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Au Pair Visas

Au Pair Programs and Visa Information


Au Pair in Australia

Australia does not have an official au pair program, however the Working Holiday Program provides opportunities for people between 18 and 30 from some countries (see below) to holiday in Australia and to supplement their travel funds through incidental employment.

The visa allows a stay of up to 12 months from the date of first entry to Australia, regardless of whether or not you spend the whole time in Australia. Click to apply for a visa online.

You are allowed to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature, but work for more than three months with any one employer is not permitted.

In order to go to Australia under the Working Holiday Program, an au pair must be a national of one of the following countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan

Nationals of New Zealand do not need a work permit to work in Australia. US citizens can apply for a "416" visa through BUNAC that will allow them to work in Australia for four months.

Australia is negotiating working holiday maker arrangements with a number of additional countries. Click for recent updates at the Department of Immigration.

Position details vary depending on the needs of individual families; the norm for work hours is a range of 20-40 hours per week, usually with two days off per week. Usual salary range is approximately Aus $150 to $200 per week.


Au Pair in Austria

Recently, Austria has relaxed its policy for au pairs from outside the EEA*. In the past, it was impossible for au pairs from outside the EEA to work in Austria. However, since April 1, 2001, au pairs from non-EEA countries, including the U.S., may come to Austria as an au pair provided they receive the necessary visas.

Under the new rules, the host family is required to submit a formal notification of employment (Anzeige) in advance to the regional office of the Austrian labor authorities (Arbeitsmarktservice/AMS). Arrangements can be made through an agency authorized to sponsor au pairs, such as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Auslands-Sozialdienst (Tel: +43-1-512 7941, Fax: +43-1- 513 9460) or, in the case of private arrangements, information and forms may be accessed directly through the AMS homepage. Upon submission of the request, the labour authorities will issue a confirmation authorising the employment and a contract of employment which will contain the general conditions of employment (such as salary and hrs to be worked per week).

Once this procedure is complete, an au pair can apply for an Austrian residence permit which is valid for a maximum of 12 months and is required to be renewed after 6 months. Note that this permit can only be applied for outside of Austria at an Austrian Embassy or Consulate.

*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.


Au Pair in Belgium

For an au pair to work in Belgium the host family wishing to put to work a foreign au-pair must apply for employment authorisation and a work permit B to the immigration service. The application forms must contain a medical certificate and an employment agreement. After approval by the immigration services the work permit is issued to the host family and is passed onto the au pair.

In order for the immigration services to agree to issue the work permit, the au pair and family need to respect various conditions, outlined below.

General Conditions

1. The duration of the stay is 12 months

2. Au pair must obtain her work permit while she is in her country. When the work permit is ready it is sent to the au pair and a few other documents she can obtain her visa at the Embassy.

3. The ministry advises the work permit will be given within 4 weeks after introduction of the file.

4. If the au pair is not happy in a family, she can only change to another family one time.

5. In the event the au pair changes to another family, the duration can never go over 12 months total, so if the au pair stayed for 2 months with the first family, she could only stay for 10 months with the second family.

6. A temporary residence of 3 months will be issued at the Consulate, which will be extended after registration of the au pair in Belgium. The au pair must register at the Belgian Community within 8 days of arrival and apply for a foreign identity card.

General Conditions for the Au Pair

1. Au pair must be between 18 and 26 years of age, with an additional condition that the au pair receives her work permit before being 26.

2. Au pair is not allowed to take any other work in Belgium than that of au pair.

3. Au pair must have finished secondary school. In case the au pair applies before obtaining her diploma, a certificate of the school, stating she finishes her last year of secondary school is sufficient.

4. Au pair must have a basic knowledge of at least one of the national languages, which means French, Dutch or German. The language she has a basic knowledge of must be the language she wants to perform. It will also be the language, spoken in the family. If she speaks some French, she will go to a family where French is spoken and that will also be the language of the courses she will follow.

5. Au pair must attend language courses regularly. The school attended by the au pair must provide a 3-month certificate, proving the au pair completed the courses.

6. Au pair can not have previously obtained a work permit of any kind for Belgium.

General Conditions for the Family

1. Family must assure that the au pair has a well accommodated, private bedroom.

2. Family must speak the language that the girl wishes to learn and correct her when she makes mistakes.

3. Families must provide insurance for the au pair throughout the entire duration of the stay. Insurance must cover illness, hospitalization and accidents.

4. Family must provide one day off per week, minimum, and one full week-end off per month.


Au Pair in Canada

Canada does not offer an official au pair program, however, youth between 18 and 30 may qualify for a working holiday Visa or student work program from some commonwealth countries.

