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Visa Requirements by Country

Click on the links below to go direct to the information for each country.

Australia

Belgium

Canada

Denmark

France

Germany

Ireland

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

USA

Au Pair Visa Requirements for Australia

Australia does not have an official Au Pair programme. Therefore, in order to work in Australia as an au pair there is the Working Holiday Program which allows a person aged 18-30 to go to Australia and work for 12 months on a working holiday visa. You must be a national of one of the following countries:

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

New Zealand nationals 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.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for Belgium

In order 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.

Conditions for au pair

  • Au pair must be aged between 18 and 26
  • The au pair must agree not to take any other work in Belgium whilst working as an au pair
  • Au pair must have a certificate or proof that he/she has completed secondary school or that he/she has followed courses until the age of 17 at least
  • Au pair must have a basic knowledge of one of the national languages, being French, Dutch or German. The language of which they have basic knowledge must also be the language they come to Belgium to improve and the language of the host family
  • Au pair must attend language courses and the school he/she attends must produce a certificate every 3 months, proving the au pairs regular attendance
  • Au pair must not have obtained a work permit for Belgium before
  • Au pair can only start in July, August or September

Conditions for host family

  • Family must provide au pair with a private, well-accommodated bedroom
  • Family must take out insurance for the au pair covering he/she for illness, hospitalisation and accidents, for the entire duration of the au pairs stay
  • The au pair must be given at least one day off a week and one full weekend off per month
  • Family must give their au pair an allowance of 450 a month which must be deposited in to a bank account specifically for the au pair
  • Family must speak the language the au pair wishes to learn

Au Pair Visa Requirements for Canada

An au pair can work in Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Programme. Canada designed this programme in order to bring workers to Canada to fill the available live-in caregiver positions when there are not enough Canadians to fill them. A live-in caregiver is defined as someone who provides unsupervised care for children, the elderly or the disabled in a private house.

To enter this programme, an au pair 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 he/she is seeking as a live-in caregiver.
  • Be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows you to work independently in a home setting. For example, it is important for you, as a caregiver, to be able to contact emergency services if required and to understand labels on medication

In order for an au pair to be allowed to work in Canada as a live-in caregiver, a prospective employer will submit a request to hire an au pair to a Human Resources Centre Canada (HRCC). Once the HRCC has confirmed the job an au pair can begin applying for a work permit. If their application is successful, the work permit is valid for one year and can be renewed if an au pair provides proof that their host family is offering them another year of employment.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for Denmark

Individuals wishing to work in Denmark as an au pair are generally between 17-29 years old. Au pairs from any of the Nordic countries are not required to get a residence permit and can freely travel to and work in Denmark. Au pairs from other EU countries (excluding the eight new Eastern European EU members) should apply for a residence certificate to work in Demark. This can be obtained from the local authority "statsamt".

Au pairs from the eight new eastern European EU members (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia) are required to apply for an au pair residence permit. This residence permit allows the au pair to work in Denmark for 12 months after which a six month extension can be applied for. An au pair must ensure that they apply to the Danish Embassy in the applicant's home country or where the applicant has been residing for the past 3 months before he/she travels to Denmark.

In order to obtain a residence permit, an au pair is required to meet the criteria listed below:

  • An au pair must be between 17 and 29 years of age
  • They are required to be able to speak and understand a reasonable level of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German.
  • A contract must be drafted between the au pair and the host family.
  • The au pair may not be married or be accompanied by dependants

The host family taking on the au pair must also agree to fulfil various conditions in order for the au pair to receive a residence permit and to work for the family. These are:

  • The family must agree to pay the au pair at least 335/month (DKK 2500/month)
  • They must provide the au pair with free room and board and the au pair must be provided with his/her own private bedroom that is located in the family's residence
  • At least one of the parents must be a Danish citizen

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 Au pair in Denmark.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for 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 Visa Requirements for Germany

Germany has an au pair program for young people aged 18 to 25. Au pairs from the ancient EU countries may even enter Germany as an au pair until they are 30 years old.

Au pairs from the ancient EU countries may enter the country with a valid passport but need to be registered at the local residents' registration office. They are also required to get a residence permit.

Au pairs from the new EU countries no longer need a visa to work in Germany but are still required to be no older then 24.They also need an employment permit, must be registered at the Foreign Nationals Authority and are required to have basic knowledge of the German language. All of these requirements must be clarified before the au pair enters Germany.

