The Uncertain Future of EU Au Pairs in Britain
Newsletter to Host Families:
We would like to update you regarding the status of European au pairs within the context of the new immigration rules coming into force on 1st Jan 2021.
AU PAIRS ARRIVING BEFORE 1st JAN 2021
At the moment, au pairs travelling to the UK from now till 31st Dec 2020 will be fine. So for those who have confirmed matches, you’re all safe and this is still going ahead. Au pairs for this period will need to apply for Pre Settled Status (Pre Settled Status). We will help and support all our matches through the application process once they arrive and have prepared step by step guidance for this.
Everyone from this period can stay for up to 5 years. We will ask all au pairs whose placement will continue into 2021, to apply for the pre-settled status, though even without it, they can in principle stay until the 30th of June 2021.
AU PAIRS ARRIVING AFTER 1ST JAN 2021
If a family confirms a match from Europe from Jan 2021 for 6 months, it is our understanding that they will be allowed to stay till 30th June 2021 (assuming arrival date is 1st Jan 2021).
It is important to note that this is interpreted from current publicly available information. It is likely to be subject to some tweaks when the system is rolled out but this is the clearest indication we have seen to date of the policy from 1st Jan 2021.
BAPAA are in the process of communicating with the Home Office and the Department for Future Borders and Immigration to establish how we may ensure the best outcome for the UK Au Pair Programme once freedom of movement for EU nationals end. There is currently not a specific category for au pairs.
The current policy would allow for the continuation of the programme via the Youth Mobility Scheme. However, this is not sufficiently large nor covers European countries at present. One solution we are actively pursuing is to expand on the number of places and the countries included in this scheme. For information on your current scheme, please click here: Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme.
Correspondence from Kevin Foster, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration today would imply they are looking to expand the number of partnerships to include countries within the EU. This is positive news indeed.
FUTURE OF AU PAIR PROGRAMME IN THE UK FOR EU NATIONALS
Smartaupairs has placed Australian, New Zealand and Canadian au pairs for years under the tier 5 YMS visa and continue to do so in 2021. We know the system well and we also know the high application cost that comes with it..
Sadly, the future for the EU nationals is less certain.
If all candidates need to apply through Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, it will be expensive and has a capped quota. They would be required to apply online prior to arrival, have to pay a 2 year NHS surcharge (£600) and have to show they have £1890 savings. This will be an initial outlay of nearly £3000 for each candidate. This is clearly unaffordable for most candidates.
This could potentially mean an abrupt end to the wonderful cultural exchange programme with European nationalities which has existed for nearly 50 years.
To make sure we are heard and not forgotten, we have launched our SAVE AU PAIRS CAMPAIGN to draw attention to our plight.
We would be so grateful if you can sign and circulate this to all your friends and families.