Canada also has a Live in Caregiver Visa open to caregivers who are age 19 and above. There is no age limit on this visa program. This visa allows foreign employees to enter Canada as a caregiver. Successful applicants receive an employment authorization allowing them to work in Canada as live-in caregivers. After two years of employment, program participants can apply in Canada to become permanent residents; they may be granted permanent resident status provided they meet certain requirements. Note: the two years of employment must be completed within four years of the caregiver's arrival in Canada.

If you are hiring a caregiver who is already in Canada and has a valid work permit, contact the HRSDC/SC Live-in Caregiver Call Centre at 1-877-227-4577 to apply for a new work permit naming you as the employer.

Student / Youth Working Holiday Programs:

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and you are searching for overseas travel opportunities that will allow you the flexibility to work on short term contracts, visit the International Youth Programs page.

Canada has a variety of Student Youth Programs available to most Common Wealth nationals including: Australia, New Zealand, The UK, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/index.asp These programs are often run through partners with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Some youth who are Common Wealth citizens may be able to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada directly for a Working Holiday Visa. Please contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca

Live in Caregiver Visa:

The Live-in Caregiver Program allows workers to go to Canada for live-in work as caregivers when there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. A "live-in caregiver" is someone who provides unsupervised care of children, the elderly, or the disabled in a private household.

Please check with the Canadian Embassy in your country to determine the processing time for a live in caregiver visa. Expect normal processing times from 6-24 months. Filipino nationals wanting to immigrate to Canada should expect a longer than normal visa processing time. The CIC site has links to find out how long it is currently taking for applications processed in Canada, and applications processed outside of Canada.

You can learn about Canada’s Live in Caregiver Visa at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/caregiver/index.asp

Effective April 1, 2010, Live-in Caregiver Program have four years from their date of arrival in Canada to complete the employment requirement to be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Program.

There are four main requirements applicants must meet to qualify under the Live-in Caregiver Program:

1. Applicants must have successfully completed the equivalent of a Canadian high school education. This requirement will help to ensure that if you apply for permanent residence after two years as a live-in caregiver, you will be able to succeed in the general labour market. Studies indicate that the majority of new jobs in Canada require at least a high school education.

2. Applicants must have six months of full-time training in a classroom setting or twelve months of full-time paid employment, including at least six months of continuous employment with one employer in a field or occupation related to the job you are seeking as a live-in caregiver. You may have gained your training or experience in areas such as early childhood education, geriatric care, pediatric nursing or first aid. You may also have completed your training as part of your formal education. This experience must have been obtained within the three years immediately prior to the day on which you submit an application for a work permit.

3. Applicants must be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows you to function independently in a home setting. For example, you must be able to contact emergency services if required and to understand labels on medication. You will be unsupervised for most of the day and may be required to communicate with someone outside the home. A good knowledge of English or French will also enable you to read and understand your rights and obligations.

4. Applicants must have a written employment contract between you and your future employer. The contract defines your job duties, hours of work, salary and benefits. The contract also reinforces your employer’s legal responsibilities to you. This requirement helps provide a fair working arrangement between the caregiver and the employer and provides both parties with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.


Au Pair in Denmark

Au-pairs can come from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and from any EU country. Au-pairs of other nationalities need to obtain a residence permit.

In order to obtain a residence permit as an Au-pair, it is mandatory for the applicant to meet certain mandatory language and cultural standards in order to reap full benefits from an Au-pair stay in Denmark. This means that the applicant should be able to speak and understand a reasonable level of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German. In addition, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

1. The Au-pair must be between 17 and 29 years of age.

2. A written contract must be drafted between the host family and the Au-pair (and the Au-pair's parents, if the applicant is under 18). The Danish Immigration Service has drafted a standard contract which must be used.

3. The Au-pair must receive at least DKK 2,500 per month in pocket money from the host family.

4. The Au-pair must receive free food and lodging in the host family's home.

5. As a rule, the Au-pair's daily working hours must not exceed 5 hours and the weekly working hours not exceed 30 hours, and the Au-pair must have at least one day off per week.

6. There must be at least one underage child living in the home of the host family, and the Au-pair must be able to assume a familiar status within the family.

7. As a rule, at least one of the parents in the host family must be a Danish citizen.

Special rules for Au-pairs applying for residence permits

An Au-pair is eligible for a residence permit, but not a work permit, as tasks the Au-pair undertakes for a host family are not formally regarded as work. An Au-pair may not seek paid or unpaid work in addition to those tasks set by the host family.

