Back To School Blues: Can I Keep MY EU National Au Pair After Brexit?

Author:Ms Louise Haycock
Profession:Fragomen
 
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Childcare. It can be a headache, can't it? As a mother, I get it. As an immigration lawyer, I also understand the importance of compliance.

I have lost count of the number of clients, friends, friends of friends and long-lost acquaintances who dropped me a line over the years to ask whether they could extend their wonderful nanny's or au pair's visa. I understood the heartache when I said that the individual to whom they had entrusted their children, invited into their home and welcomed into their family would have to return overseas because their visa required it. And this was the case well before Brexit.

When the referendum result came through, I knew that recruiting for the childcare profession would become more difficult. My walk to the nursery is a constant reminder that so many families rely on EU nationals to look after their children and, therefore, have benefitted from free movement, which has allowed EU nationals to work in the UK without restriction.

When Brexit happens and the free movement ends, all of this will become more difficult. As if organising payroll, PAYE and a pension wasn't enough, in the future, we will also have immigration rules to understand in addition to an ever-changing political agenda—enough of a challenge for big businesses to interpret, never mind a working family.

But let's be constructive. What do you need to know if an EU national cares for your children?

If you have an EU national taking care of your children (this could equally be an elderly dependant, house or pet) that you directly employ as an employee, you can continue to employ that person without any further checks. Any EU national that arrives on or before 31 October 2019 (31 December 2020 in a deal), can stay and work in the UK but should apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before 31 December 2020 (30 June 2021 in a deal). This is the UK's online application procedure where the identity of the applicant is usually verified through an app (currently only available on android devices), followed by the submission of an online form and it is actually...

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