Au pair in Switzerland
Information for au pairs from non-EU countries

Are you a non-EU citizen? Have you already done the Quick Check? Here, you can find out how you become an au pair in Switzerland.

If you come from an EU or EFTA country, please read our Information for EU citizens.



Important note: Non-EU citizens cannot apply for a work permit in Switzerland since the maximum number of work permits for 2017 has already been issued. We advise you to choose another host country or wait until next year.

Young people from almost all countries can become au pairs in Switzerland. This, however, does not include young people from countries which do not have a diplomatic relationship with Switzerland. Contact the cantonal immigration and labour market authorities to find out whether you can apply for a short-term resident permit originating from third countries available in your cantons of choice.

Information regarding work and residence permits

The family has to apply for your working and residence permit at the relevant cantonal immigration and labour market authority. The following documents have to be submitted:

  • the application form, which varies from canton to canton
  • a copy of your passport
  • a statement from the Swiss agency, recognised by SECO, showing successful placement
  • the au pair contract
  • proof of your registration or preregistration for a language course, corresponding to the language spoken in the area you will be staying in
  • proof of registration with a recognised Swiss health insurance company
  • other documents, where appropriate 

Once the cantonal job market authority has reached a preliminary decision, the documents will be examined by the Federal Office for Migration and checked in accordance with the criteria for the whole of Switzerland. They will also look at how many local citizens want to become au pairs, as they have priority over foreign nationals, and also at the limit of citizens from foreign countries when assessing your application. This process can take up to four weeks.

Visas

If you need a visa to go to Switzerland, you have to apply for a visa with the relevant diplomatic mission. Along with the application form you will need to submit the following documents:

  • a copy of your passport
  • your au pair contract
  • civil certificate (e.g birth certificate)
  • a health certificate

Please be aware that all documents must be originals. If the original documents are not in English or in one of the official languags of Switzerland, you will need to get them translated. The authorities often ask for the translation to be done by a certified translator.

Once the Foreign Office for Migration has approved your application, they will inform the immigration authorities at the embassy in your home country. Then the embassy goes on to issue your visa (entry permit). You can subsequently collect your visa and travel to Switzerland.

You have to register at the registration office within 8 days of your arrival in Switzerland and before you begin your au pair duties. You need to take the following documents with you to be able to register successfully:

  • your passport
  • your entry permit 
  • 3 passport photos
  • further documents, depending on which canton you are registering in

After you have registered, you will receive an identity card which allows you to stay and work in Switzerland. This will be issued for a maximum of one year and cannot be extended.

Insurance and proof of insurance

An au pair is regarded as an employed person in Switzerland. Therefore your pocket money is subject to social insurance contributions like the income of any employed person. Your family must apply for your insurance certificate at the social insurance authorities, so that your contributions can be calculated and settled. Therefore you need to be covered by the same insurance, as people with a normal employment contract are.

Your family has to set up your health, accident, pension and unemployment insurance contributions. In order to calculate the contributions, the social insurance organisation needs the name of the insurance company and the name of the insured person. Half of the contributions are usually paid by the family and the other half will come out of your gross income.

Useful links:

Federal Office for Migration: Leaflet for foreign nationals on Swiss social insurance
Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police: Leaflet "Living and working in Switzerland"
Swissworld: Switzerland's official information portal

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.

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