Au pairs from non-EU countries need a visa to work in Germany and, also, may not be older than 24. In order for a national from a non-EU country to get a visa, the host family sends a letter of invitation, detailing all the terms of employment, to the au pair. The au pair would take this to the embassy in their country where it would be checked. The embassy will also check that the au pair has basic knowledge of German and once they are satisfied they will contact the German authorities to issue the visa. Once the au pair has entered Germany, they are required to register at the Foreign Nationals Authority.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for 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 Visa Requirements for 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.
  • 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 Visa Requirements for the 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).

Au Pair Visa Requirements for 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. Under these schemes nationals from Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy and Singapore are eligible for a work visa and permit to work in New Zealand for 12 months. 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 Visa Requirements for 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 Visa Requirements for Spain

In order to be an au pair in Spain an au pair must be single and between the ages of 18 and 27 years old and can only work in Spain as an au pair for a maximum of up to two years.

EU Citizens do not need a visa to be an au pair in Spain and just need a valid passport or identity card. If an au pair wants to stay longer than 3 months they are required to announce this to the Foreign Nationals Authority.

Non-EU citizens need a visa to work as an au pair and simply need to contact their local Spanish consulate or embassy to request one. Non-EU citizens must be enrolled in a Spanish Language course before their arrival in order to obtain their visa to stay in Spain for more than three months.

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

EU citizens have all health costs covered by the Social Health Security of Spain. They must have a European Health Insurance Card from their health insurance. However, non-EU citizens must be able to present documentation of medical insurance of a different kind.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for 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 Visa Requirements for Switzerland

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 required to be between 17 and 30 years of age, unmarried and have to stay in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 18 months.

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

Au Pair Visa Requirements for the UK

Au pairs from the 25 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and au pairs that are Swiss nationals have the right of free movement and residence in the UK. However, nationals of the all new member states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia) except Cyprus and Malta, who wish to work for more than one month for an employer in the UK, need to register under the Worker Registration Scheme.

US citizens cannot go to the UK as au pairs, however, au pairs from the US may obtain a blue card from BUNAC. A blue card is issued and sponsored by BUNAC and acts as an entry visa to allow US university students to work in Britain for up to six months maximum.

Au pairs from countries that are members of the commonwealth (see the complete list of countries below) will need to obtain a holiday work visa. The working holidaymaker scheme is an arrangement that allows a Commonwealth citizen aged between 17 and 30 to come to the United Kingdom (UK) for an extended holiday for up to two years. You will be permitted to work, but as the main purpose of your stay is assumed to be a holiday, you will be expected to take a holiday during your stay. Nationals from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the USA are required to get Entry clearance if they intend to stay in the UK for longer than six months.

Members of the commonwealth

Antigua & Barbuda

Mozambique

Australia

Namibia

Bahamas

Nauru

Bangladesh

New Zealand

Barbados

Nigeria

Belize

Pakistan

Botswana

Papua New Guinea

Brunei Darussalam

Samoa

Cameroon

Seychelles

Canada

Sierra Leone

Cyprus

Singapore

Dominica

Solomon Islands

Fiji Islands

South Africa

The Gambia

Sri Lanka

Ghana

St. Kitts and Nevis

Grenada

St. Lucia

Guyana

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

India

Swaziland

Jamaica

Tonga

Kenya

Trinidad & Tobago

Kiribati

Tuvalu

Lesotho

Uganda

Malawi

United Kingdom

Malaysia

United Republic of Tanzania

Maldives

Vanuatu

Malta

Zambia

Mauritius

Zimbabwe


Nationals of Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Macedonia, Monaco, Romania, San Marino and Turkey can enter the UK as an au pair in the UK's au pair scheme if they are between the ages of 17 - 27. However, Nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey must get an au pair visa (maximum 2 years) before they travel to the UK. Nationals of the other countries who do not need a visa to enter the UK will have to satisfy the Immigration Officer that you qualify for entry. You will then be given permission to stay in the UK for six months. An au pair wishing to extend their stay to be longer then 6 months will need to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

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.

Au Pair Visa Requirements for the US

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 this visa, an au pair has to go through one of the eleven 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.

The eleven government designated agencies are:

  • Agent AuPair
  • American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
  • AuPairCare
  • Aupair Foundation
  • Cultural Care Au Pair
  • Cultural Homestay International
  • Educational Foundation for Foreign Study
  • EurAupair
  • Go Au Pair
  • InterExchange Au Pair
  • US Aupair

For more information on being an au pair in the US the U.S Department of State has an au pair brochure that is available to download. It is very informative and will answer many of the questions you may have on the U.S au pair program.

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