Free movement in the EU, EFTA and EEA

(Also to be found with keywords Freedom of movement - EU, EFTA, EEA and EU freedom of movement)

Au pairs from the EU or from EFTA and EEA states have a right to freedom of movement within the EU. That means they have a right to work and to live in any other EU state.

Woman with raised arms in front of the sea

The right to free movement allows EU citizens to live and work in other EU member states. The same applies for citizens of the so-called EFTA and EEA states.

According to the EU treaty, EU citizens are entitled to travel to other EU countries to:

  • seek employment
  • work without a work permit
  • live there for working purposes
  • stay there even after their job contract has been terminated

What does 'freedom of movement' mean concretely for au pairs?

If an au pair coming from an EU or EFTA member state wishes to work in another EU or EFTA member state, he or she:

  • does not need a visa and
  • does not need a work permit

Also important:

Since Great Britain's official exit from the EU as of 31 January 2020, the right to freedom of movement no longer applies to British nationals in the EU or EU nationals in the UK. Therefore, EU au pairs planning au pair stays in the UK or UK au pairs planning au pair stays in an EU country need to find out about the relevant visa requirements.