However, an Au-pair job is nevertheless regarded as involving an employer/employee relationship, and is therefore subject to Danish labour vacation legislation as well as Danish tax laws. The municipal tax office in the host family's local municipality can answer any questions regarding taxation. Questions regarding vacation laws should be directed to Feriekontoret (the Vacation Office?), Finsensvej 78, 2000 Frederiksberg, tel. 38 14 84 84 (telephone service hours: Monday-Thursday 12-15, Friday 12-14).

How long are residence permits issued for?

An Au-pair is eligible for a residence permit for a maximum of one year at a time, and never longer than the duration of the Au-pair contract. The residence permit can be extended to a maximum of two years.

If an Au-pair applies for an extension of his or her residence permit, he or she is permitted to continue residing as an Au-pair during the Danish Immigration Service's examination of the application, provided this work continues under the same conditions and with the same host family. The contract between the Au-pair and the host family must also be extended and submitted together with the application. An Au-pair may not begin working with a new host family until the Danish Immigration Service has granted permission.

Can family accompany the applicant?

An Au-pair does not have an automatic right to bring his or her family to Denmark. Only in extreme extenuating circumstances can the Danish Immigration Service grant a residence permit to a spouse, cohabiting companion or underage children living at home. The family must be able to support them.

For more information please see the Danish Immigration Service’s pages on Au-pairs and on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s page on being an Au-pair in Denmark.


Au Pair in Finland

Future host families can obtain further information at local authorities, au pairs have the possibility to enquire at the Finnish embassy.

Accepted countries: Finland accepts au pairs from all countries.

Age: An au pair may be between 17 and 30 years old.

Duration of stay: 12 months at the utmost

Purpose of the au pair stay: Au pairs are young people who go to Finland in order to learn the Finnish or Swedish language and get acquainted with the culture by living with a host family, by looking after the family's children and doing light household duties.

Personal Identity Number: Au pairs, who stay in Finland for longer than 6 months need a Finnish Personal Identity Number (henkilötunnus or sosiaaliturvatunnus, personbetecking). This can be applied for at the Local Registration Office (Maistraatti). This number is necessary e.g. for the revenue board.

The Personal Identity Number is also used for identification for doctor visits, at banks etc. It consists of a birth date and a four digit identification number.

Contractual conditions


- Au pair:

The au pair may not be a relative of the host family.

The au pair may not take his/her own children with him/her to Finland.

The au pair must have a interest in the Finnish or Swedish language and culture.

Language skills: Basic knowledge of the Finnish or Swedish language need to be demonstrated or the applicant needs to read Scandinavian Studies with reference to Finnish history, politics and culture and he/she needs to be able to prove this.

- Host family:

The au pair may not be a relative of the host family.

There are no restrictions concerning the number of the family's children or concerning the family members' nationality. Singles, too, may employ an au pair.

Agreement type: There is no standard au pair contract. However, it is advisable to take down the contract in written. For au pairs from non-EU countries a written contract is necessary because it is needed to apply for a residence permit.

In Finland there are no programs like Demi-pair.

Working hours: 30 hours per week at the utmost, not more than 5 hours per day. The au pair lives with the host family as an equal family member. The working hours (i.e. the time which the au pair spends with child care and household tasks) of the au pair may not exceed the working hours of the other family members.

Work contents: The au pair takes part in the host family's normal household tasks. Mostly this means child care and light household duties. Work contents need to be agreed upon by the host family and the au pair.

Pocket money: The au pair's pocket money has to amount to at least € 252 net per month (as of 03/2010). Furthermore the family has to offer board and lodging.The gross salary shall be adapted in such a way that the au pair has € 252 per month after tax for his/her use.The Finnish host family shall enquire at the Finnish revenue board VERO how much salary the au pair should receive to ensure that the au pair receives € 252 net per month.

Period of notice: The period of notice needs to be agreed upon by the two parties and in most cases it is 2 weeks.

Time off: at least 1 whole day per week has to be off. Once a month the au pair should have a Sunday off. Babysitting in the evenings needs to be agreed upon.

Holidays: It is standard practice that the au pair has two days of vacation per month in accordance with the Finnish labour legislation.

Accommodation: The accommodation for the au pair should be similar to the rooms of the other family members. The au pair has to have his/her own room.

Board and lodging: The family has to offer free board and lodging to the au pair.

Language course: The au pair is obliged to take part in a Finnish or Swedish language course during his/her stay to be able to apply for a residence permit. The family has to give the au pair the opportunity to attend a language course. But it is the family's decision whether they pay for it.

