If you don't fulfil all the conditions necessary to become an au pair in Finland, you can still check if it's possible for you to become an au pair in another host country.
Taking care of your host family's children, along with doing some light household chores are all part of an au pair's duties, which you should set out with your family in the au pair contract. You need this written contract in order to apply for a residence permit. You can, for example, use the general European au pair contract for this purpose, as Finland does not have its own national au pair contract.
Au pairs in Finland receive monthly pocket money of at least 280 Euros net from their host family. Taxes must be paid on this amount because this pocket money is viewed as income in Finland.
In exchange for your help with the children and light housework, you are also entitled to free board and lodging for the entire duration of your stay including periods of illness.
The Finnish government specifies a maximum working time of 30 hours per week for au pairs - including time spent babysitting in the evening. You should not work more than 5 hours per day.
Au pairs are entitled to at least one full day off per week. Once a month this day off must be on a Sunday. The host family should also provide enough free time for you to participate in a language course and to improve your cultural knowledge and professional capabilities.
Finland has no specific regulations concerning the amount of holiday an au pair is entitled to. We therefore recommend that you come to an agreement with your host family well in advance. Our recommendation: Au pairs are usually entitled to a two-week holiday if they stay with their host families for six months in total. Use this as guide for calculating your holiday time together with your host family.
In Finland, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases au pairs should work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.
As an au pair in Finland you must attend a Finnish or Swedish language course.
Useful links for language courses:
As an au pair in Finland you should be sure to sign an au pair contract with your family. As there is no official au pair contract or cancellation period for the au pair stay in Finland, you can adapt the European contract according to your requirements. Au pairs from countries outside the EU and EFTA will require a copy of this signed contract when applying for a Residence Permit. If there are serious disagreements between you and your host family, the contract can be terminated with a notice period of two weeks.
Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries who are publicly insured in their home countries and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) don't need to arrange additional health insurance in Finland.The EHIC allows you to access public health care services the same way that Finnish citizens do. Important: Remember to check that your EHIC doesn't expire whilst you are abroad.
Au pairs from Australia, the Province of Quebec and the Nordic countries who do not have a European Health Insurance Card, need only have a valid national identity card or passport showing their nationality in order to receive healthcare services, Residents of these countries benefit from social service agreements entitling their residents to the same medical treatment and health insurance as Finnish residents.
Au pairs from any other country will have to take out insurance cover with Kela, Finland's Social Insurance Institution.
In Finland an au pair's pocket money, and board and lodging is seen as taxable income. The amount of tax paid depends on the duration of the au pair stay and on the au pair's total length of stay in Finland. Consult Vero (Finnish Tax Administration) for more detailed information.
Au pairs in Finland, aged 18 and over, also have to take out pension insurance, which amounts to 24.2% of the au pair's gross salary (pocket money + board and lodging). Both the au pair and host family contribute towards this payment: the au pair pays 5.55% and host families pay 18.65%. Consult Etera (Finnish Pension Insurance Company) for more detailed information.
Note: Despite tax payments and pension insurance contributions, au pairs still receive monthly pocket money in the amount of 280 Euros net.
Au pairs with driving licences issued in an EU or EFTA country or in one of the Nordic countries can legally drive in Finland during their au pair stay. This is also the case for au pairs with provisional licences from Nordic countries.
If your permanent place of residence is in a country that has signed the Geneva and Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, and you have a national or international driving licence (with anofficial Finnish or Swedish translation of the licence) you are also entitled to drive in Finland.
Even if your driving licence is valid it is worth clarifying with your host family beforehand if you will be expected to drive a car and if so how often, so that you know if you have enough driving experience or not. Discuss the following questions too: what happens in case of an accident? Who pays for the damage? It is recommended to set out your agreement in writing.
These documents are required for all au pairs before entering Finland:
For au pairs who are EU/EFTA citizens and citizens of Nordic countries, completing the above steps is all you need to do to be able to enter Finland as an au pair.
Before entering Finland a Residence Permit Card (the equivalent of a visa to enter Finland) must be applied for and received through the Finnish Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin. All the documents listed above will be required when applying, plus proof of secure income (i.e., confirmation that as an au pair you will receive 280 Euros monthly pocket money).
A paper application costs 550 Euros, or 350 Euros if done electronically. Discuss with your host family how these costs will be covered. The residence permit is granted for a maximum of one year and cannot be extended.
Under the Working Holiday Maker Programme, au pairs from Australia and New Zealand can apply for a Working Holiday Residence Permit, provided they haven't been granted one before. Au pairs must apply for this before entering Finland. If their application is accepted, it entitles them to stay in Finland for 12-18 months. The application costs 470 Euros (paper), or 400 Euros if done electronically. All the documents listed above will be required, plus proof of secure income (i.e., confirmation that you will receive 280 Euros monthly pocket money as an au pair).
Citizens from EFTA/Nordic Countries and the EU
There is no need to apply for a Residence Permit Card if you are a citizen of one of these countries, as your passport/valid ID grants you access to Finland. However:
- EU & EFTA citizens must register their stay with the local police department within 3 months of arriving in the country
- Citizens of Nordic countries must fill in an “Inter Nordic migration“ form at the local registry office (Maistraatti) if they stay longer than 6 months.
All au pairs - Register in the Population Information System
Upon arrival in Finland all au pairs must register in the Population Information System at their local registery office (Maistraatti) to get an ID number which is required for a variety of situations, such as registering at the tax office, the doctors and opening a bank account. Find the registration form here. (Note: this is different to the biometric residence permit card which is only required for non-EU citizens.)
For au pairs staying 6 months or less
Obtain a Finnish tax-at-source card via a paper application or online.
For au pairs staying in Finland longer than 6 months
You must apply for a Finnish tax card at your Local Registry Office (Maistraatti).
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.