Bringing Your Nanny to the UK: Navigating the Options

Category: Domestic workers - Created at: 2024-02-28 08:40:10

Bringing Your Nanny to the UK: Navigating the Options

If you're moving back to the UK from Dubai and wish to bring your nanny with you, navigating the visa process can be a challenge. While a simple system exists in the UAE through private sponsorships, the UK offers limited options for long-term domestic worker visas. Here's an overview of your two main choices:

1. Overseas Domestic Worker Visa (ODW Visa):


  • Allows your nanny to enter and work for you in the UK for six months.
  • No extension possible.
  • Relatively simpler application process compared to the Skilled Worker Visa.


  • Short duration, not suitable for long-term needs.
  • Requires both you and the nanny to fulfill specific criteria:
    • Nanny:
      • Over 19 years old.
      • Living outside the UK.
      • Worked for you as a domestic worker in a private household for at least one year.
      • Traveling to the UK with you, your partner, or children.
      • Intends to work full-time in your household.
      • Leaving the UK after six months.
      • Financially self-sufficient in the UK.
    • You:
      • British citizen residing outside the UK for less than six months, or
      • Foreign citizen visiting the UK for less than six months.

Application Process:

  • Apply outside the UK at least three months before travel.
  • Costs £531 and requires a signed contract outlining responsibilities and adhering to UK minimum wage regulations.
  • The contract also serves as protection against modern slavery/human trafficking allegations.

2. Skilled Worker Visa:


  • Allows longer stay and potential for extension, even leading to permanent residency after five years.


  • Significantly stricter criteria for both you and the nanny.
  • Not all domestic worker categories are eligible.
  • Requires you to hold a sponsor license, which most individuals won't have.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Nanny:
    • Job category needs to be included in the eligible list (mainly nannies and childcare workers).
    • Minimum salary of £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour.
    • English language proficiency at CEFR level B1 or higher.
    • £1,720 financial self-sufficiency proof for at least 28 days.
  • You:
    • Valid sponsor license.

Important Note: Switching from ODW Visa to Skilled Worker Visa while in the UK is not possible. Both applications must be made outside the country.

Changes in Regulations:

These limited options stem from stricter visa regulations implemented in the UK over a decade ago. Prior to 2012, domestic workers with visas could extend, settle permanently, and bring their families. Those who applied for visas before the change can still access those benefits.


Bringing your nanny to the UK requires careful planning and adherence to specific regulations. Understanding the limitations of the ODW Visa and the complexity of the Skilled Worker Visa will help you make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.