Visa and entry requirements for au pairs in Spain

What are the formalities to become an au pair in Spain or to host an au pair in Spain? Is there an au pair visa? Find out about all the steps that need to be taken before and during an au pair stay in Spain.

Young woman with a suitcase at the airport

There is neither an official au pair programme nor a specific au pair visa in Spain. However, au pair stays are included in the student visa. For some nationalities other visas are also possible. More detailed information about the procedure can be obtained from the Spanish embassies.

If the au pair comes from a Latin American country with Spanish as the official language, he/she will not be allowed to work as an au pair in Spain, as he/she cannot apply for a Spanish student visa.

If the au pair is going to stay in the country for more than 6 months, he/she should contact the relevant Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjería)or the local police station to apply for an identity card for foreigners (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero).  or police station to apply for the foreigner's identity card.

Important notice for Spanish host families:  In order to apply for a student or an au pair visa, the au pair must be enrolled in a Spanish course of at least 20 hours per week. These kinds of courses, however, are not offered in all cities or villages in Spain. Should no such course be offered in your particular city or village, you will unfortunately only be able to host an au pair coming from an EU or EFTA country for whom no visa is required. 

Formalities depending on the au pair's nationality

  • Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries

    Countries of the EU and EFTA

    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

    Step 1: A valid passport or identity card

    Before they travel, au pairs should be sure that their passports or identity cards are  valid. A visa for entry into Spain is not required.

    Step 2: Registration at the municipal registry office (Padrón Municipal)

    Au pairs staying longer than 3 months in Spain must inform the communal registry office that they are living with their host family. The procedures involved vary from province to province so host families should help au pairs with this step.

    Step 3: Apply for EU registration certificate

    If the au pairs stay is longer than three months, the au pair will need to go to the residents office for foreign nationals on arriving in Spain to apply for an EU registration certificate at the Central Register for Foreigners (Registro Central de Extranjeros). 
    Au pairs need to bear in mind that formalities differ according to the Autonomous Community and province. If it is necessary to schedule an appointment in advance via the Internet, select the appropriate host province and the option "EU registration certificates". Au pairs will have to provide the following documents:

    • two completed and signed copies of the official application form (EX-18)
    • the valid passport or ID
    • proof of public or private health insurance for the complete au pair stay
    • proof of sufficient funds for the complete stay in Spain (the au pair contract can serve as proof).

    Furthermore, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Documents in other languages need to be translated into Spanish or the corresponding co-official language of the region where the application is being made

    Please note: It is allowed to submit copies of the aforementioned documents. However, it is necessary to have the originals to show when submitting the application. A processing fee must also be paid.

     

  • Au pairs from the USA

    The procedures for becoming an au pair in Spain vary according to the intended length of stay and the au pair's home state in the USA. 

    For aupair stays less than 90 days

    If au pairs intend to stay in Spain for less than 90 days, they will not need a visa to travel to Spain, provided that they have the U.S. citizenship. Nevertheless, they will need to give a reason their stay. It is advisable to cite study purposes or private matters as the reason for the stay. The following documents will be required:

    • a valid passport
    • a health insurance covering the au pair throughout the entire stay
    • a certificate of enrolment in a language course
    • the letter of invitation from the host family (available at their local police station)
    • the au pair contract signed by both parties (it may serve as a proof of funds at the au pair's disposal)

    It is always advisable for the au pair to ask the relevant consulate office (see list below) which specific documents need to be provided. Additionally, we recommend bringing along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Au pair stays longer than 90 days

    For au pair stays longer than 90 days, it is necessary to have a visa, which will typically be a student visa.

    To apply for a student visa, it is necessary to select the following points on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    • Country: United States
    • Consulate: Depending on the state in which you live (see table below).
    • Service categories: Visas
    • Consular services: National Visas - student visas 

    The following table shows which consulate should be contracted dependingon the au pairs's home state in the USA:

    Spanish consulate Consular jurisdiction
    Boston Maine, Massachussets, New Hampshire,
    Rhode Island, Vermont
    Chicago Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
    Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
    North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
    Houston Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
    New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
    Los Angeles Südkalifornien (Verwaltungsbezirke: Imperial, Inyo, Kern,
    Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Bernardino,
    San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura),
    Arizona, Colorado, Utah
    Miami Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
    New York New York, Connecticut, Delaware,
    Pennsylvania, New Jersey
    San Francisco Alaska, Nordkalifornien, Hawaii, Idaho,
    Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington,
    Wyoming, pazifische Inseln
    Washington DC Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia,
    West Virgina, North Carolina

    Important notice for Spanish families: The au pair must be enrolled in a Spanish course for at least 20 hours per week in order to apply for the au pair or student visa. These kinds of courses, however, are not offered in all cities or villages in Spain. If no such language course is offered in your particular city or village, you will unfortunately not be able to host an au pair from the USA. In this case, you need to choose au pairs with different nationalities.

  • Au pairs from Australia

    For au pairs from Australia, there are several possibilities to become an au pair in Spain depending on the length of the au pair stay.

