Visa and entry requirements for au pairs in France

What are the entry requirements for au pairs travelling to France? Do you need to have an au pair visa? We have collected all the important information for both EU and non-EU citizens here on this page.

Young woman with suitcase at the airport

The travel regulations 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: Citizens of all other countries

Information for au pairs from the EU

Step 1: Check the validity of your identity card or passport

For EU citizens a valid passport or identity card is sufficient to travel to France as an au pair. 

Step 2: Sign the au pair contract

Au pairs and host families should sign two copies of the contract and send these to each other. A copy of the official contract is available on our contract page. Before the au pair stay begins, both the au pair and the host family should have a finalized, signed contract in their possession.

Step 3: Register the au pair with the URSSAF 

Within the first 8 days after the au pair arrives, the host family must register the au pair as a "stagiaire aide familial étranger" at the URSSAF (Unions de Recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d'Allocations Familiales). In addition, the au pair will be registered with the public health insurance (CPAM, Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maluadie) and will receive a social insurance number.The host family pays the social insurance contributions for the au pair.


Information for au pairs from non-EU countries

Step 1: Check the validity of the au pair's passport

If the au pair does not have a current passport, an application should be made immediately to obtain one . The passport must be valid for the full length of the intended stay in France.

Step 2:  Au pair contract and visa application

To enter France as an au pair, a non-EU citizen needs a "visa long séjour VLS-TS". Only this type of visa makes it possible to come to France and work as an au pair. The au pair should contact the French Embassy in his/her home country for more detailed information about the necessary documents such as the au pair contract (convention au pair) signed by both parties. Au pairs who need a visa must have a basic knowledge of the French language (A1/A2). Please note: it may take some time until the visa is issued.

Step 3: Validation of the long stay visa and registration at the OFII (online process)

Once in France the au pair must validate his/her visa online and declare himself/herself to the OFII. The au pair MUST do it within three months of arriving in France. If the au pair fails to do so, he/she will no longer be legally present in France and will be unable to re-enter the Schengen Area. The validation procedure is completely online and the au pair will need to provide:

  • The information on his/her visa;
  • The date on which he/she entered France;
  • His/her residential address in France;
  • His/her credit card to pay online the issuance fee for the appropriate residence permit or electronic stamp for his/her circumstances, which can be purchase at any newsagent.

The OFII (French Office for Immigration and Integration) reserves the right to call the au pair for a meeting to carry out further formalities, have a medical check-up and/or sign an integration contract.

NB: if the au pair wishes to remain in France for longer than the validity period of the VLS-TS, he/she must apply for a residence permit at the local prefecture within the two months prior to the expiry date of his/her long-term visa. For further information, see the website of the local prefecture or contact the Service Public Français.

Step 4: Registration with the URSSAF

Within eight days upon the au pair's arrival in France, the host family needs to register him/her with the local URSSAF (Unions de Recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité sociale et d'allocations familiales) as a "stagiaire aide familial étranger". Furthermore, it is compulsory that they register you with the insurance institution Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie to have him/her covered in case of illness and maternity. The host family will pay the Social Security contributions.

Useful links:

  • Official site informing on the steps which need to be taken to host or become an au pair in France
  • France-Visas: The official visa website for France
We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.