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Au Pair Requirements - Can I become an Au Pair?

If you are going to become an Au Pair abroad you need to check first if you meet the Au Pair program requirements. You can have a look at these tables for a quick glance: For more details, we advise you to check the Au Pair program regulations in your target country.
 
In general, you need to meet:
become Au Pair
Are you looking for an exciting experience abroad, but you are not sure if you are eligible to participate in the Au Pair program? Though each country has specific requirements for participants, there is also some common criteria for participation that can be applied to the majority of Au Pair programs.

You can become an Au Pair if you:

  • are 17 - 30 years old
  • have a good command of English or other language spoken in the host country
  • enjoy working with kids
  • are not married and don't have kids of your own
  • have at least a high school diploma
  • are healthy without any chronic diseases
  • have a clear criminal record
  • want to spend 1 year abroad or more

Let's discuss each requirement in details. 

Age

You need to be at least 17 years old and not older than 30 to apply for the program. Check out the specific age requirements for each country. 

Language requirements

You need to be able to communicate on a daily basis with your Host Family. If the host country’s requirements don't state otherwise, usually good command of English or the host country's official language is more than enough. The Au Pair program is for you to practice a foreign language, so don't worry if you are not fluent yet!
 
Would you like to learn a foreign language...
... abroad? If you also like to hang out with kids, the Au Pair program is a perfect solution! Read more

If you need a visa to participate in the Au Pair program, you might be required a language certificate proving your knowledge of the target language. 
You are also allowed to improve your proficiency by attending a language course in the host country. In some countries, language courses are mandatory. 
 
become Au Pair

Family Status

In order to take part in the Au Pair program, you can't have children of your own. This is also a very important criteria to be entitled to the Au Pair visa. In many countries, you need to be unmarried as well. 

Education

You need to have at least a school diploma (depending on the country). Some Host Families might ask for additional certificates or documents proving your experience in childcare. 

Visa (if required)

You must fulfill the requirements of the host country's embassy to be entitled to the Au Pair visa. If you are interested in participating in the Au Pair USA program, check the requirements for the J-1 visa.  Read also more information about the working holiday visa, which is issued to Au Pairs in several countries. 

Au Pair's expenses

You must be able to cover the travel expenses required to reach the host country and get back home, unless you have agreed with your future Host Family on different terms. Though we encourage Host Families to support their Au Pairs with travel costs, this is not a mandatory requirement and totally depends on the family’s decision. 

Other requirements

You have to be healthy and not a smoker. Although smoking is not an official criteria, the chances to find a Host Family are much higher for non-smoking Au Pairs. 
 
Find a Host Family online!
At AuPair.com you can find thousands of Host Families from all over the world. Read our tips and find the perfect one. Learn more

You also need to love spending time with kids. As the Au Pair duties are mainly related to childcare, this experience will be enjoyable for you only if you like taking care of children. Most Host Families expect their Au Pair to have some kind of experience in childcare. You might have done some babysitting or worked in a kindergarten or another social institution for a while. The more references you can show, the better you can convince a Host Family.

As an online matching agency we have gathered the most important information about the Au Pair experience in our Au Pair Wiki. Check also the specific requirements for each country and our Au Pair FAQ if you have other questions.  
 

