Visa and entry requirements for au pairs in Spain

What are the entry requirements for au pairs coming to Spain? What visa is required and which documents have to be submitted? All the important information for au pairs and host families on how to organise an au pair stay in Spain with the authorities. 

Young woman with a suitcase at the airport

There is no official au pair programme in Spain. However, there are different types of visas which make it possible to travel to Spain and work as an au pair there. It is always recommended to contact the Spanish Embassy in your country to find out everything you need to know about the procedures and requirements involved in a possible au pair stay.

Check the countries listed below. If your country of origin is not listed, you will need to read the information for «other countries». Please note: Au pairs coming from Latin American countries where Spanish is spoken as the official language may not work as an au pair in Spain.

Important: If an au au pair stay lasts longer than 6 months, the au pair must go to the relevant Immigration Office or the local police station to apply for an identity card for foreigners (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero). 

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 EF or EFTA country for whom no visa is required. 

  • 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 registry office

    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
    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 shown when submitting the application. A processing fee must also be paid.

    More information on this topic is available on the Spanish government's information page for foreign citizens.

  • 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 up to 3 months

    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 invitation letter 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 3 months

    For au pair stays longer than 90 days, it is necessary to have a visa. In some states a specific au pair visa is issued for Spain. In those states where this option is not offered, the au pair should apply for a student visa.

    The following table shows which consulate should be contracted to apply for a visa and which type of visa is needed according to the au pairs's home state in the USA:

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

    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

    There are different formalities for Australian citizens who wish to work as au pairs depending on their length of stay in Spain. Au pairs who wish to stay for less than 90 days, may travel to Spain without a visa. 
    If the intended stay is for more than 90 days, there are two types of possible visas:  the au pair visa or the Youth Mobility visa. The latter allows young people to work, study or travel in Spain for up to 12 months. However, it is not possible to stay with a family for more than 6 months with this type of visa. Contact the Embassy of Spain in Canberra for more information.

  • Au pairs from Canada

    Au pairs from Canada who are planning to stay in Spain for less than 90 days do not need a visa in order to enter the country. However, there are still some entry formailities to keep in mind. Au pairs staying in Spain for more than 90 days may apply for an au pair visa or a Youth Mobility visa. The number of Youth Mobility visas is limited. Therefore, au pairs should contact the Spanish Embassy in Canada to enquire more about visa availability.

  • Au pairs from Kazakhstan

    Au pairs from Kazakhstan who want to stay in Spain for less than 90 days will need to apply for a Schengen visa and submit the specified supporting materials. If the stay is going to last more than 90 days, the au pair must apply for an au pair visa. In case of any further questions, please contact the Spanish Embassy in Astana.

  • Au pairs from New Zealand

    The Working Holiday programme enables citizens of New Zealand to reside in Spain as au pairs. Further information is available from the Spanish Embassy in New Zealand.
    Under this programme, au pairs may not stay with the same family for more than 3 months or work in Spain for more than 6 months in the context of this programme. Au pairs who wish to stay for less than 90 days in Spain, may travel without a visa. However, they still need to carry out certain formalities on entering the country.

  • Au pairs from South Africa

    Au pairs from South Africa may apply for an au pair visa. Contact the Spanish Embassy in South Africa for further information.

  • Au pairs from Vietnam

    Au pairs from Vietnam must apply for an authorization of stay for study purposes.

  • Au pairs from other countries

    Other countries

    There are different formalities depending on an au pair's length of stay.

    Staying in Spain less than 90 days

    Au pairs staying for less than three months need to find out first if they need a visa or not on this list compiled by the Department of Foreign Affairs. 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 present documents justifying the stay in Spain and prove that they can afford it (the au pair contract may serve as a proof). It is advisable to cite study purposes or private matters as the reason for the stay. The host family needs to send a signed au pair contract and invitation letter to their au pair. The host family can obtain the form for the invitation letter at the local police station. When the host family has filled out the form, they need to send it to their au pair so that the au pair can present the letter at the border along with the other documents. Additionally, we recommend that the au pairbring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement.

    Staying in Spain longer than 90 days

    If the au pair stay in Spain is longer than three months, there are alternative ways of managing the stay:

    Student visa

    To obtain a student visa, the au pair needs to be enrolled in a Spanish course before departing for Spain (the host family can take care of the enrolment) and attend at least 20 hours of classes per week. The school offering the course must be accredited by the Instituto Cervantes. When the au pair applies for the visa at the consulate or embassy, the certificate of matriculation at the school must be presented together with an au pair contract signed by the family and proof that arrangements have been made for medical insurance, among other things. The various requirements and procedures for a student visa to be reviewed carefully. The Foreigners and Immigration Department can also be contacted for more information. Within a month after arriving in Spain, the au pair must make an appointment at a local police station to process the required residence permit.

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

    This residence permit allows the au pair to enter Spain. For this permit au pairs need to prove, among other things, that they have adequate funds for the stay in Spain and that they have health insurance coverage for the stay. More information about the requirements and procedures involved is  available on the website of the Secretaría de Estado de Administraciones Públicas unter "Extranjería"

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.