Going to Australia as an au pair is still a very popular choice with young people, especially right after finishing school/graduation. For many, it is an opportunity to escape everyday life and gain new experiences before they join the workforce.
The most suitable visa for this purpose is the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417). This visa offers the possibility of spending up to 12 months in Australia; however, it is only possible to stay with the same family for a maximum period of six months.
What does an au pair do?
An au pair usually takes care of the host family’s children. Depending on the ages of the children, this may involve waking them up, getting them ready for school, helping them with their homework, and taking care of them during the day. In addition, in most cases, an au pair is expected to take care of some of the household duties as well, such as cooking, shopping, vacuuming, etc. The finer details of the au pair’s responsibilities and tasks depend on the host family.
Work hours are generally 25 to 45 hours per week in exchange for accommodation and a weekly allowance.
What are the visa requirements and criteria?
If you plan to go to Australia as an au pair, the same conditions apply as for any other work and holiday traveller. The most important conditions for a Working Holiday visa are:
- Aged between 18 and 30
- Passport holder of a country eligible for this visa
- Sufficient financial funds to support stay and travel (currently about A$5,000.-)
- No criminal record
- No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
- No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
In addition to the usual visa requirements, the host families may define further criteria. The most common are good English language skills, a valid driving license (an international driving license is recommended), as well as experience in childcare and/or youth work. For the latter, at least two references should be provided. Some families also place great value on a neat, well-groomed appearance. Non-smokers are usually preferred.