Your rights and entitlements in the UK as an Overseas Domestic Worker will depend on when you visa to come to the UK was issued.
The rules regarding the Overseas Domestic Worker visa changed on 6th April 2012. Please find the information that is relevant to you in one of the sections below.
If you are not sure about the date of issue of your visa to enter the UK, or have any other questions on your rights in the UK, please contact Kalayaan to arrange an appointment to register with us. Our services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.
Visa issued prior to 6 April 2012 - Introduction
If you entered the UK on an Overseas Domestic Worker visa that was issued prior to 6 April 2012, you can apply to renew your visa annually as long as you continue to fulfil the criteria for extending your visa. If your application is successful, you will be granted an extension of stay for a period not exceeding 12 months.
Visa issued prior to 6 April 2012 - Extending your visa
The requirements for an extension of stay in this category can be found at paragraph 159EA of the Immigration Rules, which you can find below.
In order to be able to renew your visa you must have 1 Full time job (= 30 hrs per week) as a domestic worker in a private household.
VISA RENEWAL APPLICATIONS WILL BE REFUSED BY THE HOME OFFICE IF YOUR SALARY DOES NOT MEET THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE.
ALL CLIENTS ARE ADVISED THAT THE HOME OFFICE REQUIRES EMPLOYERS TO COMPLY WITH UK EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION:
FROM 1ST APRIL 2016,
IF YOU ARE OVER 25:
YOU MUST BE PAID THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE: £7.20 gross per hour
IF YOU ARE OVER 21 (BUT UNDER 25):
YOU MUST BE PAID THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE: £6.95 gross per hour
If you are living-in with your employer, your employer can deduct from your gross salary a maximum of £42 per week for accommodation.
If you wish to extend your visa, you will need to use a form which is now called FLR(IR).
NOTE: Please check on the UKVI website that you have the most up to date version of the form as they often change.
List of documents for FLR(IR) application – Domestic Worker visa renewal
- Application form FLR (IR). Check you have the latest version of the form. Available from https://www.gov.uk/government or Kalayaan (£2.00)
- 2 Passport photographs of yourself. Remember to write your full name clearly on the back of each passport photograph.
- Your passport(s) with valid visa, or proof of entry clearance and explanatory letter. If you have a biometric visa card, you will need to send this too.
- Your last 3 months bank statements or payslips. If you do not have these you will need to obtain a letter from Kalayaan to explain why you do not have any of these.
- Certified photocopy of your employer’s passport. Your employer should take the passport and a photocopy to a solicitor or to a main Post Office, who can verify that the photocopy is legitimate. They will put a stamp on it. It should cost around £9.
- Proof of address for your employer. This can be a utility/council tax bill/bank statement with your employer’s name and address on it, that is less than 3 months old.
- Contract of employment: please use Appendix 7 of the Immigration Rules. Please contact Kalayaan for further information or you can print out a template from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-7-overseas-workers-in-private-households
- Letter from your employer confirming
- that you are employed by them as a full time (live-in or live-out) domestic worker in their private household;
- that your employer would like to continue employing you for the foreseeable future;
- that your employer will pay you according to UK employment legislation regarding the National Minimum Wage; and
- that your employer will provide your food and accommodation (if that is the case)
- Home Office application fee: you can apply either by post (use special recorded delivery) or in person (you must make a premium appointment by booking online) http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/applyinginperson/book-appointment/
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) reference number. If you are renewing your visa on or after 6th April 2015, you will need to pay £200 to access the NHS. Please log onto https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/pay to register and pay this charge. You will then be e-mailed an IHS reference number.
If you have changed employer since you renewed your last visa, you should include a letter explaining this, and giving the details of both your current and old employer and the reasons why you changed (see Changing your employer session)
The application must be sent to the Home Office before the visa expiry date
You can send your completed application up to one month before your permission to stay in the UK ends.
Kalayaan offers a FREE form and document checking service for workers wishing to extend their visa. Please call us to arrange an appointment, and in good time before your visa expires.
Paragraph 159EA of the Immigration Rules
159EA. The requirements for an extension of stay as a domestic worker in a private household for applicants who entered the United Kingdom under Rules in place before 6 April 2012 are that the applicant:
(i)last entered the UK with a valid entry clearance as a domestic worker in a private household under Rules in place before 6 April 2012; and
(ii)has continued to be employed for the duration of leave granted as a domestic worker in a private household; and
(iii)continues to be required for employment for the period of the extension sought as a domestic worker for at least 30 hours per week in a private household under the same roof as the employer or in the same household that the employer has lived in and where evidence of this in the form of written terms and conditions of employment in the UK as set out in Appendix 7 and evidence that the employer resides in the UK; and
(iii)(a) satisfies the Secretary of State that throughout their employment in the UK, the employer intends to pay them at least the National Minimum Wage rate to which they are entitled by the law in force at the relevant time; and
(iii)(b) provides a written and signed statement from the employer confirming that the applicant is an employee and the work that will be carried by the applicant will not constitute work within the meaning of paragraph 57 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (as amended from time to time); and
(iv)does not intend to take employment except as a full time domestic worker in the private household referred to in sub-paragraph 159EA (iii); and
(v)meets the requirements of paragraph 159A (i) and (vii); and
(vi)must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded.
Visa issued prior to 6 April 2012 - Changing your employer
If you have a valid visa and you entered the UK on a visa issued prior to 6 April 2012, you are permitted to change employers. You must notify the Home Office of your change of employer and of your new address. You will need to provide the following information:
your full name
your date of birth
your passport number
your biometric residence permit number
where and when your entry clearance (your visa to enter the UK) was issued
expiry date of your current visa
name and address of your old employer (the employer for whom you were working when your current visa was issued)
name and address of your new employer
start date of the new employment
reason for changing employer
If you need assistance with writing this letter, please contact Kalayaan to arrange an appointment.
