au pair

Does the Au Pair need a visa?

The visa requirements vary depending on the Au Pair citizenship and target country. The Au Pair needs to ask the host country's embassy in her/his homeland about the visa requirements. 
EU and EFTA citizens don’t need a visa to work in the European Union, but they need it to work outside the EU, for example in China, Australia, Canada or USA (to become an Au Pair in the USA, the Au Pairs will need to apply for a J-1 Visa, which can be issued only if they register with a sponsor agency’s partner in the Au Pair’s home country).

The Host Family and the Au Pair should check in advance the visa requirements. If it is not possible for the Au Pair to get a visa, both Au Pair and Host Family can move forward to find another match. 
If the Au Pair does not meet the visa requirements in one country, it doesn't mean she/he cannot get a visa in another. Detailed information is available in embassies and consulates of the prospective host countries, where the visa application has to be also submitted.
The future Host Family can call or visit the local registration / immigration office. There they can get detailed information about hosting an Au Pair and visa regulations in their country. On you can also find visa requirements in majority of the countries which have official legal regulations regarding the Au Pair program:


If the Au Pair needs to extend the visa, it is usually possible to do it in the host country. The Au Pair will need to contact the embassy for further information.

Au Pairs with dual citizenship

If someone with a dual citizenship wants to be an Au Pair in the country of the second citizenship, he/she needs to meet the requirements. The process is identical to the other Au Pairs' except visa formalities. 
The Au Pair needs to register his/her permanent address at the resident’s registration office. Instead of the visa, the Au Pair generally needs to show the second passport. 

What documents should the Au Pairs provide to apply for the visa?

Au Pair VisaThe Au Pair should not apply for a visa before she/he finds the future Host Family and signs the contract, explaining terms and conditions of the Au Pair program. 
If the Au Pair needs to apply for a visa to enter the host country, she/he has to submit application for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the host country in the Au Pair’s country of residence. 
Some files, like letter of invitation or the Au Pair contract, signed by both parties, will be most likely needed during the application process. The Host Family should provide, as far as possible, all the supporting documents required for the visa.
Documents required during visa application may vary depending on the Au Pair’s citizenship and the destination country. Some countries require the applicants to have the basic language knowledge to get a visa. Sometimes an official certificate proving the Au Pair’s language fluency is crucial. 
As a rule, the following documents are required during the visa application:
  • Valid passport. The visa can't be issued if the Au Pair’s passport is not valid at the time of the application. The Au Pair should make sure it will be valid for the whole time she/he is going to spend in the host country. 
  • Signed Au Pair contract. The Host Family should fill and print the contract. They need to send the original to the Au Pair so that he/she can sign it, send a copy to the Host Family and show it at the host country's embassy.
  • Invitation letter from the Host Family. The Host Family should write an invitation letter and send it to the Au Pair. Sometimes the letter will need to be notarized to justify the Au Pair stays in the host country.
  • Certificate of criminal records. The Au Pair should not have any criminal records to be entitled to a visa.

Invitation letter for Au Pairs

In some cases, the Host Family will need to send an invitation letter for the Au Pair. This is normally just required when the Au Pair applies for a visa at the embassy. However, it is also a document that can be used to welcome the Au Pair into the family and make the expectations and duties clear.
To help Au Pairs and Host Families, we have created an example letter with the information which needs to be included.
Family Name
Family Address
Name of the Au Pair
Address of the Au Pair
City, and Date
Au Pair Invitation letter
Dear (Au Pair Name),

We, (name of the parents), want to invite you to be our Au Pair in (City, Country). Your stay would begin on the (Date) or in the next possible date and will last for *** months.

We are very glad to take part in this cultural exchange and to help you improve your language skills and learn more about our culture. During your stay you will support us in activities related to our children (Name and age of the children). Some of your duties are:

(Description of the Au Pair's responsibilities during the stay)

During your time with us, we expect you to work a maximum of *** hours a week. You will also have *** free days a week to enjoy our country. We will also respect the working schedule in order for you to attend a language course. For your support to our family we will pay you *** a month as pocket money. We will also pay for your health insurance which covers medical and accident expenses during the length of your Au Pair stay with our family.

We assure you that we will be responsible for your expenses during your Au Pair stay. We are really excited to welcome you as a family member and learn more about your culture.
Best Regards,
Name and signature of the Host Parents

Au Pair’s criminal record

It is often requested that the Au Pair hands in the criminal record. If the Au Pair chooses to organize his/her stay abroad with an agency, the agency will surely ask the Au Pair to submit a criminal record, as it is part of the standard procedures of screening possible candidates.
If an Au Pair found the Host Family with the help of an online agency (like eg., it is the decision of the family whether they want to see the criminal record of the Au Pair or not. In case they ask for it, the Au Pair should always send a copy of it even if it is not clear. 
A clear criminal record is an advantage when applying for an Au Pair job. The Host Family invites the Au Pair to live in their house and to take care of their children. This is a huge responsibility. Due to that reason, Au Pair agencies that place Au Pairs only accept candidates with clear criminal records.

Application for the criminal record

To apply for the criminal record, the Au Pair can ask for a query to get an excerpt out of the PNC (police national computer) at every police station. Therefore he/she only needs his/her ID and around 10 GBP for a necessary fee. The whole procedure will take approximately 2 weeks. The kind of offences listed in the criminal record depends on the country. Depending on the Au Pair Program of every country the Au Pair can be asked for different kinds of certificates. 

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