Travel costs: Travel costs have to be paid for by the au pair but many families choose to pay a part of these costs. It is also common practice to provide the au pair with a monthly ticket for local public transportation.

Work permit: A work permit (työntekijän oleskelulupa, residence permit for employed persons) is not required in the case of real au pair work - neither for EU citizens nor for non-EU citizens.

Residence permit:

For au pairs from EU and EFTA countries.

For citizens from EU and EFTA countries neither a visa nor a residence permit (oleskelulupa, ordinary residence permit) is required.

If EU or EFTA citizens want to stay in Finland for longer than 3 months, they need to register their stay at the local police.This registration costs € 40. The candidate should also bring along the au pair contract.

Citizens from Denmark, Island, Norway and Sweden do not need to register with the police but with the "Local Register Office" Maistraatti (Magistraterna) under the "Inter-Nordic Migration Form".The same applies to nationals from other countries whose place of residence is in one of the nordic countries.

For au pairs from non-EU/EFTA countries

Au pairs from other countries do not need a visa, but a residence permit. When applying for a residence permit, the candidate needs to prove that he/she has enough financial means to support himself/herself during his/her stay in Finland.

The temporary residence permit has to be applied for at the Finnish embassy or consulate of the au pair's country and the candidate needs to obtain a visa label in his/her passport before traveling to Finland. The application fee has to be paid for by the au pair and cannot be reimbursed, if the final residence permit is not issued. It is issued by the foreigners' registration authority and costs € 175. Since an au pair employment is considered as a cultural exchange by the foreigners' registration authority, it is important not to describe the au pair only as a nanny when applying for a residence permit. It is important to mention within the application in which language course the au pair will take part and when this course will take place because the host family shall offer to the au pair the opportunity of learning the Finnish or Swedish language. The au pair shall be interested in the Finnish culture and in the Finnish or Swedish language before his/her stay and should possibly have learned a little of the language. Also hobbies, studies or other knowledge of the Finnish culture are taken into account when the applicant files the application for a residence permit.

To apply for a residence permit the following documents are required: an application form; the au pair contract in which the working hours, free time, tasks, pocket money, holidays and accomodation are indicated; a declaration that the au pair and the host family are no relatives; a statement why the au pair would like to learn Finnish or Swedish and why he/she would like to get acquainted with the Finnish culture in Finland; the certificate of an enrollment into a Finnish or Swedish language course, its contents and who pays for the language course fees; a certificate presenting the au pair's financial means (e.g. bank statement); a passport photo of the au pair; the au pair's identity card or passport; the au pair's health certificate which may not be older than 3 months, a clean criminal record of the au pair, a declaration of how the host family's childrens' day care has been arranged during the au pair's stay; commitment of the host family to take out a health insurance and an accident insurance for the au pair.

Health insurance

Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries

Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries shall enquire in their home country how long their health insurance is valid during a stay abroad and should take out a health insurance with an au pair insurance company, if applicable.

Au pairs from non-EU and non-EFTA countries

Au pairs from non-EU and non-EFTA countries need their own health insurance. The family has to make sure beforehand that the au pair has a valid health insurance. The costs for health insurance have to be paid by the host family.

Personal liability insurance

The host family's personal liability insurance is also valid for the au pair, if he/she can be defined as a "person living permanently within the household". Normally, the au pair lives with the family so that this condition would be fulfilled. To be on the safe side the family should anyway consult their insurance company in this matter.

Accident insurance, life insurance and unemployment insurance

An accident insurance (tapaturmavakuutus) for an au pair is a general obligation. The costs for this insurance depend on the insurance company and amount to app. € 60 per year. The employer additionally has to take out a life insurance (ryhmähenkivakuutus) and an unemployment insurance (työttömyysvakuutus). These three insurance types are related to each other and the employer can take out these insurances under one contract at one insurance company.

Employer's contribution

to health insurance

The employer's contribution to health insurance and social security (sotu- ja sava-maksut, "Social Security Payments", "Health Insurance Premium") which the employer has to pay in the case of normal employees does not need to be paid, if he employs an au pair. These contributions needn't be paid, if the au pair earns less than € 940 per month or if he/she works less than 18 hours per week.

to pension insurance

Contributions to pension insurance have to be paid for every au pair over 18 years of age. The TaEL "Pension Act for Performing Artists and Certain Other Employee Groups" applies to au pairs. The employer pays the contribution to Etera every month.

As from 2007: Amendments to the pension legislation - from then on it is also possible to use other insurance companies than Etera.

Information about insurance for foreigners in Finland can be obtained at the Finnish pension office Etera or from the Finnish Centre for Pensions Eläketurvakeskus(Pensionsskyddscentralen).

