Do I need an agency for my au pair stay?

(Also to be found with keywords Obligation to apply through an agency and J1 visa)

For European countries there is no obligation to apply through an agency except for the Netherlands and Switzerland (this only applies to au pairs who need a visa). Citizens of the European Union benefit indeed from the right to free movement.

But you are obliged to apply through an agency if the government of a country stipulates that au pairs and host families need to organise the au pair stay through a designated agency. Such an obligation only exists for the NetherlandsSwitzerland and the USA.

Do I really need an agency to organise my au pair stay?

Edwina and Hanna were both au pairs. One found her family at AuPairWorld, the other through an agency. Watch her testimonial to  find out what works best and why.





Do I need an agency for my au pair stay? | AuPairWorld

Countries where you must apply through an agency 

The Netherlands

According to the law, Dutch host families and their future au pairs have to turn to a recognised au pair agency in the Netherlands, a so-called "sponsor", so as to submit the au pair application and handle the necessary administrative paperwork. AuPairWorld has partnered with Au Pair International, one official sponsor, so that you can manage the au pair search with AuPairWorld and then the paperwork with Au Pair International.


In Switzerland, au pairs from non-EU countries need to pass through an agency designated by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. AuPairWorld's partner agency for au pair stays in Switzerland is Wind Connections. Families and au pairs can make a pre-match using the AuPairWorld platform and families can then register for the services of Wind Connections. 


In the USA, the government has stipulated that au pairs and host families must turn to one of the designated agencies in order to organise their legal au pair stay. The agency helps with the application of the required J1 visa. The partner agency of AuPairWorld in the USA is Cultural Care.

Find a prematch on AuPairWorld prior to choosing your agency

Why do I still find American host families and au pairs who wish to go to the USA on AuPairWorld? Au pairs and host families search and find each other on their own on AuPairWorld. This principle also applies to the USA as a host country: host families and au pairs can make their choice according to their own criteria (prematching) as a first step. In the second step, they must agree on one of the designated agencies. You can find more information in our au pair program in the USA and the interview with an expert in au pair stays in the USA.