Who are Migrant Domestic Workers?
Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) are a particular group of non-EU migrants who enter this country accompanying a specific employer to undertake a range of different activities within a private household ranging from housekeeping to care work, and other tasks.
The Domestic Worker Visa
The domestic worker visa allows these migrants to apply to renew their visa every year and change employer, as long as they continue to work within a private household. They may apply to settle in the UK after five years of full-time continuous employment, in addition to passing an exam to show knowledge of citizenship and English.
According to Home Office figures, over 85,000 people entered the UK on a domestic worker visa between 2002 and 2006. Around six per cent have remained in the UK for longer than a year. These workers come from a variety of developing countries, such as India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, whilst their employers are mainly Middle Eastern, Indian, or British.