Depending on the country you would like to go to as an Au Pair, you may need an Au Pair Visa for the duration of your stay. That’s a very important legal document that allows you to live with a Host family in the country of your choice and help them with child care and small duties around the house.
Mostly the Au Pair visas are strictly limiting in terms of the kind of work you can offer and the number of months you can stay. It’s the Au Pairs duty to take care of the visa as it is initiated in her or his country of origin.
If you have found a Host Family already and they are keen for you to come, you can ask them if they are happy to pay some of the visa application costs. However don’t be disappointed if they refuse to pay. Not all Host Families have made the best experience with previous Au Pairs before they are in contact with you. So better to not expect too much in advance. You can still proof your willingness and attitude and hopefully have a nice and supportive Host Family abroad.
Where to start with the Au Pair Visa?
The embassy or consulate of the country you would like to live in as an Au Pair in your home country is your first point of contact. They are responsible to check your Au Pair visa application, conduct interviews where necessary and issue the travel document.
Normally it’s an easy Google search to find the embassy. Lets say you are from Tunisia and want to go to England as an Au Pair you would just type:
au pair visa england from tunisia
You get shown the website from the British Embassy in Tunis and can get all information you need to know from the website.
Checklist for documents needed for an Au Pair Visa
The documents and information you need to hand in with your Au Pair visa application can vary from country to country. Sometimes they must be translated into the language of the destination country. Be aware that these translations often need to be certified which means you have to pay a certified translator for the translation.
Also the overall application process can be a bit different depending on the country of destination. Very often you have to provide the following documents and information:
- Your passport
- Current address
- Names, date of birth and address of your parents
- Your occupation
- Certificates and diplomas from schools and Universities
- The reason for your application
- The length of your stay
- Contact details of the future Host Family
- Proof of a certain amount of savings
- Proof of a certain language skills
How long does the application process take?
You should plan at least 4 weeks for the application process. We would recommend to even prepare that it can take up to 12 weeks. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, embassies are very often not fully open. Getting the paperwork done, especially if they ask you to provide further documents, can take quite some time.
It’s probably best to wait for the successful visa application before you confirm the start date with your future Host Family. The same applies to booking your flight: Better wait until you have the visum and then book your flight.
Can Au Pairs from the EU work as Au Pairs in the UK after Brexit?
Unfortunately this is currently under a big debate. Before Brexit, EU nationals benefitted from freedom of move and it was super easy for young EU nationaly to move to the UK and spend whatever time they wanted as an Au Pair.
Many of them also fell in love with the country and stayed. They studied or found a proper job after au pairing. This possibility has now ended. Only EU nationaly who have been living in the UK before end of 2020 are eligable to apply for the EU settled status. With a settled status you are allowed to live and work as an Au Pair in UK.
EU nationals are currently banned from becoming an Au Pair in the UK
So currently (mid 2021) it is unfortunately NOT POSSIBLE for EU nationals to legally come to the UK to live with a Host Family and provide child care. There is hope that the current Youth Mobility Scheme that allows young people from 9 countries to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years, will be expanded to EU Nationals. It looks like this will become the only legal route for EU nationals to get a permission to come to the UK as an Au Pair.
British Host Families are fighting for this legal change of the Youth Mobility Scheme. Fingers crossed this law change will come soon!
What can UK Host Families in need of the help of Au Pairs do?
There are a few options for families in the UK to find an Au Pair. They can either look for Au Pairs with a UK passport. It’s much more common now that young British women and men move in with a British family as their Au Pair. If this fulfills the idea of a cultural exchange of the Au Pair programm is questionable…
Host families can also look for Au Pairs who have a settled status. Last but not least, there are currently 9 countries where visas through the Youth Mobility Scheme are granted:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
So girls and boys from the above countries are eligable to come to the UK and work as an Au Pair.