Host families should always seek personal advice.

Tax for the au pair:

Au pair work in Finland is subject to taxation. As a general rule an au pair does require a tax card and has to complete a tax return. The tax card needs to be applied for at the Finnish revenue board VERO. For this purpose the au pair contract needs to be shown to Vero. Please enquire with the revenue board VERO about tax rates for the pocket money and in how far board and lodging is taxable as value of benefits in kind.

The host family deducts the tax from the au pair's salary and pays it to the revenue board. There are different tax cards. Please ask the local revenue board (verotoimisto) which one is best in the individual case. If it is done correctly from the beginning, one can save money. Before going to the revenue board the au pair should have a Finnish Personal Identity Number (henkilötunnus).

Please also ask the local revenue board (verotoimisto), if there are any fiscal advantages for au pairs or tax relief (kotitalousvähennys) or reimbursement of expenses (kotihoidontuki) for host families.

Working Holidaymaker Program

Finland has a bilateral Working Holidaymaker agreement (työloma) with Australia's and New Zealand's governments.

A Working Holidaymaker visa (työlomalupa) is a residence permit which entitles the holder of this visa to work in Finland up to a certain limit.

For Working Holidaymaker from Australia and New Zealand

Age: The participants of the program must be between 18 and 30 years old (at the date when the visa is applied for)

Duration of stay: The Working Holidaymaker may stay up to 12 months. The Working Holidaymaker visa is only issued once and cannot be prolonged.

Participation: It is possible to take part in the Working Holiday program only once.

Preconditions: The main purpose of a stay under the Working Holiday program is to go on holiday.

The participants need to have a valid identity card or passport.

Working conditions: Working Holidaymaker may work for 9 months during their stay of 12 months. They may only be employed with the same employer for 3 months. They are not allowed to take on a permanent working position.

Documents: In order to apply for a Working Holiday visa the following documents are required:

  • a valid passport
  • two passport photos
  • a return flight ticket or enough money to buy this ticket
  • a filled in and signed uvi 101 form (application for residence permit, oleskelulupahakemus)

For Working Holidaymakers from Australia


The participants need to nationals of Australia.

The participants need to be healthy and need to provide a certificate of good conduct (confirming that the holder has no criminal record).

Working Holidaymakers may not bring with them children or spouses who financially depend on them.

Financial means: Applicants need to have sufficiant financial means to support themselves during their stay in Finland. They need to have at least 3000 AUD (app. 1500 €).

For Working Holidaymakers from New Zealand

Preconditions: The participants need to be nationals of New Zealand and they must be mainly resident in New Zealand when filing the application.

Working Holidaymakers may not bring with them children who financially depend on them.

Financial means: Applicants need to have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Finland. They need to have at least 3000 NZD (app. 1500 €)

Health insurance: Working Holidaymaker from New Zealand are obliged to take out a health insurance wich is valid during their whole stay.


Application for a residence permit (uvi 101) (oleskelulupahakemus / ansokan om uppehhållstillstånd)

(Finish/Swedish/English)sual salary range is approximately Aus $150 to $200 per week.


Au Pair in France

If you are a national of a country that is not a member of the EEA*, you must obtain a work visa or permit in order to work as an au pair in France. This will allow you to work in France for one year. However, if you hold a passport from a country that is a member of the EEA*, you are able to work without restriction within member countries.

France currently has working holiday agreements with Canada, New Zealand and Australia. These programs allow au pairs from these countries to work in France provided they are coming to France to travel and are using their au pair job to fund their travelling. Au pairs can enter these programs if they are aged 18-30, hold a valid passport and return ticket and can show proof at the beginning of their trip that they have enough funds to cover the expenses of their stay.

If your are from a country that requires you to obtain a work permit there are various conditions that have to be met in order for you to qualify for one.

- An au pair must be aged 18 to 30 at the time the visa application is made

- Applicants must not have participated in the programme before

- Au pairs must hold a valid passport and return ticket or have proof that they have enough funds to purchase a return ticket

- Au pairs must show proof that they have enough funds to cover the expenses of their whole trip at the beginning of their stay

*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.


Au Pair in Germany

Foreign au pairs must be at least 17 years old. Foreign au pairs not from European Union may not yet be 25 years old on requesting the visa. It is no longer necessary for an Au Pair in Germany to be registered with an agency. Au Pairs and host families can set up a contract directly between themselves.

In Germany aupairs are paid 260€/month, for 30 hours of work per week.