    Stays of less than 90 days

    Au pairs staying less than 90 days in Spain can travel to Spain without a visa. However, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the stay in Spain. The stay can be justified for study or private reasons with the following documents, among others:

    • valid passport
    • medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay
    • enrolment in a language course
    • letter of invitation from the host family (issued by the police)
    • au pair contract signed by both parties (to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the stay)

    Please check in advance with the authorities yourself about the required documents. Additionally, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Stays longer than 90 days

    If the au pair stay will last longer than 90 days, there are two alternatives: apply for a student visa (it is important to choose the right consulate) or to apply for a Youth Mobility visa. With the latter, you can work, study or travel in Spain for up to 12 months, but you cannot stay more than six months with the same family.

  • Au pairs from Canada

    Stays of less than 90 days

    Au pairs from Canada staying less than 90 days in Spain can travel to Spain without a visa. However, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the stay in Spain. The stay can be justified for study or private reasons with the following documents, among others:

    • valid passport
    • medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay
    • enrolment in a language course
    • letter of invitation from the host family (issued by the police)
    • au pair contract signed by both parties (to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the stay)

    Please check in advance with the authorities yourself about the required documents. Additionally, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Stays longer than 90 days

    If the au pair stay will last longer than 90 days, there are two alternatives: apply for a student visa (it is important to choose the right consulate depending on the au pair's place of residence) or to apply for a Youth Mobility visa. Youth Mobility visas are limited. With the latter, you can work, study or travel in Spain for up to 12 months, but you cannot stay more than six months with the same family.

  • Au pairs from New Zealand

    Stays of less than 90 days

    Au pairs from New Zealand staying less than 90 days in Spain can travel to Spain without a visa. However, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the stay in Spain. The stay can be justified for study or private reasons with the following documents, among others:

    • valid passport
    • medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay
    • enrolment in a language course
    • letter of invitation from the host family (issued by the police)
    • au pair contract signed by both parties (to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the stay)

    Please check in advance with the authorities yourself about the required documents. Additionally, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Stays longer than 90 days

    For longer stays, there is the student visa or the Working Holiday programme to facilitate an au pair stay in Spain. With the Working Holiday programme, au pairs are not allowed to work with the same family for more than three months, or more than six months in general.

  • Au pairs from the United Kingdom

    Stays of less than 90 days

    Au pairs from the United Kingdom staying less than 90 days in Spain can travel to Spain without a visa. However, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the stay in Spain. The stay can be justified for study or private reasons with the following documents, among others:

    • valid passport
    • medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay
    • enrolment in a language course
    • letter of invitation from the host family (issued by the police)
    • au pair contract signed by both parties (to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the stay)

    Please check in advance with the authorities yourself about the required documents. Additionally, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Stays longer than 90 days

    For longer stays, British au pairs can apply for the student visa. To obtain the student visa, the au pair must enrol in a Spanish course before arriving in Spain (the family must do it for him/her) and do a minimum of 20 hours of classes per week. The school where the au pair takes the course must be an accredited centre, such as the Instituto Cervantes.

  • Au pairs from other countries

    There are various options depending on the length of the au pair's stay. 

    Stays of less than 90 days

    Au pairs staying for less than three months need to find out first if persons from their country they need a visa to enter Spain as part of the Schengen Area. If they do need a visa, they must apply for a short term visa (Schengen visa).

    Whether an au pair needs a visa or not, it is necessary to have the correct documentation for the stay in Spain. The stay can be justified for study or private reasons with the following documents, among others:

    • valid passport
    • medical insurance valid for the duration of your stay
    • enrolment in a language course
    • letter of invitation from the host family (issued by the police)
    • au pair contract signed by both parties (to prove that you have sufficient financial means for the stay)

    Please check in advance with the authorities yourself about the required documents. Additionally, it is advisable to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement in Spanish.

    Stays longer than 90 days

    If the stay is longer than three months, there are two ways to travel to Spain and work as an au pair:

    Student visa

    In order to obtain a student visa, the au pair must enrol in a Spanish course before arriving in Spain (the family must do it for him/her) and do a minimum of 20 hours of classes per week. The academy where he/she takes the course must be accredited, such as the Instituto Cervantes. When applying for the visa at the consulate or embassy, the au pair must submit the certificate of enrolment, the contract signed by the family and proof that the au pair has medical insurance, among other things. Go to the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and click on the following options to obtain information on all the requirements and necessary procedures:

    • Country: Depending on the au pair's nationality.
    • Delegation: According to the region where the au pair lives
    • Service categories: Visas
    • Consular services: National visas - study visas 

    Once the au pair arrives in Spain, he/she has one month to present him/herself at the Police Brigade and ask for an appointment to apply for the residence card.

    Temporary residence permit (Autorización inicial de residencia temporal no lucrativa)

    This authorisation will allow the au pair to travel to Spain. They will need, among other things, to prove that they can afford to stay and that they have health insurance to cover them for the duration of their stay. You can find more information about the requirements and procedures at the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and selecting the following options on the website:

    • Country: Depending on the au pair's nationality.
    • Delegation: According to the region where the au pair lives
    • Service categories: Visas
    • Consular services: National visas - Autorización inicial de residencia temporal no lucrativa

     

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.