Entry and visa requirements for au pairs in Ireland

What do EU citizens and non-EU citizens need to have in mind when planning an au pair stay in Ireland? Is a visa required? What do host families in Ireland need to organise for an au pair who is coming to stay? All the important regulations are presented here to answer your questions.

Young woman with a suitcase at the airport

The 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

Au pairs from the EU

Step 1: A valid passport or identity card?

Before heading to Ireland, au pairs should check that their identity card or passport is still valid.

EU citizens do not need to register with local immigration authorities and do not need to obtain a residence permit.

However, we do recommend that au pairs apply for a PPS number. This can facilitate access to the Irish healthcare for example. In order to apply for the PPS number, the au pair must already be residing in Ireland.

How to apply for a PPS number

The Department of Social Protection issues the PPS number to the au pair. Further information is available at the Social Welfare Local Office.

The following documents are required when applying for a PPS number:

  • A valid passport or identity card
  • Proof of place of residence. For this purpose, the host family should write a short letter confirming that the au pair is currently living with them. It may be that the au pair nneds to attach a household utility bill in the family's name and address (telephone, gas, electricity etc.). 

More information on the PPS number is available at the Citizens Information website.


Au pairs from non-EU states

Step 1: Apply for a visa

Working Holiday Maker programme in Ireland

Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan may apply for a Working Holiday visa. Please note that the number of visas is limited and that there are certain periods in which the application must be made. Furthermore, applicants must have sufficient funds to support themselves at least during the initial part of their stay in Ireland.

Further information on the Working Holiday Maker programme in Ireland.

Work & Travel programme in Ireland

US citizens can enter Ireland on a Work & Travel visa. Please note that, in order to qualify for the programme, participants should either be in post-secondary education or have recently graduated (i.e. within the last 12 months). In addition, they will need to present an original bank statement showing that they have access to 1,500 € (or equivalent) plus a return ticket or 3,000 € (or equivalent). Please check the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs to find out more about the Work & Travel programme in Ireland.

Student visa

Students from outside the EU / EFTA who attend a recognised full time study course of at least one full academic year may work up to 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during the academic summer and winter holidays. However, it should be noted that most host families wish their au pairs to work 30 hours per week.

Host families and au pairs should clarify in advance how many working hours per week will be expected and what the au pair's individual work schedule will be like. A full time study course may make it difficult to coordinate the au pair working hours with the planned course of study. It should be kept in mind that the immigration officials at the point of entry always have the right to refuse entry should they believe that the student is in truth intending to work full-time.

For any further questions concerning the student visa for Ireland, kindly turn to the Irish authorities.


Step 2: Registration with the local authorities

After the arrival of an au pair from a non-EU country in Ireland, she/he must register with the local authorities. 

Information on registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and applying for a PPS number

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.