Au-pairs need a level of A2 German of a Goethe-Institute or a similar qualification. Au-Pairs who need a VISA will have to prove their German knowledge when applying for it at the local embassy, but people from USA, Canada, Switzerland and the EU who don't need a VISA will have to do that later when applying for a work permit as an Au-Pair. They have to have a certificate of their German knowledge or alternatively the level of German will be tested by the Labour Office itself. The Goethe-Institute offers a test to see if you would pass an A2 Exam.

Foreign au pairs that are not members of a member state of the European union (EU), require a residence and a work permit for the Federal Republic of Germany. The residence permit must be requested before departure at the responsible German representation abroad (that is the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany or a regionally responsible consulate) in form of a visa. The local Ausländerbehörde is the organization to contact.

The entry visa requires the previous approval of the local authority for foreigners at the residence of the host family. The work permit is given on request by the locally responsible labor office. It presupposes the presence of a valid residence permit or their promise. Au pairs that are not citizens of the European Union need a valid passport of their country of origin for the entry and for the duration of the stay intended. Citizens of the European Union need only have a valid identity card for the duration of their stay.


Au Pair in Ireland

Only au pairs from the EEA*, can be welcomed as an au pair into Ireland. Au pairs from these countries do not need any work permit and only have to register with the Irish police when they arrive.

Au pairs from other countries can obtain a student visa if they are registered to study English at an approved language school. With a student visa, a student may have a part-time job to support themselves whilst studying. Thus, as they are only allowed to take on a part-time job, they are not allowed to work more than 25 hours per week. It must also be noted that the immigration officials can refuse entry to a person on a student visa if they believe that the student is intending to work full-time.

*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.


Au Pair in Italy

Au pairs from the EU do not need a work permit to enter Italy as an au pair. However an au pair from outside the EU is required to obtain a long stay visa. In order to be granted a long stay visa, an au pair requires the following documentation:

- A certificate of enrolment for the au pair, from any Italian School where the au pair will be attending an Italian language course. The visa will be issued for the length of time of the au pairs enrolment in the language school.

- A return air ticket.

- Travel and medical insurance.

- A statement of support written and signed by the host family that must be stamped by the local police.

- A written agreement between the au pair and the host family which should contain the terms of employment such as duration of stay, salary etc. The agreement must be stamped by the “Ufficio Provinciale del Lavoro” and must be accompanied by a permit issued by the local police.


Au Pair in Netherlands

In order to work as an au pair in the Netherlands, there are various requirements that an au pair has to meet. These include an au pair having health insurance with coverage in the Netherlands, undergoing a tuberculosis test in the Netherlands and not previously having stayed in the Netherlands on a residence permit.

If you meet these requirements, in order to work in the Netherlands, you are required to get an authorisation for temporary stay, an MVV. There are two ways in which you can apply for an MVV. An application can be made at the Dutch embassy, in your country of origin. The embassy will then send your forms to the IND in the Netherlands and, if your application is approved by the IND, the embassy will issue you an MVV. Alternatively, your host family can send a “Request for advice on an authorisation for temporary stay” directly to the IND. If the IND issues a positive advice you can then apply for an MVV at the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin.

Once you have received an MVV, you may go to the Netherlands to work. Once you enter the Netherlands you are required to report to the Aliens police within 3 working days. If you are planning to work in the Netherlands for longer then 3 months, you are also required to apply for a temporary residence permit.

Au pairs from the Member States of the EU do not need an MVV or a residence permit to work in the Netherlands. However, whilst a residence permit is not required for EU nationals, the Dutch Government suggest that it may be useful to get one anyway as other authorities may request it. For example, it can be used to open a bank account in the Netherlands. Au pairs from Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US do not require an MVV to work but they do need to apply for a residence permit once they have arrived in the Netherlands.

(For a full list of the requirements for both you and your host family and for more information on the visas required see the visa information on the Dutch Government site.)

New Zealand

Au Pair in New Zealand

Under the working holiday schemes, young citizens of various countries, that have working holiday scheme agreements with New Zealand, may travel to New Zealand for a holiday and undertake employment during their stay. Currently the following countries have Working Holiday Scheme agreements with New Zealand: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

Au pairs from coming from these countries can be eligible for a work visa and permit to work in New Zealand for 12 months if they meet the requirements of the scheme they are applying under. In order for nationals of these countries to be eligible to enter the working holiday scheme they must meet the following criteria:

- Applicants must be aged no less than 18 and no more than 30 years

- They must not be accompanied by children

- Applicants must provide evidence of sufficient funds to purchase return travel

- They must meet the conditions of the particular scheme they are applying under

Once an au pair has entered the working holiday scheme and worked in New Zealand for a year, they are not eligible to come to New Zealand for any further working holiday.


