Not all countries have official au pair programs, however, an au pair can still travel to such countries and be an au pair if a host family is available as a sponsor. Below are links to the most common countries that accept au pairs, along with an overview of the au pair program rules of that particular country.
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 (apply 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:
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 here .
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 $180 to $220 per week.
Au Pair in Austria
Recently, Austria has relaxed its policy for au pairs from outside the EU. In the past, it was impossible for au pairs from outside the EU to work in Austria. However, since April 1, 2001, au pairs from non-EU 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 labour 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).
As an au pair, you are primarily responsible for looking after the children. Besides childcare, helping with household chores is part of your duties.
Please clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will be. It is also recommended that these duties be well defined in the au pair contract).
The pocket money of au pairs in Austria is officially considered to be a salary. Therefore, it is paid at the end of each month as a salary for 20 working hours per week. In Austria, you receive up to 395.31 EUR (gross wage). This applies to au pair contracts signed after 1 January 2014.
Furthermore, you are entitled to receive a 15-month pocket money, in other words, three monthly salaries in addition, provided that the placement lasts a whole year.
Board and lodging are free. As an au pair you are entitled to an individual furnished room of at least 9 square meters with a window that can be opened. The room should be heatable and lockable.
The au pair is entitled to free access to food, just like any other family member. Therefore, they should share meals with the family, have free access to the fridge, etc.
You are also entitled to free board and lodging in cases of illness and during your holiday.
An au pair needs to support their host family with light housework and childcare for up to 20 hours a week.
As an au pair, you are entitled to at least one day off per week. In this context, the family's life and housekeeping requirements and the au pair's needs are to be taken into consideration.
The au pair's entitlement to vacation and compensation for unused vacation time is based on the Urlaubsgesetz (vacation law). Thus, au pairs get 30 days off for an au pair placement which lasts an entire year. Shorter stays need to be adapted correspondingly.
As an au pair, you should have the possibility to attend a language course. Half of these costs will be paid by the family, the other half by you.
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 EU is defined as the European Union Area plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
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 service’s 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.
The duration of the stay is 12 months
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.
The ministry advises the work permit will be given within 4 weeks after introduction of the file. If the au pair is not happy in a family, she can only change to another family one time. 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.
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.
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.
1. Au pair is not allowed to take any other work in Belgium than that of au pair. 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.
u 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.
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.
Au pair cannot have previously obtained a work permit of any kind for Belgium.
Family must assure that the au pair has a well accommodated, private bedroom.
Family must speak the language that the girl wishes to learn and correct her when she makes mistakes. Families must provide insurance for the au pair throughout the entire duration of the stay. Insurance must cover illness, hospitalization and accidents. Family must provide one day off per week, minimum, and one full week-end off per month.
As an au pair, providing childcare is your main responsibility. Furthermore, the host family can ask you to do some light housework. All the tasks you will be asked to do have to be defined in the official Au pair contract and cannot be changed by you or your host family afterwards.
In Belgium, you are entitled to at least €450 pocket money per month, which has to be deposited to your bank account. Therefore, you will have to open a personal bank account after your arrival. You are entitled to the full amount of monthly pocket money in cases of illness and during your holidays. The host family will also have to subscribe to a health and accident insurance as well as an insurance for potential repatriation costs for you.
Besides pocket money, you receive free board and lodging. You are entitled to food and accommodation in cases of illness and during your holiday as well. You will also have your own bedroom and key to the house.
In Belgium, you are not allowed to work more than 4 hours a day (babysitting hours included) and 20 hours per week spread out over a maximum of 6 days a week.
As an au pair in Belgium, you are entitled to at least one day off per week and at least one whole weekend a month. You can choose your day off in agreement with your family. However, if you need a specific day off due to your religious convictions, the host family will have to respect your choice.
Au pairs' holiday entitlement is not regulated in Belgium. However, we recommend that for 12 months of work, an au pair receives a minimum of 2 weeks holiday. You can use this as a reference if you are staying with your host family for less than 12 months. Speak to your host family in advance about how much holiday time you will receive.
As an au pair, you have to take part in a Dutch, French or German language course (according to the region where you will be staying). The course has to be offered by an officially recognized institution – private tuition, distance learning courses or private school courses are not accepted. If you do not have a basic knowledge of the host country's language before your arrival, you will have to attend an intensive language course upon your arrival in Belgium. Your host family will also have to prepare a cultural program for you so as to allow you to learn more about the country's culture.
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.
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. 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 click here for more information.
As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the host family's children. Alongside childcare you may be asked to help out with household chores as part of your duties, but these should only be light household chores, as your responsibility is to look after the children, not to clean the house.
Clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will be, and ensure these are well defined in the au pair contract.
Your host family will give you pocket money in exchange for your help. As there is no official au pair program in Canada, there is no set amount of pocket money that the host family should give. However, from our experience we recommend an amount of approx. 200 CAD per week. The concrete amount will depend on the number of weekly working hours.
Au pairs are entitled to have their own room at their host family's home. The family should also provide them with meals. Naturally, this also applies in case of illness or during your holidays.
There are no specific regulations when it comes to the au pair's number of working hours in Canada. However, from our experience we recommend that you work 25 to 30 hours per week. The host family can ask you to do some babysitting up to 3 evenings per week which should be included in your working time.
As an au pair, you are entitled to have at least one day off per week. This day should be on a Sunday at least once every month.
The Working Holiday Program doesn't regulate how much holiday you are entitled to during your stay in Canada. However, we recommend two weeks of holiday for a stay of six months. If you wish to stay for less than 6 months, you can use this value to calculate your holiday accordingly.
During your stay as an au pair in Canada, you should participate in a language course. Usually, it is the au pair who pays for his or her own language course.
Normally, it is expected that you pay for your flight to and from Canada. If your host family is happy with the help you provide, they may possibly pay your return trip or part of the cost. However, this is only our recommendation. The family is not obliged to do so.
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: https://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-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:
The Au-pair must be between 17 and 29 years of age. 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. The Au-pair must receive at least €335 per month in pocket money from the host family. The Au-pair must receive free food and lodging in the host family's home. 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. 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. As a rule, at least one of the parents in the host family must be a Danish citizen.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. You can, for example, use the general European
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.
It is also common practice to provide the au pair with a monthly ticket for local public transportation.
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.
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 travelling 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 click here 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 accommodation 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 enrolment 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 children’s' 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.
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.
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 click here (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.
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.
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:
Preconditions: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).
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.
If you are a national of a country that is not a member of the EU, 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 EU, 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
You can only participate in the program "stagiaire aide familial étranger" if you stay for a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 12 months. The maximum period it can be extended to is 18 months.
In exchange for board and lodging you will take care of your host family's children and help them by taking over light household duties. Prior to starting off on your journey, you should talk to your host family about the typical tasks you will have to carry out. Your exact tasks need to be included in your au pair contract.
According to French law, your host family must pay you pocket money which corresponds to 75 - 90 per cent of the minimum wage, which is re-evaluated each year. In 2014, it amounts to between €240 € and €315 per month. You need to define the precise amount you agreed upon with your host family in your au pair contract.
In exchange for your help with the children and light housework, you are entitled to free board and lodging. As you are considered a member of the family, you will get an individual room.
You will maximally work 5 hours per day and 30 hours per week. Your working hours need to allow you to participate in a French language course or a course about French culture and civilization.
You are entitled to at least one full day off per week. Once every month, this day should be a Sunday. If you are a non-EU citizen and wish to work for a different employer during your free hours, you need to bear in mind that you are only allowed to work up to 60% of the legal number of working hours defined by French law; this corresponds to a total of 964 hours per year. You need to include the number of hours you are working for your host family in your calculations. Do not forget that you also need to take a rest every once in a while.
There are no specific regulations concerning the holiday an au pair is entitled to. We therefore recommend that you come to an agreement with your host family well in advance. Au pairs are usually entitled to a two-week holiday if they stay with their host families for six months in total. You may use this value to individually calculate your holidays. You should include all details you have agreed upon with your host family under paragraph 4.2 of your au pair contract.
Every au pair who wishes to work in France must participate in a French course for foreign citizens. You will need to bear the cost of this course. However, your host family should enroll you in the course. After all, they know their way around their own city. Language courses are offered by universities, adult education centers and other organizations. You can take a course which lasts an entire year, term or summer. According to French law, there is no compulsory minimum number of hours per week. Should you, however, need a visa to be entitled to enter France, it is well possible that you will need to prove participation in a French course which lasts at least 10 hours per week. We recommend that you gather more information on this issue when applying for your visa.
*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
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 au pairs 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.
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 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 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
As an au pair you will primarily take care of your host family's children. Additionally, you will be put in charge of minor household duties. You should clarify with your host family beforehand what your exact tasks will look like. You should include all points you agree upon in your au pair contract.
There are no official regulations when it comes to the amount of pocket money au pairs receive in Italy. Based on our experience, we recommend that host families pay their au pairs 250-300 euros per month.
Apart from your pocket money, you will be granted free board and lodging by the family. You are also entitled to free board and lodging in the case of illness.
