2.) Find out au pair visa requirements for potential destination countries
It's great if you already have an idea of the country in which you'd wish to have your au pair experience. Whether you do or do not, I'd recommend you come up with a short list of destination countries you would be interested in. The next step is then to visit the concerned embassies or consulates. The aim of your visit would be to get information on the au pair visa application procedure: the documents you'd be required to present when the time comes for you to submit your au pair visa application.
It is important to do this at the very beginning (and not once you have found an au pair host family), for the following reasons:
- Some countries do not recognize au pair arrangements. So it is better to be sure that you have made a 'viable' choice of destination countries.
- Some au pair receiving countries tend to apply different conditions to nationals from certain countries or regions. For example, Switzerland has relatively flexible conditions for au pair candidates who are EU citizens and applies more stringent conditions for non EU nationals.
- Au pair minimum and maximum ages vary from one country to another. For some countries, the maximum age is 26 , whereas for others it is 28 and for some even 30 years.
- Some countries may have special programmes that may enable you get an age limit waiver (if you are beyond the maximum age limit for au pairing ).
- Majority of au pair host families are not aware of the visa requirements imposed by their countries elsewhere, and will ask you to find out. Au pair host families are normally required to provide embassies/ consulates a number of documents to support your au pair visa application. It is therefore important that you gather a maximum of information on your potential destination(s) as early as possible, so as to be able to readily give this information to interested au pair host-families.