Moving your nanny back to the UK

Mar 01, 2023
Moving your nanny back

After finding a reliable housekeeper, maid, or nanny in Dubai, it’s very likely that you would also want them to come with you if you moved.

With around 240,000 British expats estimated to be currently living in the UAE, many have become accustomed to full-time or live-in maids, nannies and other domestic workers.

Although a simple visa process in the UAE through private and company sponsorships, in the UK the process is far more difficult.

If you are looking to make the move back to the UK, the logistics of you being able to bring your nanny or maid on a permanent long-term basis are difficult.

However, there are two main options you can choose from that allow you to bring your worker with you into the country.


The first, is the UK Overseas Domestic Worker Visa, which has lesser requirements, but only lasts for a maximum of six months and cannot be extended.

Although not a long-term option and designed only for a short-term visit back to the UK, the domestic visa should allow your worker to enter the country and continue to work for you, although some things will change.

Your worker will be eligible for the visa if:

  • -          They are aged 19 or older.
  • -          They live outside the UK.
  • -          They are a domestic worker in a private household.
  • -          They have worked for their employer for at least one year.
  • -          They are travelling to the UK with their employer, their partner, or children.
  • -          They have the intent to work as a full-time domestic worker in the household they will live in
  • -          They leave at the end of six months.
  • -          They can support themselves in the UK without public funds.

You as the employer must:

  • -          Be a British citizen who usually lives outside the UK and does not intend to remain there for more than six months
  • -          Or, be a foreign citizen who is coming to the UK on a visit and does not intend to remain there for more than six     months.

It should also be noted that you CANNOT apply for the domestic worker visa on arrival in the UK, it must be done outside of the country and can take some time to process. You can apply for the visa up to three months before your date of travel, with the UK Government stating you should get a decision within three weeks from your date of application.

Costing £531 for the application, you as the employer will also need to provide, along with other documents, two copies of a signed contract for when in the UK between yourself and your worker.

While in the UK, you will need to ensure that your contract adheres to the law there, meaning they must receive national minimum wage. In addition, the contract must mention their job title and duties, place and hours of work, their pay rate, rights to statutory sick pay if they qualify and their minimum paid holiday/notice period.

This contract is extremely important, as the signed agreement protects you and the worker from modern slavery/human trafficking, and if not done properly you could be at risk of rejection. You can find the government template here.

At the end of the six months, or when the employer leaves the UK, whichever comes first, the domestic worker must also leave the country.

The domestic worker visa, as mentioned, cannot be extended beyond the six-month period, but it can be used in the future again by the same worker. However, the rules around this could see the worker’s application rejected if it appears they are making ‘frequent and successive’ visits to the UK.