look to offer a package which makes it attractive to those arriving in the UK with general rights to work or use the wide range of childcare options in the UK relied upon by most families.

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