Becoming an au pair in France
Under French law only some aspects of the au pair work are regulated. Here is the link to the official page in the French Administration website.
Am I eligible to be an au pair in France?
You are eligible to be an au pair in France if:
- you are aged between 17 and 30 (you can apply even if older than 30 only if you are about to finish your studies)
- you have a basic knowledge of French
- you are single and without children
- you are able to afford your travel expenses
- you are enrolled in a French language course for foreigners
- be a student in your home country or having completed second level exams.
- be willing to work as an au pair in France for a minimum of 3 months (maximum 24 months)
Board and Lodging
Au pairs should not work more than 5 hours a day and 30 hours a week, including babysitting.
Length of stay
Documents needed for EU and EFTA states citizens
The following documents will be required:
- valid passport or identity card
- health certificate issued no longer than 3 months before departure (translated into French)
- certified translation of your leaving school certificate
- your au pair contract signed by both parties
- a motivation letter written in French
All these documents have to presented by the host family to the DIRECCTE, therefore you should sign 3 copies of your contract and send them to your host family together with the other documents listed above. Once the DIRECCTE has validated the contract, it will send back 2 copies to the host family and the family will send you a copy.
The host family should register you with the local URSSAF (Unions de Recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d'Allocations Familiales) as 'stagiaire aide familial étranger' within the first 8 days upon arrival. You will be registered with Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) for medical insurance and you will be supplied with your Social Security number (your host family pays you social security contributions).
For Croatian citizens only
Croatian citizens can enter France without a visa, but, in addition to the procedure described above, they should also apply for a residence permit. The application should be made within 2 months upon your arrival in France and you should submit it at your nearest prefecture. The documents needed for the application are:
- your au pair contract approved by the DIRECCTE
- proof of residence of your host family (a household bill in the name of your family will be enough)
- a copy of your birth certificate
You are exempt from a residence permit, if you have already completed a Master's Degree in France or an equivalent diploma.
Visa information for non-EU citizens
Non-EU citizens should apply for a long stay visa (visa long séjour mention étudiant) which will be valid for 12 months. It is advisable to apply for it at least 6 months in advance as it may require up to 16 weeks for the approval. You will need to submit the following documents to your local French Embassy or Consulate:
- all documents listed for the EU citizens
- confirmation of enrolment in a French language course for foreign citizens (your host family can send it to you)
Your Embassy will give you your visa together with the OFII (Office Français de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration) application form, that you will have to present at your local OFII to carry out other formalities on-site within the first 3 months after your arrival.
As for EU citizens, your host family will need to register you with the local URSSAF as 'stagiaire aide familial étranger' within the first 8 days upon arrival and you will be registered with Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) for medical insurance at your host family's expenses (your host family pays you social security contributions).
For more information about being an au pair in France see www.ufaap.org.