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Becoming an au pair in China


There is no official au pair programme in China, however if you qualify for an F-visa or an X-visa, you can work as an au pair. 

Am I eligible to be an au pair in China?

You are eligible to be an au pair in China if:

  • you are aged between 18 and 29
  • you are single and without children
  • you have a good knowledge of English
  • you have completed your secondary education
  • you have a clean criminal background

General information



To look after your host children and help out with light household chores. Chinese families typically expect from the au pair that she/he helps their children to learn a foreign language (mainly English). Discuss your duties beforehand and include all the points you agree upon in your contract.


Pocket money
Au pairs in China usually earn at least 1,000 RMB per month.

Board and Lodging
Your own private room and food 7 days per week, even in the case of illness.



Travel expenses
Au pairs coming to China are entitled to be reimbursed of their travel expenses up to 5,000 RMB. 

Working hours

There is no official regulation concerning the amount of hours an au pair should work, but they usually are between 25 and 30 hours per week, babysitting included.


Length of stay
Au pair placements in China typically go from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 12 months. 

Free time

There is no official regulation, but au pairs are usually entitled to at least 2 free days per week.


We usually recommend  at least 1 week of paid holiday for a 6-month stay.  


Always sign a contract with your host family at the beginning of the au pair placement. Click here for a sample contract. If you’re booking your stay through an agency, the agency will look after the contract.


Languages courses
Au pairs in China are entitled to a Chinese language study allowance when booking through an agency (amount varies from agency to agency). 


If your host family requires you to drive in China, they must provide you with a car, pay for your car insurance, ensure that the car is well maintained and provide fuel or give you money to pay for fuel for the car. Holders of a driving licence issued by an EU member state CANNOT drive in China with an International Driver’s Permit as China has not signed the convention which created IDPs. This means you need a Chinese license to drive in China. Foreign residents can have driver’s licences and an IDP can be converted to a local license with an additional examination. It is possible to get a temporary driving license without taking any additional tests only if you come to China for a short stay (maximum 3 months). 


You must take out private medical and travel insurance to cover you during your stay in China.

Visa information

Au pairs who want to do their placement in China can apply for 2 types of visa according to the length of their stay: an F-visa and X-visas.



F visas are issued to those who intend to go to China for exchange programmes, visits and study tours. F-visas have a validity of up to 6 months.


X-visas are issued to those who intend to study in China (internships, studies and long term courses). X1-visas are issued for those who want to study in China for a period of more than 180 days; X2-visas are issued for a period of NO more than 180 days.


Documents needed:

Regardless of the type of visa you apply for, the following are the documents required to submit your application:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months after your departure from China
  • A completed Visa Application form with a recent colour passport photo


If you want to apply for an F visa, you will also need to submit:

  • An invitation letter issued by your host family and containing information about yourself (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.), the purpose of the visit, arrival and departure dates; information on the family itself (name, contact details, address, etc.)
  • A copy of your au pair contract signed by your host family


  • Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in China
  • Original and photocopy of “Visa Application for Study in China” (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

Holders of X1 visa must apply to the exit/entry administrations of public security organs for foreigners’ residence permits within 30 days from the date of their arrival in China.

For more information on your visa application, we invite you to visit the website or your local Chinese embassy.