Check first whether your au pair fulfils the requirements to become an au pair in Spain.
There is no official au pair programme in Spain. However, there are different types of visas which allow young persons to become au pairs in Spain. In this context, the most important factor is your au pair's nationality. Therefore, you must check the countries below and look for your au pair's country of origin. Should you be unable to find it, you need to read the information for "other countries". Hosting an au pair from a Latin American country where Spanish is spoken as the official language is not allowed.
If the au pair is staying in Spain for more than 6 months, they need to request an identity card for foreign nationals (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) at the Oficina de Extranjería (Immigration Office) or at the local police station upon their arrival in Spain.
Important note for Spanish 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 not be able to host an au pair who needs any of those two visas. In this case, you will need to choose au pairs from different nationalities.
Please select your au pair's country:
An au pair from an EU or EFTA country needs a valid passport or identity card to enter Spain. However, they still need to take care of certain formalities. No entry visa is needed as EU and EFTA citizens enjoy freedom of movement. There are no restrictions with regard to the duration of the stay or residence. Citizens of these countries may live and work in Spain, regardless of whether they have done so in the past.
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. Nevertheless, there are some formalities they need to take care of. If they intend to stay for more than 90 days, there are two types of visas they may apply for: the au pair visa or the Youth Mobility visa. The latter allows them to work, study or travel in Spain for up to 12 months. However, they will not be able to stay with a family for more than 6 months. Contact the Embassy of Spain in Canberra for more information.
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 formalities to be carried out beforehand. 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.
The Working Holiday programme enables citizens of New Zealand to reside in Spain as au pairs. Should you have any further questions, you need to contact the Spanish Embassy in New Zealand. Be aware that au pairs may not stay with the same family for more than 3 months or work in Spain for over 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 beforehand.
There are two different types of visas for citizens of the USA who wish to become au pair in Spain. The formalities depend on the intended length of stay and the au pair's home state. Here you will find more information on the au pair visa for U.S. citizens in Spain.
Au pairs from Kazakhstan who want to stay in Spain for fewer than 90 days, will need to apply for a Schengen visa as well as to follow certain procedures. 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 Vietnam must apply for an authorization of stay for study purposes.
There are different formalities depending on an au pair's length of stay.
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 your au pair needs a visa or not they need to present documents justifying their stay in Spain and prove that they can afford it (the au pair contract may serve as a proof). We recommend you to justify your stay for study purposes or private matters. You need to send a signed au pair contract and invitation letter to your au pair. To obtain this letter, you need to go to the police station and apply for one. When you have received the letter, you need to send it to your au pair so that they can present it at the border along with the other documents. Additionally, we recommend you to bring along a copy of the European Agreement on the Au Pair Placement.
If your au pair is staying in Spain for longer than three months, there are other ways in which they can become an au pair in Spain:
Before leaving for Spain, the au pair needs to prove that they can afford their stay and that they are enrolled in a Spanish course of at least 20 hours per week. The school which they choose must be acredited by the Instituto Cervantes. You, as a family, can help your au pair to find a suitable course. When the au pair applies for their visa, they have to show, among other things, their certificate of matriculation, an au pair contract signed by you and proof that they have arranged medical insurance which covers them for the duration of their stay in Spain. Read carefully the requirements and procedures involved explained on the webpage for Foreigners and Immigration. The au pair may work a certain amount of hours on this visa, but this must be discussed at the Spanish embassy before they leave their home country. The au pair has to go to the police station to make an appointment to process their residence permit within a month of their arrival in Spain.
This permit allows your au pair to travel to Spain. Amongst other things, your au pair must prove they can afford their stay and have arranged medical insurance which covers them for the duration of their stay. For more information on the requirements of this permit, go to the webpage for Foreigners and Immigration.
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.