Although the majority of countries don’t have strict rules about how long a person can be an au pair in their country, some do, or at least they make stipulations dependent on where the au pair originates from.
As an au pair you need to know how long you wish to stay with your host family for, is the position for the summer months, three months, six months, a year or longer. This can inform you about whether you can fulfil the timing wish in relation to a country’s legislation.
For example, if you are hoping to be an au pair in the U.S.A. for a couple of years, here’s some bad news. They have a minimum and maximum stay limit of 12 months.
New Zealand offers a maximum of 12 months too.
Around Europe, countries tend to stipulate one time limit for E.U. member countries and another for non E.U. members. There isn’t one universal European ruling.
In Norway and Sweden, E.U. member country nationals can be an au pair for a maximum of 24 months, however if you are not from the E.U. Sweden will only permit a 1-12 month stay, Norway a 1-24 month stay.
Spain and Austria permit E.U. members to stay for up to 24 months but non E.U. member citizens are limited to 6-12 months.
The Netherlands, however, make no distinctions as they have a blanket ruling of 1-12 months.
Insurance is a must have.
The other vital consideration is about insurance.
It would be exceedingly unwise to travel without an insurance policy in place. If it seems like an unnecessary expense the great news is that the host family pays for their au pair’s basic health insurance so there’s no excuse!
A number of insurance companies have dedicated policies for au pairs which answer the criteria more than standard holiday insurance, which you may feel is adequate. For one thing, you aren’t on holiday as you’ll be living there for months. You need to be insured with the appropriate product.
After comparing policies and fees and taking out the right policy – which should incorporate health insurance, liability insurance and accident insurance – if their au pair falls ill, the host family and the insurance company have the costs covered instantly or reimbursement to the family is made. This offers security for all concerned.
The insurance can be taken out as late as 31 days after arrival but as soon as possible after arrival is hugely sensible. You don’t want to tempt fate.
Incidentally, the policy may not cover repatriation or emergency evacuations and perhaps there are exclusions, for dental care or pre-existing illnesses.
The host family is also responsible for arranging car insurance for their au pair.
For personal belongings it’s best to arrange cover in case of damage, theft or loss even if you leave the other insurances to the host family to take out, but we recommend being safe rather than sorry – always.