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Becoming an au pair in Australia

Introduction

There are no official regulations concerning au pairs in Australia, however the information below is the generally accepted guidelines.


Am I eligible to be an au pair in Australia?

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

  • you are aged between 18 and 30
  • you are single and without children
  • you have a basic knowledge of English
  • you are able to afford your travel expenses
  • you can prove to have immediate access to at least 5,000 AUD
  • you are a first-time applicant (exceptions could be made for Working Holiday visa second-time applicants)
     

General information

 

Duties
To look after your host children and help out with light household chores. Discuss your duties beforehand and include all the points you agree upon in your contract.

 

Pocket money
There is no official regulation concerning the amount of pocket money au pairs should receive in Australia, but it usually is between 150 and 250 AUD.

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

 

 

Travel expenses
Au pairs should bear the cost of their round trip themselves.

Working hours
There is no official regulation concerning the amount of hours an au pair should work, but they usually are between 30 and 40 hours per week, babysitting included.

 

Length of stay
You can be an au pair in Australia from a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 12 months (as far as after 6 months you change family).

Free time
There is no official regulation, but au pairs are usually entitled to at least 2 free days per week, which should be a Sunday once a month.

 

Holidays
Holiday entitlement is usually regulated by the visa programme you applied for, but in general it is 2 weeks of paid holiday for a 6-months stay.

Contract
Always sign a contract with your host family at the beginning of the au pair placement. Click here for a sample contract.

 

Languages courses
Au pairs should be granted enough time off to attend a language course. The au pair will bear the cost of the language course him/herself.

Driving
If your host family requires you to drive in Australia, 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 can drive in Australia for the first 3 months of their stay as long as their existing driving licence is valid. After 3 months, you will be required to get an Australian Driving Licence. For more information about driving in Australia when holding a foreign licence visit the Australian Government website.

 

Insurance
You should take out private medical insurance to cover you during your stay, unless you come from one of those countries (New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy) which have signed Reciprocal Health Agreements (RHCA) with the Australian government. If so, you are entitled to some essential medical treatments. For more information, please visit the website of the Australian Government.

Visa information

Au pairs who want to do their placement in Australia can apply either for a Working Holiday visa or for a Work and Holiday visa.

 

Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417)

Citizens from BelgiumCanadaCyprusDenmarkGermanyEstoniaFinlandFranceUKHong KongIrelandItalyJapanMaltathe NetherlandsNorwaySouth KoreaSwedenTaiwan can apply for this visa programme as far as they are willing to work for the same host family for maximum 6 months.

To apply for a Working Holiday visa, you need a passport valid for at least another 6 months after you have handed in your application. The visa is valid for 12 months from the day you enter Australia and you can apply for it by post, courier or online.

If you want to apply by post or courier, you just need to send the application to your local Australian Embassy or Consulate and you need to hand in an application form for this visa(form 1150) and a certified copy of all pages of your passport which carry your photo and personal details. According to your country of origin, you may need to provide biometric data too (please contact your local Australian Embassy or Consulate for more information).

If you want to apply online, you can do that on the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

 

Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462)

Citizens from ArgentinaBangladeshChileIndonesiaMalaysiaPolandThailandTurkeyUruguay or the USA can apply for this visa programme. It is advisable to have a passport which is valid for at least another 6 months after you have handed in your application.

You should complete the application form for the Work and Holiday visa (form 1208) and send it by post or fax to the Australian Immigration Office in the country where your passport was issued. Citizens from Bangladesh and Malaysia should provide their biometric data as well.

US citizens can apply with any Australian immigration office outside Australia or even apply online.

Both visa programmes are valid for 12 months starting from the day you enter Australia, but you cannot work for the same employer for longer than 6 months and you can study or do a training course for up to 4 months.

 

For more information about being an au pair in Australia see www.capaa.com.au.