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Au Pair in Portugal - information on the program

Portugal’s popularity is increasing among young people who want to gain experience abroad. 
 
As an Au Pair in Portugal you won’t only have the chance to visit unique places, but also discover a new culture living with a Host Family. 
 
Here’s everything you need to know about the Au Pair program in this small but wonderful country, located in the most western part of Europe!
 
au pair portugal
Despite being a rather small country, Portugal offers a wide variety of landscapes, as well as being rich in history and places to discover. In addition, big cities such as Lisbon and Porto are becoming more and more international, attracting young people from all over the world.
If you are one of them, you should read the most important things you need to know before moving to Portugal that we collected for you.
 
Although Portugal does not have an official Au Pair program, it is possible to make such an experience in this wonderful country. How?
 
Find more information in the sections below:
Before starting the Au Pair experience, the candidate and the Host Family have to discuss all the details of the Au Pair stay and write them in the contract. Another point that should not be forgotten and should be taken care of before departure is the health insurance.
Depending on where they come from and where they want to go, Au Pairs may need a visa and/or a work permit.
During the Au Pair stay in Portugal, the Au Pair and Host Family have certain duties as well as regulations to stick to. Make sure to get all the information in advance to start your journey without surprises!
Before searching for a Host Family in Portugal you should check if you meet the requirements to be an Au Pair in this country. 
Before searching for an Au Pair you should check if you meet the requirements to become a Host Family in Portugal.

The Au Pair contract  

The Au Pair will need to sign a regular work contract. The Host Family must employ the Au Pair on a regular basis as a childminder. Therefore, the Au Pair must fulfill the requirements for childminders. Families and Au Pairs can also fulfill and sign the Au Pair contract template available on our website. It is possible to download it and personalize it including all relevant details. It is important to add as many details as possible, such as:
Become an Au Pair in Melbourne
The Au Pair contract
  • Au Pair duties during the stay
  • Working hours (around 30 per week)
  • Length of the stay (maximum of 12 months)
  • Free time and holiday entitlement
  • Au Pair salary
  • Insurance
  • Language course

Termination of the contract

If anything happens and one of the parties needs to leave, you might consider the termination of the contract.
 
Whatever the reason for the termination is, it is important to respect the notice period. Whether it is the Au Pair or the Host Family to take this decision, the notice period is two weeks. During this time, both of the parties have to cooperate and, if possible, help the other one to find a solution. 

The Au Pair insurance in Portugal:

The Au Pair will need insurance during their stay in the host country. The insurance should cover the whole length of the  program.
 
EU/EEA citizens are covered by their European Health Insurance Card. Anyway, once the childminder starts working in Portugal and he/she is registered with social security (Segurança Social), they are registered for healthcare coverage, whether they are European citizens or not. 

Deductions for coverage are automatically taken from their pay.
Without a healthcare card, foreigners are only entitled to free emergency treatment from the state healthcare system, with all other services charged at full price.

Visa information

Become an Au Pair in Kopenhagen
The Au Pair visa
Citizens from the EU/EEA and Switzerland can enter Portugal using only their ID cards: it is not required any Portuguese work visa to live or work in the country.
However, those who come to work in Portugal for longer than six months need a Residence Certificate (Certificado de Registo).
 
Portugal also has many agreements with non-European countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand: citizens from these countries are allowed to enter and stay in Portugal for 90 days within a six-month period (180 days) without needing any visa.

Non-EU citizens

There is a difference between non-European citizens entering Portugal for work purposes based on the length of their stay. 
  • Those who are entering Portugal for less than three months will require a short-term Portuguese Schengen Visa for business purposes
  • Those who wish to stay longer than three months will need to apply for a long-term visa or Portuguese residency visa before arriving. After the arrival, they will need to apply for a Portuguese residence permit.

Au Pair salary in Portugal

Since there is not an official Au Pair program in Portugal, the Host Family will need to employ the Au Pair as a regular employee. It means that the Au Pair will not receive a pocket money, but a real salary corresponding at least at the minimum wage of the country. 

