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European nationals and domestic workers

These groups of people have extra things to consider when looking at their rights to stay.

European nationals

If an individual is from one of these countries then they are have European free movement rights in the UK:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

European nationals who are victims of modern slavery can also be granted a residence permit if they can argue that they would not be able to use their European rights of free movement (i.e. unable to work, be self-employed, be self-sufficient, or study). For example, they might have language difficulties or health and support needs that could mean that they are not able to find stable, long term work at the moment. If the victim has a residence permit they will not be subject to the Genuine Prospects of Work test, which is to do with benefits, when someone has been out of work for a certain period of time. If a person does not pass this test their benefits can be stopped which is very stressful and can put victims in danger. There may be a risk of re-exploitation if the victim is not able to secure access to a source of financial support and safe housing. It is important that such an individual argues their right to a residence permit early (while they are still in the NRM) and gives any supporting evidence they can find for the application. If they were not given a residence permit but have been recognised as a victim of modern slavery they can still make an application to the Home Office for leave if they need a residence permit later.

European nationals can get permanent residence (like indefinite leave to remain) in the UK if they can show they have been in the UK for five years as a jobseeker, worker, self-employed or self-sufficient person, or as a self-sufficient student. European nationals can argue that time spent in exploitation (for example, when they were made to work by their trafficker) counts towards the time they need to show they have a right of permanent residence in the UK. If they are accepted as a victim of modern slavery they can refer to the notes and decisions about them from the NRM in any European application, to show their history as a worker has already been accepted by the Home Office.

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Domestic workers

Domestic workers come into the UK on the Overseas Domestic Worker (ODW) visa or on a diplomatic visa under Tier 5 of the immigration rules. From 6 April 2012, a domestic worker can remain in the UK for no more than six months and a diplomatic domestic worker can remain in the UK in this role no more than five years.

From 6 April 2012 domestic workers cannot apply for settlement. Anyone who can show they were on these visas before April 2012 may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after completing five years in the UK in this category (and meeting the other parts of the rules).

Domestic workers that were here before 6 April 2012 can now change employer. Diplomatic domestic workers who came after 6 April 2012 can work for a new employer for the term of their entire visa. Domestic workers who came in to work in a private household can change employer for 6 months less the time they have been in the UK.

For victims of modern slavery

Someone who might be a victim of modern slavery can be referred into the NRM. If they have a valid visa at the point when they get a reasonable grounds decision their visa will be extended (so they can carry on working as a domestic worker) until 28 days after they are sent a conclusive grounds decision.

If a domestic worker is found to be a victim of modern slavery (gets a positive conclusive grounds decision) they can apply for leave to remain for up to two years to work as a domestic worker in the UK. They do not have to show they have a job at the point when they apply but they do have to show they can financially support and accommodate themselves without using public funds. If the visa is granted they will only be allowed to work as a domestic worker and will not be allowed to access public funds.

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