BAPAA (the British Au Pair Agencies’ Association) are calling for Au Pairs to be given their own migration status (a special visa) as they do not fall into the usual categories such as education or employment. They have always in the past been considered a programme with special needs.
The Au Pair cultural exchange programme provides the most affordable and flexible childcare option for many families in the UK. It is vital for many working families. For the Au Pair it offers a unique opportunity to improve their English, attend language school and experience life within a British family. Au Pairs join a family for a year or so and help them with childcare and basic household duties for around 30 hours a week. They receive pocket money of £80-100 per week.
Before Britain joined the EU the Au Programme had special rights and applicants could come from certain countries for a fixed duration of up to two years. This was replaced with the EU’s freedom of movement. Post Brexit they will need a way of being able to come to the UK, stay for their agreed placement time and then go home again. However to date there appears to be no recognition of the special needs of this group in the UK proposals for migration control after Brexit.
Given the many families who rely on au pairs we cannot understand why the industry has been ignored.
BAPAA have launched a petition to Theresa May asking her to reassure us that this Programme will continue and allow Au Pairs to freely travel to the UK.
Please sign and share this with your colleagues, your family and your friends. We really need you to support us.