Working Hours and Holidays

Au Pairs usually work 25 to 35 hours per week (including babysitting) and also have a certain amount of paid holiday during the program.
According to the Portuguese Employment Law, employees are entitled to 22 working days of paid holiday per year.
Although Host Families in Portugal must hire Au Pairs with a regular employment contract, do not forget that the main goal of this program is the cultural exchange. 
Au Pairs should spend time with the Host Family and should also have some time off - at least one free day - during the week.

The Au Pair Room

One of the Host Family’s requirements is to be able to provide the Au Pair with a private room throughout the whole Au Pair experience abroad.
Even in Portugal, where the Au Pair program is not official, we recommend hosting the Au Pair in your own home to fully experience the cultural exchange that underlies this program. In case this is not possible, it is not a problem.
You can host your Au Pair in an apartment close to your home as long as it is in a safe area and not too far away.
Finally, since this is a different program than the regular Au Pair one, the Host Family is not obligated to pay for the childminder's rent, but it would be nice if they did just as they do in the official Au Pair program. 
You can see all the duties and requirements of the official Au Pair program by clicking here.

Language course

A crucial part of the Au Pair experience is immersing in the culture of the Host Country. Learning the local language, or improving your knowledge of it, is one of the most beneficial ways if you want to take an active part in this process.
Au Pairs in Portugal have the chance to attend a language course to improve their Portuguese skills. Au Pairs must have enough free time to attend a language class. It is important that the Au Pair and Host Family communicate and cooperate to find a language school with a schedule that matches the Au Pair's routine.
The Au Pair is responsible for the costs of the language course, but the family can contribute or cover the costs if they wish.
Learning one (or more) foreign languages is a skill that is in demand in many work fields. In addition, Portuguese is a growing language and there are many reasons why you should learn it.

How to become an Au Pair in Portugal: requirements

The requirements of the Au Pair program in Portugal vary depending on the Au Pair's home country. We have collected all the information on how to become an Au Pair in Portugal valid for EU and Non-EU citizens.

EU citizens

If you are a EU citizen you won’t need to apply for a visa.
 
However you have to meet these requirements:
  • Age: 21-30 *
  • Language skills: must be able to communicate in English or have a basic knowledge of English. Other languages, especially French, are considered as a plus.
  • Clear criminal record

Non-EU citizens

  • Being eligible for a Visa and/or a residence permit.
  • Age: 21-30 *
  • Language skills: must be able to communicate in English or have a basic knowledge of English. Other languages, especially French, are considered as a plus.
  • Clear criminal record
*Since the Au Pair program is not official in Portugal, Au Pairs will have to be employed as childminders. The age limit to be employed as a childminder is 21-54

How to become a Host Family in Portugal: requirements

Become an Au Pair in Kopenhagen
Host an Au Pair
Many young people choose Portugal to make an experience of living abroad. What most attracts them is the wonderful weather, the beautiful places to visit, the international and relaxed atmosphere in big cities and the favorable cost of living. 
 
On the other side, hosting an Au Pair could be a great opportunity for many families to cut the costs of a childcare solution, that sometimes can be overwhelming. 
The benefits of hosting an Au Pair are various and the chances to meet a young person who wants to take care of your children and do light houseworks in exchange for pocket money, a  room and full board are very high. 
Portugal is now one of the favourite destinations for Erasmus students, so hosting one of them during their stay could be a win-win solution. 
Due to common language and culture, Brazilians who want to relocate in Europe or spend some months abroad to gain experience find Portugal really attractive and relatively easier to reach compared to other countries. 
 
Despite the fact that Portugal doesn’t have an official Au Pair program, we suggest Host Families treat their hosts as if they were a new temporary family member, and not as employees. The main reason for taking part in the Au Pair program should always be the cultural exchange. Host Families must be interested in sharing their culture while meeting and embracing another one.

In addition to this, there are some requirements that Host Families must meet, such as:
  • Having at least one kid under the age of 18 years. 
  • Being able to offer meals and a monthly salary.
  • Being able to provide the participant with their own room (in their own home or nearby)
  • Respect for the working hours of the Au Pair.





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