Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Au pairs can’t come in on visit visas


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Changes to Home Office guidance on issuing visit visas confirm that:

  • Visitors are not allowed to act as au pairs (page 29)
  • Jobseeking and job interviews are allowed on a visit visa, so long as they are the kinds of jobs you can ultimately be sponsored for; low-skilled jobseeking will be a red flag to border officers (page 31)
  • Installation, repair and servicing work under Rule PA 7 lasting more than one month, and certainly more than 90 days, will be a red flag too (page 32)

Also, there now seems to be a presumption in favour of granting long-term, multiple-entry visit visas. Previously there was guidance for decision-makers on factors that “must satisfy you that they have a genuine intention to visit on a regular basis”. Now page 43 just says:

You can issue a shorter duration visa if the applicant meets the Visitor rules relevant to their visit but you have concerns about issuing a long term visit visa. Entry Clearance officers must obtain the authority of the Entry Clearance Manager before issuing a visit visa of shorter duration than that applied for.

The bit on changes from the last version of the guidance says that there has also been “Clarification of the scope of activities permitted under the Permitted Paid Engagement visitor route”, but it is not immediately obvious what has changed here.


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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.