Au pairs who wish to work in Italy generally bear the cost of their round trip by themselves.
In Italy, au pairs and host families may flexibly agree upon the au pairs' working hours per week. However, au pairs may not work more than 30 hours throughout 6 days per week at most (babysitting in the evening included). Per day they may not work more than 5 hours.
In Italy, au pairs get one day off per week. At least once every month this day should fall on a Sunday.
In Italy, there are no consistent rules concerning the holiday for an au pair. Therefore, you should come to an agreement with your host family in advance. In general, an au pair is entitled to a paid holiday of 2 weeks if employed for six months.
You should have enough spare time and the opportunity to participate in a language course. You will bear the costs for the language course yourself. Your host family should help you find a course that suits you.
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and are wanting to apply for a student visa, you should make sure to check that the establishment offering the course is on the list of approved schools which are recognized when applying for a student visa. In addition, the language course should be a minimum 20 hours per week.
You would like to discover Luxembourg as an”au pair” young person?
Please answer the following questions:
You are looking for a balance between cultural exchange and improvement of your language skills?
You are between 18 and 30 years old?
You went to school until you were 17 years old?
You do not live in Luxembourg?
Your answer to all of these questions was “yes”? Then being an “au pair” young person might be the appropriated solution for you.
The duration of the au pair stay should not exceed one year.
In exchange for board and lodging, you look after the host family's children and help out with every day household duties. We advise you to speak to your host family about what is expected of you. Your exact tasks should be indicated in the au pair contract. Helping out with household duties should, in no way, be the main task of the au pair stay.
According to Luxembourgish regulations, the amount of pocket money that you receive from the host family corresponds to a quarter of the national minimum wage, which is reviewed every year. The corresponding amount is €480 per month. This sum should be indicated in your au pair contract and must be transferred by the family into a bank account in your name. The payment is made every month no matter how long the possible period of inactivity of the au pair (for example through illness or holiday). The pocket money is not subject to taxation or social security, which applies to salaries.
You receive meals, board and lodging in exchange for taking care of the children and helping out with light household tasks. As a member of the family, you will have your own bedroom.
You will work for a maximum of 5 hours per day and 30 hours per week. Your working schedule should be arranged so that you are able to follow a language course in one of the official languages of Luxembourg or about the culture and civilization of the country.
You must have at least three evenings, as well as one full day free per week. You may not take part in any other independent or paid work for the full duration of your stay.
As an au pair, you are entitled to two days of holiday per month.
Au pairs must participate in a language course for foreigners or in a culture and civilization course in order to be an au pair in Luxembourg. The family is responsible for the costs of the course. Language courses are offered in universities, adult education centers, as well as by other language education facilities. You can subscribe to a course for a year, a semester or a summer.
Obligation to apply through an agency for the Netherlands
In 2010, the Modern Migration Policy bill was approved in the Netherlands. The Act, which is due to come into effect on 1 June 2013, will introduce major changes regarding the au pair stay. Dutch host families and their future au pairs will have to turn to a recognized au pair agency in the Netherlands, a so-called "sponsor", so as to submit the au pair application and handle the necessary administrative paperwork .
Step 1: Find a family
Use Aupairjust4you to find a suitable family.
Step 2: Check the validity of your passport
In order to enter the Netherlands you will need a valid passport, which needs to be valid for at least half a year after you have left the Netherlands.
Step 3: Your host family chooses one of the recognized au pair agencies in the Netherlands
If you wish to stay in the Netherlands as an au pair, your host family must register with an au pair agency, in order to welcome you to their home. Only an officially recognized au pair agency of the IND (Dutch Immigration Office) is authorized to set up an application in your name. The agency will assist both you and your host family throughout the entire duration of your stay and will provide all necessary documents and information, as well as the au pair contract.
Step 4: The agency starts an Entry and Residence (TEV) Procedure
The recognized au pair agency will start a TEV-procedure (Entry and Residence Procedure). This procedure consists of an application for an MVV (Temporary Residence Permit) and/or a VVR (Residence Permit Regular).
Residents of the following countries do not have to apply for an MVV, they only need a VVR: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, USA, South Korea and Vatican City.
Your au pair year starts the day your visa becomes valid, even if you arrive at a later date in the Netherlands. If you don’t need a visa, your maximum stay of 12 months starts from the moment you arrive in the Netherlands.
Step 5: Collect your visa (MVV) and resident permit (VVR)
Once your application has been approved, the au pair agency will inform you that you can collect your MVV at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country of origin or country of residence.
After arriving in the Netherlands, you can collect your Residence Permit (VVR) from the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Office).