Please contact Kalayaan to arrange an appointment for assistance with this.
Visa issued prior to 6 April 2012 - Applying for settlement in the UK
You are entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after you have worked continuously in the UK as a domestic worker for 5 years. You are not allowed to have absences from the UK of more than 180 days in any 12 month period. Before you apply for settlement, you need to have passed the Life in the UK test and demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language.
The requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a domestic worker can be found at paragraph 159G of the Immigration Rules, which you can find for reference at the bottom of this page.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: THE HOME OFFICE REQUIRES EMPLOYERS TO COMPLY WITH UK EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION:
FROM 1ST APRIL 16,
IF YOU ARE OVER 25:
YOU MUST BE PAID THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE: £7.20 gross per hour
IF YOU ARE OVER 21 (BUT UNDER 25):
YOU MUST BE PAID THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE: £6.70 gross per hour
IF YOU DO NOT EARN THIS AMOUNT THERE IS A HIGH RISK THAT YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE REJECTED
LIST OF DOCUMENTS
- Application form SET (O) – Please ensure you have the latest version which can be downloaded from the Home Office website or collected from Kalayaan for £2. These forms change regularly. Please check that you have the up-to-date version just before sending your application.
- 2 passport sized photographs in the approved format. Please write your name on the back of each photo.
- All passports held during entry and stay in the UK. If you do not have these, you must explain why in a cover letter.
- Your biometric residence permit
- 3 months’ bank statements or payslips. If you do not have these you will need to obtain a letter from Kalayaan to explain why you do not have any of these
- Change of employer letter if you have changed jobs since your last visa was granted
- Evidence of employment in the previous 5 years. This can be any contracts, letters, bank accounts, payslips or tax documents evidencing that you have been working as a domestic worker in a private household for 5 years
- Full contract of employment from your employer which must be signed by both parties
- Supporting letter from your current employer. This must confirm your job title, when the job started, that the job is permanent and continuing for the future and that your salary complies with UK Legislation on the National Living Wage if you are over 25 years old or the National Minimum Wage if you are 21-24. If you are living in with your employer and they are responsible for all your food, accommodation and other living costs free of charge, please ask them to confirm this in the letter
- Letter(s) from your authorised employers over the five years explaining any absences you have had from the UK and the reasons for these.
- Life in the UK test pass letter
- English language qualification certificate awarded exclusively by one of the following bodies from the Secure English Language Test (SELT) list.
- These are either:
- -a Graded Examination in Spoken English (GESE) at Grade 5 awarded by Trinity College
- -a B1 or above Speaking and Listening qualification awarded by the IELTS SELT Consortium
- Home Office application fee. You can make this application by post or by premium service. You need to book an appointment for the premium service which can be done by logging onto (https://www.gov.uk/ukvi-premium-service-centres/book-an-appointment)
Kalayaan offers a FREE form and document checking service for workers wishing to apply for settlement. Please call us to arrange an appointment.
Paragraph 159G of the Immigration Rules
159G. The requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a domestic worker in a private household are that the applicant:
(i) entered the United Kingdom with a valid entry clearance as a domestic worker in a private household under the Rules in place before 6 April 2012; and
(ii) has spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the United Kingdom employed in this capacity; and
(iii) has met the requirements of paragraph 159A (vi) and (vii) throughout the 5 year period; and
(iv) continues to be required for employment as a domestic worker in a private household as certified by the current employer; and
(v) has demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Appendix KoLL;and
(vi) does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal; and
(vii) must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded; and
(viii) provides the specified documents in paragraph 159G-SD to evidence the reason for the absences set out in paragraph 128A.
Visa issued after 6 April 2012
If you hold an Overseas Domestic Worker visa issued after 6 April 2012, you cannot extend your visa.
If your visa was issued after 6 April 2012 and it has now expired, you have overstayed your visa. Please contact Kalayaan for CONFIDENTIAL advice on your situation.
On 6 April 2016, the government made some changes to this visa.
If your visa was issued after 6 April 2016 and it is still valid, you have the right to change employer and continue to work for so long as your visa is valid. You will not need to show that you have been the victim of any abuse; you can simply decide to go and work for someone else. You will need to work for one employer, for a minimum of 30 hours per week, in one private household. You will not, however, be able to renew or extend your visa.
Can I apply for my spouse or dependent children to join me?
As a domestic worker on a visa issued before April 2012, you can apply to bring your spouse or any dependent children (under 18) to join you in the UK for the time you have on your visa. However, they must be able to support and accommodate themselves without the need for any public funds.
If your visa was issued after April 2012, you cannot bring your spouse or dependent children.
If you already have indefinite leave to remain then the rules regarding bringing your husband and/or children to the UK changed on 9 July 2012 and you will now need to show a minimum income.
Can my employer keep my passport?
No. Your passport is proof that you have permission to stay in the UK. It is important that you keep this safe. Your employer should not keep it for you. If your employer is keeping your passport and refuses to return it to you, please contact Kalayaan for further advice.
Can I change my visa type?
You cannot change your visa from a domestic worker visa to any other type of visa or work permit.
If you are in the UK on another visa, for example, a visitor visa, you cannot apply for a domestic worker visa.
How are the rules different for Domestic Workers on diplomatic visas?
this page is being updated – please check again in a few days