Au Pair in Norway

In order to become an au pair in Norway it is necessary for an individual to apply for a work permit at the Norwegian embassy of their home country before going to Norway. The au pair is only allowed to enter Norway if he or she holds a valid work permit. The au pair must have a job offer in Norway before he or she applies and the permit must be applied for and granted prior to entry into Norway. Thus, in order to be issued a work permit, the au pair needs an “Offer of Employment” contract signed by the host family as a proof of the job offer, which is required to accompany their application to the Norwegian embassy of his/her home country. The au pair can obtain application forms from the Norwegian embassy or consulate in his or her home country. Once the application has been made the embassy will forward the application to the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) and when it has been approved the work permit will be granted and the au pair can make travel arrangements to go to the future host family in Norway. On average, the application takes 3-6 months.


Au Pair in Spain

The Au-pair must be single and between the ages of 18 and 27 years old and can work in Spain as an Au-pair for up to a maximum of two years.

EU Citizens do not need a visa to au pair in Spain. Non-EU citizens, simply need to contact their local Spanish consulate (embassy) and request a visa. Non-EU citizens need to enrol in a Spanish Language course (15 class minimum) before their arrival, to obtain their visa for a stay of more than three months in Spain. This can be done while awaiting visa processing.

The Au Pairs will generally work 30 hours per week: 5 hours every day (Monday to Saturday mornings) or 6 hours a day (Monday thru Friday), whichever is better for the family. Two nights of baby-sitting (for just a couple of hours) are required also. Timetables may differ during school holidays, however if the family requires the Au-pair to work more than 6 hours a day they should compensate the Au-pair for these extra hours. The Au-pair will get at least one and a half free days during the weekend, plus free time during the day and some evenings to let her attend her Spanish lessons and meet new people or with friends.

The amount of pocket money stipulated is 50€-60€ per week for 30 working hours plus 1 or 2 nights of baby-sitting. The Au-pair Plus is paid 80€-90€ per week for 40 work hours per week plus 1 or 2 nights of baby-sitting.

The Au Pair is responsible for the costs of her travel to and from her country.

The cost of Spanish lessons is paid by the Au Pair. It costs approximately 480€ a month.

EU citizens have all health costs covered by the Social Health Security of Spain. Au-pairs must have obtained a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), before leaving their country, which will enable them to enter the Social Security System of Spain. Non-EU citizens must be able to present documentation of medical insurance of another kind.


Au Pair in Sweden

Au pairs from Nordic countries

Au pairs from Nordic countries ( Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway) do not need a work permit or a residence permit to work in Sweden.

Au pairs from EU or EEA countries

Au pairs from EU or EEA* countries do not need a work permit to work in Sweden. However, if they are employed for more then 3 months, they have to apply for a residence permit. Au pairs are allowed to start working for a family straight away, without the residence permit and are allowed to apply for it after entering Sweden. In order to apply for a resident permit, an au pair has to provide a certificate of employment issued and signed by their employer and a certificate of enrolment at a Swedish language course.

Au pairs from non EU countries

Au pairs from countries that are not part of the EU have to have a work permit in their passport before they enter Sweden to work. Au pairs should make sure that their passport does not expire whilst they are in Sweden. It is essential that the expiration date of their permit may not go beyond the expiration date of their passport.

Au pairs from non-EU countries wishing to stay in Sweden for longer then 3 months are required to also obtain a residence permit. An au pair must apply for and receive a residence permit before he/she enters Sweden. Au pairs can apply for residence permits through a Swedish diplomatic mission in the au pair’s country of residence.

Au pairs from Australia and New Zealand

Sweden has a working holiday agreement with Australia and New Zealand that allows au pairs from Australia and New Zealand to work in Sweden on a working holiday visa for 12 months. (The same applies to Swedish au pairs wanting to work in Australia or New Zealand).

Even though the main purpose of a Working Holiday Makers stay is to take a holiday, with a working holiday visa they are allowed to work in Sweden during their 12 month stay in order to fund their trip. However, an au pair must apply for a work permit to do so. Their application needs to include 2 copies of an offer of employment from their host family.

*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.


Au Pair in Switzerland

According to the bilateraux laws with the European common market, aupairs from the European Economic Union are eligible for aupair visas in Switzerland for a maximum of 18 months. Aupairs must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years.

Relevant documents that the family may need can be found here.

