How to Become an Au Pair?
To become an au pair in another country, you will need an au pair visa.
- The first step to get the au pair visa is to find out which country in the world offers it (not all countries in the world do).
- You will then have to ensure you meet the eligilibity requirements (the main criteria is typically your age).
- Next, you will have to search for a host family looking for an au pair, and then apply for the visa.
More details below.
Note that the purpose of this article is not to provide you with the au pair visa requirements for all countries, but to give you a starting, general idea so you know what pointers you need to research on further.
1. Countries with Au Pair Visa Programs
Most countries that offer this program are typically in Northern / Western / Southern Europe. Examples: Austria 🇦🇹, Belgium 🇧🇪, Denmark 🇩🇰, Finland 🇫🇮, France 🇫🇷, Germany 🇩🇪, Italy 🇮🇹, Netherlands 🇳🇱, Norway 🇳🇴, Spain 🇪🇸, Sweden 🇸🇪, Switzerland 🇨🇭, United Kingdom 🇬🇧.
There is also an au pair program in the United States 🇺🇸.
In Australia 🇦🇺 and New Zealand 🇳🇿, it is possible to be an au pair under regular Working Holiday Visa programs.
2. Age and Other Requirements
Many countries impose age requirements to qualify for a work visa as an au pair, typically between the ranges of 18–30 years old.
Some countries also have the requirement that an au pair be enrolled in a language or university course while they are employed. The fee for the course is usually paid for by the host family.
3. Searching for a Host Family and Applying for the Visa
The most reliable way to search for a host family looking for an au pair is through officially-recognized au pair agencies.
For example, you will be able to find a list of recognized au pair agencies in Netherlands 🇳🇱 in its immigration website.
Officially-recognized au pair agencies can:
- Connect host families and au pair applicants
- Perform background check on all parties involved
- Assist in visa matters
Some countries require au pair visa applications be submitted by official au pair agencies, and some do not.
Responsibilities of a Host Family Towards An Au Pair
- Providing room and food for the au pair
- Paying a monthly stipend or allowance for the au pair
- Paying an entry/return flight ticket for the au pair
Many countries in Western Europe that offer au pair visa programs also require host families to pay for a language course for the au pair, who is required to attend the program part-time. This is a common requirement but not all countries require it.
Want to Move Abroad?
Learn about the cons of moving abroad, and how to get a visa if you think moving is right for you. More about this here.