General requirements for Au Pairs from EU countries

Target country Age Language Education Visa
Australia 18 - 30 years  Good command of English No regulations Depends on your nationality - for more details check visa regulations in Australia
Austria 17 - 30 years  Basic german (with certificate) No regulations No visa needed
Belgium 17 - 30  years  No regulations No regulations No visa needed
Canada 18 - 30 years  Basic knowledge of English or French No regulations Depend on your nationality - for more details check visa regulations in Canada
China 18 - 29 years  Good command of English At least a school diploma Depend on length of the stay - for more details check visa regulations in China
Denmark 18 - 29 years  Knowledge of English, German, Swedish,  Norwegian or Danish Completed 8 - 9 years of schooling No visa needed
England / UK 17 - 30 years  Good command of English No regulations No visa needed
Finland 17 - 30 years  Basic knowledge of Finnish or Swedish At least school diploma No visa needed
France 17 - 30 years (or more: check Stagiaire program) No regulations At least high school diploma or equivalent No visa needed
Germany 18 - 30 years Basic german (sometimes you will need at least an A1 certificate) No regulations No visa needed
Iceland 18 - 27 years  Good knowledge of English No regulations No visa needed
Ireland 18 - 28 years Good knowledge of English No regulations No visa needed
Italy 18 - 30 years No regulations No regulations No visa needed
Luxembourg 18 - 30 years Good command of English or one of the three official languages of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish, German or French) At least high school diploma No visa needed
Netherlands 18 - 30 years No regulations No regulations No visa needed
New Zealand 18 - 30 years Good knowledge of English No regulations Check the visa regulations in New Zealand
Norway 18 - 30 years Good English or Norwegian skills No regulations No visa needed
Spain 18 - 30 years Basic knowledge of Spanish. Knowledge of English, French or German will also work No regulations No visa needed
Sweden 18 - 30 years No regulations - but Au Pair needs to prove interest in Swedish culture No regulations No visa needed
Switzerland 17 - 30 years Good knowledge of language of the canton for which you apply No regulations No visa needed
Turkey 18 - 30 years Good English or basic Turkish No regulations Check the visa regulations in Turkey
USA 18 - 26 years Good knowledge of English At least high school diploma J1 visa necessary - learn more about visa regulations in USA

General requirements for Au Pairs from non-EU countries

Target country Age Language Education Visa
Australia 18 - 30 years  Good command of English No regulations Depends on your nationality - for more details check visa regulations in Australia
Austria 18 - 28 years  Basic german (with certificate) No regulations Check visa requirements in Austria
Belgium 18 - 25  years  Basic knowledge of at least one of the three national languages: French, German or Dutch High school diploma or document that grants higher education Check visa requirements in Belgium
Canada 18 - 30 years  Basic knowledge of English or French No regulations Depend on your nationality - for more details check visa regulations in Canada
China 18 - 29 years  Good command of English At least a school diploma Depend on length of the stay - for more details check visa regulations in China
Denmark 18 - 29 years  Knowledge of English, German, Swedish,  Norwegian or Danish Completed 8 - 9 years of schooling Check visa regulations in Denmark
England / UK 18 - 30 years  Good command of English At least an intermediate school certificate Check visa regulations in United Kingdom
Finland 18 - 30 years  Basic knowledge of Finnish or Swedish At least school diploma Check visa regulations in Finland
France 18 - 30 years (or more: check Stagiaire program) Basic knowledge of French (certificate might be required) At least high school diploma or equivalent Check visa regulations in France
Germany 18 - 26 years Basic german (A1 certificate) No regulations Check visa regulations in Germany
Iceland 18 - 25 years  Good knowledge of English (it is not an official requirement but recommendation) No regulations Check visa regulations in Iceland
Ireland 18 - 27 years Good knowledge of English At least an intermediate school diploma  Check visa regulations in Ireland
Italy 18 - 30 years No regulations No regulations Check visa regulations in Italy
Luxembourg 18 - 30 years Good command of English or one of the three official languages of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish, German or French) At least high school diploma Check visa regulations in Luxembourg
Netherlands 18 - 30 years No regulations No regulations Check visa regulation in the Netherlands
New Zealand 18 - 30 years Good knowledge of English No regulations Check the visa regulations in New Zealand
Norway 18 - 30 years Good English or Norwegian skills No regulations Check the visa regulations in Norway
Spain 18 - 30 years Basic knowledge of Spanish. Knowledge of English, French or German will also work At least an intermediate school certificate Check the visa regulations in Spain
Sweden 18 - 30 years No regulations - but Au Pair needs to prove interest in Swedish culture No regulations Check visa regulations in Sweden
Switzerland 18 - 25 years Basic knowledge of the language spoken in the canton where you apply, but if you are a native in any of the three official languages of Switzerland, you cannot apply to work as an Au Pair in the region that speaks your mother tongue At least intermediate school certificate Check visa regulations to Switzerland
Turkey 18 - 30 years Good English or basic Turkish No regulations Check the visa regulations in Turkey
USA 18 - 26 years Good knowledge of English At least high school diploma J1 visa necessary - learn more about visa regulations in USA



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