Conditions for EU citizens seeking AuPair Jobs in Switzerland

You can work as an au pair in Switzerland for a maximum of 18 months. You will receive room and board with a host family in exchange for approximately 25 to 30 hours of weekly work (housework, baby-sitting, etc.). You have the right to one day off per week (at least one Sunday a month) and 4 weeks' vacation per year (5 weeks if you are less than 20 years old). You will be paid between 400 and 700 CHF per month depending on the age, experience and hours of work. Your employer is also required to enroll you in a language school, and will cover 50% of these expenses. The insurance is assumed paid by the au-pair, as her EU insurances will be valid in CH as well, however an accident insurance will be payable by the employer. No additional health insurance will be paid by the employer. Employee's share of social costs "AVS" can be deducted from the salary. This amounts to 7% of the salary (including the payment in nature, so room and board accounted at about 30 sfr per diem), so a total salary of about 1400 sfr. /month, for a cost to the EE of about 100 SFR. (although, many families will bear this cost, but it isn't an obligation). There is a legal obligation of adjusting the au pair time schedules so that she can participate in language courses, however there is no definition in the comparticipation to the costs.

Conditions for non-EU citizens seeking AuPair Jobs in Switzerland

- The Swiss government puts a limit on the number of residence permits for au pairs from Non-EU countries. Please get in touch with the cantonal authorities if you want to invite an au pair from a Non-EU country.

- Au pairs are only admitted to Switzerland if they come from European Union (EU) member countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Au pairs are individuals who do not speak German and the guest family’s everyday language must be German.

- The housewife or houseman does not have the same mother tongue as the au pair.

- The guest family’s child or children are under 16 years of age.

- The housewife or houseman is present during at least half the au pair’s working hours.

- Families and individuals who have no children may not employ au pairs.

- You can work as an au pair in Switzerland for a maximum of 18 months. You will receive room and board with a host family in exchange for approximately 30 hours of weekly work (light housework, baby-sitting, etc.).

- You have the right to at least 1 ½ days off per week. At least 2 free days in a 4 week period must be Sundays.

- You will be paid a minimum of 600 to 700 CHF per month depending on the age, experience and hours of work.

- Your employer is also required to enroll you in a language school within 4 weeks of entering the country, and will cover 50% of these expenses.

- Aupairs must be insured by the employer for the consequences of sickness and accident in conformity with the law on obligatory accident insurance.

- Tax at source, employee’s contributions to the OAP/II/EO/UI, half of the premiums for health insurance and the total premium for non-occupational accidents may be deducted from the aupair’s pay. The aupair is obligated to pay taxes on income in the year the 19th birthday is attained.

Permits for au pairs from abroad are issued subject to quota regulations. Limits are placed on the numbers of individuals from specific countries who may come to Switzerland.


Au Pair in UK

Au pairs from the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and au pairs that are Swiss nationals have the right of free movement and residence in the UK.

Youth Mobility Scheme:

1. The Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) has replaced the aupair visa program for non-EEA nationals, the working holidaymaker visa, the BUNAC work/study visa, the Japan Youth Exchange Scheme and the Gap Year Entrants working in the United Kingdom.

2. This visa allows a 2 year stay, but cannot be extended.

3. Currently the only countries that are participating in the Youth Mobility Scheme are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand

Youth Mobility Scheme requirements:

Applicant must be a national of one of the above participating countries. Check the UK visa site, for updated country lists.

Applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 30.

Applicant must have no children under the age of 18 who is either living with him/her or for whom he/she is financially responsible.

If you previously spent time in the United Kingdom on the Working Holidaymaker visa, you are not eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Applicant must show that they have enough money to support themselves for the entire duration of their stay. The funds requirement for YMS is £1600. This amount must be held in the applicant’s personal bank account on the date of the application for entry clearance.

If you are unsure about whether you need a visa or not the UK Visa website has a tool that tells you if you need a visa and what forms you need to fill out to get the visa you require.

United States

Au Pair in United States

People from almost all countries can become au pairs in the United States. However, in order to legally become an au pair in the US it is necessary for an individual to obtain a J1 Visa. In order to get a J1 visa an Au pair has to go through one of the US government designated Au pair agencies. With this visa, Au pairs may work for a family as an Au pair for 12 months and may apply to stay for an extra month in order to travel round the US. However, after that time the Au pair is expected to return to their home country. Also, in order to work as an Au pair in the US, an Au pair must produce a certificate of health, a certificate of good conduct and experience in the field of child care.

LINK: Designated Sponsor Organisations for the J-1 Visa Program for Au-pair placements

For more information on being an Au pair in the US the US Department of State offers some information on the au pair programme in the USA online.

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