The requirements for EU citizens and non-EU citizens are different.
EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
Non-EU and Croatia: Citizens of all other countries
Au pairs from EU/EFTA/EEA
Au pairs from an EU or EFTA country do not need a visa to enter Austria.
Step 1: A valid identity card or passport is required
EU citizens (exception: Croatia) can enter Austria with a valid identity card or passport.
Step 2: Residence registration card
Au pairs who are citizens of an EU state or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland do not need a residence permit. However, if the stay in Austria is longer than 3 months then a residence registration card from the responsible local authority is required.
Step 3: Public social insurance in Austria
In accordance with the Austrian General Social Security Act (ASVG), the au pair must be registered in the social insurance system in Austria.
Au pairs from non-EU states
Au pairs from non-EU countries need a visa to enter Austria. The maximum age when applying for a visa as an au pair is 27.
Step 1: A valid passport is required
Au pairs should make sure that they have a valid passport. If the au pair doesn't have a passport, sufficient time for obtaining the passport needs to be planned. Applying for a passport can take several months.
Step 2: Register the au pair at the Austrian employment office
Two weeks before the au pair stay begins, the host family must contact the Arbeitsmarktservice - AMS (the Austrian employment office). To complete this registration, the host family needs the following documents:
- Proof of the German language skills of the au pair
- A signed copy of the au pair contract in which the most important points of the au pair stay are specified
When both the au pair and the family fulfil the requirements of the AMS, then the application confirmation will be issued. This confirmation is typically valid for six months and can then be extended for an additional six months.
Basic requirements from the AMS for confirming the au pair application:
- The applicant is at least 18 years old and not older than 27.
- The applicant has not been an au pair in Austria in the last five years.
- The main purpose of the stay in Austria is to experience life in Austria as an au pair. The au pair would like to learn more about the Austrian culture and people as well as improve her or his language skills with the help of the host family.
- The au pair has a basic knowledge of German and can prove this.
- At least one child under the age of 18 lives in the household.
- The duties of the au pair consist mainly of childcare and in some light housework.
Step 3: Apply for visa
As soon as the application confirmation from the AMS has been received, the au pair can apply for a visa at the Austrian embassy or consulate using this German form. The application confirmation from the AMS serves as the basis for the issuing of the au pair visa and the residence permit.
For the visa application, the au pair must include the following documents in original and copy:
- The residence permit application
- A valid travel document
- A birth certificate or equivalent document
- A current passport photo
- A current police clearance check or equivalent document
- Proof of health insurance that covers the entire au pair stay
- The au pair contract
- Application confirmation from the AMS
In some cases, further documents may be required. Foreign documents must be provided with a certified German translation. For details inquire at the responsible embassy or consulate.
The issuing of visas for au pairs from Africa and Asia can take up to four months. The AMS cannot compensate for this waiting period with a corresponding extension of the application confirmation. As a result, an au pair stay of twelve months is probably not possible.
If the au pair is currently living in another country than their own, then the residence permit can be applied for at the Austrian embassy in this country.
When the Austrian officials approve the application, the embassy informs the au pair and issues a visa for entry if such a visa is required. The au pair can then enter the country and receive the residence permit in Austria from the officials there.
For au pairs who can enter Austria without a visa, the application for the residence permit can be made directly in Austria. All other persons must apply before entering the country.
Here is additional visa information for au pairs from non-EU countries from the website of the Austrian government on the residence permit that is provided only in German.
Step 4: Registration of the au pair in the Austrian social insurance system
As soon as au pairs arrive in Austria, they should be registered in the public social insurance system.
Working Holiday Visa
What is the Working Holiday Programme in Austria?
The Working Holiday Programme allows young people from certain countries to live and work in Austria. The maximum length of the program is 12 months; for applicants from New Zealand the maximum length is 6 months.
What is important with the Working Holiday Programme?
The Programme is intended for young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to enter into a limited working relationship while travelling in Austria or also wish to use education facilities in the country. Under the Working Holiday Programme, employment and education are not the primary reason for travelling abroad but are a kind of incidental benefit.
In connection with the visa, it can be helpful to obtain the so-called "Bestätigung der Ausnahme vom Geltungsbereich des Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz". This document is issued by the regional office of the Austrian Employment Office (Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS)) where an au pair is staying. Host families will need to conform with the prescribed regulations regarding wages and working conditions as well as social insurance requirements.
Who can apply for the Working Holiday visa?
Young people from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan can apply for the visa at the Austrian embassy or consulate in their country. Application can be made starting 3 months before the planned time of travel and not later than 3 weeks before the planned arrival in Austria.
Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Koreans who are already in Europe can also apply for the visa from selected Austrian embassies in Europe.
Applicants for the visa must be between 18 and 30 years of age. It is possible for 17-year-olds to apply for the visa if the stay in Austria will first begin after the 18th birthday. The Working Holiday visa will usually only be issued once in the lifetime of any applicant.
Applicants for the Working Holiday visa must provide proof of insurance and of sufficient financial resources for the first months of their stay as well as return travel to their home country.
Which documents are required for the visa application?
- A completed application form
- A passport that is valid for at least three months longer than the planned trip period
- A current, biometric passport photo
- A return ticket or sufficient financial resources to pay for such a ticket
- Proof of travel, health and accident insurance
- Proof of sufficient financial resources for the planned stay
Further information and requirements regarding the Working Holiday visa application are available from the website of the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.