Become an Au Pair in Western Europe

Below is country specific information on becoming an au pair for the most common Western European countries. If you have questions about a country not listed here, your first stop should be the immigration website for the country you are interested in.

Austria

Visa requirements: A work permit for up to one year can be acquired for you by the host family two weeks before your start date with a copy of a signed contract. Maximum work period is 12 months. You must be between 18-28 years old.
Typical wages: 50-80 euro/week.
Typical work hours: 25 hours per week.
Other information: There are no requirements in Austria to go to language school while working as an au pair.

Denmark

Visa requirements: You do not need a work permit, but you do need a residence permit, which can be obtained by your host family prior to your arrival. The maximum contract is 18 months, and you must have a basic understanding of at least one of English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, or German. Canadians can also get a working holiday visa. You must be between 17-29 years old.
Typical wages: minimum of DKK 2500/month (about 330 euros).
Typical work hours: 18-30 hours per week with a minimum of one day off per week.
Other information: There are no requirements for the au pair to attend language classes.

France

Visa requirements: Working as an au pair in France requires a work permit for non EEA members and you must be able to show that you have sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket. Canadians can also get a working holiday visa. You must be between 18-30 years old.
Typical wages: 240-270 euro/month for a 33 hour week. Some families may give a 20 euro/week contribution to language classes and families in Paris usually provide a Carte Orange travel pass.

Typical work hours: 30-35 hours per week and 2-3 nights per week with a minimum of one day off per week.
Other information: Au pairs are required to take part in a language course.

Germany

Visa requirements: A work permit is required based on a signed contract that you must take to a German consulate. They will also confirm that you have a basic understanding of German. Maximum length of contract is 12 months. Canadians can also get a working holiday visa. You must be between 18-25 years old.
Typical wages: 260 euro/month.
Typical work hours: 30-35 hours per week.
Other information: Au pairs should be given time to take part in a language course.

Ireland

Visa requirements: Your mother tongue cannot be English. Au Pair visas are only available to EEA members so if you do wish to work in Ireland as an au pair, you must get a student visa. Canadians also have the option of getting a working holiday visa.
Typical wages: 80-100 euro/week.
Typical work hours: Maximum 25 hours per week allowed under a student visa.
Other information: You will have to be enrolled in a language course to be issued a student visa.

Italy

Visa requirements:. North Americans need a long stay visa to work as an au pair in Italy. This means you need to have proof of enrollment at a language school and your visa duration will be for the same length as your enrollment. You must also provide proof of both travel and medical insurance. You must be between 18-30 years old.
Typical wages: 60-65 euro/week for au pairs and 80-90 euro/week for au pair plus au pairs.
Typical work hours: 5-6 hours per day and 2 days off per week. For the au pair plus program, typical hours are 7-8 hours per day and 2 days off per week.
Other information: Au pairs must be enrolled in a language course before a visa is issued.

Netherlands

Visa requirements: For au pair work in the Netherlands you only need a residence permit. You must be single and this must be your first residence permit. You must be between 18-25 years old and have valid health insurance and the contract can be for a maximum of one year. A list of all the conditions can be found on the official Netherlands immigration website.
Typical wages: 340 euros/month.
Typical work hours: Maximum of 8 hours a day and 30 days a week with a minimum of 2 days off per week.
Other information: There are no requirements for the au pair to attend language classes.

Norway

Visa requirements: You must obtain a work visa prior to entering Norway from the consulate in your home country. To get the visa, you must already have a signed contract from the host family and it usually takes 3-6 months to receive the visa. Canadians also have the option of getting a working holiday visa. You must be between 18-30 years old.
Typical wages: 70 euros/week.
Typical work hours: 30 hours/week.
Other information: The host family will cover medical insurance costs. There are no requirements for the au pair to attend language classes but the family is expected to give the au pair time off for language classes should they wish to take some.

Spain

Visa requirements: Apply for a student visa prior to leaving North America, but they are fairly quick and easy to obtain. You must be between 18-27 years old.
Typical wages: 50-60 euros/week for an au pair and 80-90 euros/week for an au pair plus.
Typical work hours: 30 hours/week for an au pair and 40 hours per week for an au pair plus. Both types will also babysit one or two nights a week and have two days off.
Other information: You must also have proof of medical insurance and you must be enrolled in a language course of at least 15 hours per week.

Switzerland

Visa requirements: Contracts are for between one year and 18 months and you must be single. You must be between 17-29 years old.
Typical wages: 50-60 euros/week for an au pair and 80-90 euros/week for an au pair plus.
Typical work hours: 30 hours/week for an au pair and 40 hours per week for an au pair plus. Both types will also babysit one or two nights a week and have two days off.
Other information: You cannot share the same mother tongue as the family and you must be enrolled in a language course of at least 3 hours per week, 4 hours per week in Geneva.

UK

Visa requirements: Your mother tongue cannot be English. Au Pair visas are only available to EEA members so you must get a student visa. Canadians also have the option of getting a working holiday visa and Americans can go through BUNAC. You must be between 17-30 years old. Tip – learn more about working in the UK in our Work Abroad section.
Typical wages: 55-60 pounds/week.
Typical work hours: Maximum 25 hours per week allowed under a student visa.
Other information: You will have to be enrolled in a language course to be issued a student visa.

 

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