Step 6: Register with your host family's town council
Together with a host parent go to your host family's local town council to register on the GBA (Personal Records Database). For this you will need:
an officially translated copy of your birth certificate
your residence permit (VVR) your passport
Step 7: Pass a medical test
Within three months after your arrival in the Netherlands, you have to undergo an examination for tuberculosis. Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Surinam, Vatican City and the USA are exempt from this examination. The au pair agency in the Netherlands will provide you with any further information.
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, DenmarkFinland, France, Germany, 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.
Working as an au pair in New Zealand, you primary responsibility is to look after your host family's children (and their pets, if necessary) and to help with light housework. This may include all tasks related to your host family's children, such as tidying up their rooms, preparing their meals, washing and ironing their clothes, etc. but these should only be light chores, as you are not the family's cleaner. We recommend discussing your future tasks with your host family before you go and including these in written form in your au pair contract, which you will both sign.
As an au pair, you receive pocket money in exchange for your help towards your host family. As there is no official au pair program in New Zealand, the amount of pocket money is not clearly defined and may vary. However, based on our experience, we recommend a weekly pocket money of 150 to 180 New Zealand Dollars (NZD) depending on your working hours. You are also entitled to receive pocket money in case of illness and during your holidays.
Au pairs are entitled to have their own room at their host family's home. The family also provides them with meals. This equally applies in case of illness.
Au pairs normally bear the cost of their trip to and from the host country by themselves. We do however recommend that host families pay for the return trip or part of it if the au pair stay was successful. This is only our recommendation though and it is not compulsory for host families to do so.
There are no official rules on how many hours you should work as an au pair in New Zealand. However, we recommend 30-35 hours per week. Please note: depending on your home country, nationals of certain countries who enter New Zealand on the Working Holiday visa may only work for the same employer for up to a maximum of three months. In order to find out if this regulation applies to you, you need to check the Immigration New Zealand website for the conditions relevant for your home country.
Before you start working for your host family, you need to clarify with them how many days you will get off and when exactly this will be the case. There are no official rules for this, but we recommend that you should get one day off at least once a week, and this day should be on a Sunday once a month.
Unfortunately, there are no official regulations on the holidays you are entitled to in New Zealand. But we recommend a two-week holiday if you stay with your host family for six months. You may use this value to calculate your holidays if you stay with your host family for a shorter period of time and need to adapt them accordingly.
Your host family should allow you to attend a language course. Generally, you bear the costs for such a course by yourself. You should ask your host family to help you find a suitable language course close to their home.
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 offe
US citizens cannot go to the UK as Au Pairs. However, there is a Youth mobility scheme (Tier 5) that allows young people from participating countries to experience life in the UK.
The countries currently supported in the Youth mobility scheme are:
Please review FAQs for detailed information on au pair requirement and costs.
Click here to compare US agencies authorized to administer the J – 1 Au pair program.
For more information on Au Pair programs in the USA, click here.
EduCare is a US department of State sponsored visa program for families who need childcare before and after school. The EduCare Au Pair must carry 12 hours each semester and can work a maximum of 30 hours a week, and no more than 10 hours per day.
Families contribute up to $1,000 toward the Au Pairs tuition, provide a weekly stipend of $146.81 and pay around $6,000 in agency fees.
Families who are interested in a cultural exchange experience, may be interested in sponsoring a student for the F-1 student visa program.
There are no age or nationality restrictions on this visa; however, the focus is on the student, this is not a work visa. The student is required to carry a minimum of 12 credit hours at a local college or university that offers the I-20 form.
The family typically covers the costs of travel, tuition, student health insurance, in addition to giving the student weekly pocket money. The student will assist the family as a member of the household in a limited capacity.
Additional information on the F-1 student visa program can be found from USICE site for Student and Exchange Visitors.
Families who own their own business and want to hire a professional for their business, can obtain an H-1B work visa through an independent immigration attorney.
Applications are accepted the first work day in April and if the quota is filled for the year, then applications need to be re-submitted the following year. Applications are only accepted one time a year with a work start date no sooner than October 1st. This visa takes a minimum of 6 months from application submission to employee arrival. The USCIS reviews applications on a first come, first served basis, and the visa allotment is typically filled for the year by the end of May.
The H-1B visa is restricted to those jobs that require the applicant to have attained a bachelor's degree (or higher) and cannot be issued for a childcare, senior care or housekeeping position. The H-1B visa also stipulates that the "employee" must be paid the prevailing wage for the specified job.
The H-1B visa option should be carefully weighed based on your unique company requirements. The cost for an H-1B visa, using an immigration attorney will cost approximately $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the complexity of the case.