Hard time finding a great daycare solution or a reliable sitter? Have you ever considered an au pair? This might be the perfect solution for you! Hosting an au pair comes with a lot of perks. It is for example way cheaper than daycare, you always have someone who is there for the kids and even helps with household tasks. In our experience, it’s a wonderful cultural experience for families. Excited? Read all about how to become a host family in Spain!
What is an au pair?
So, you want to become a host family in Spain? But what is an au pair actually? An au pair is someone who lives in your house and helps you with babysitting and light household chores. The au pair is between 17 (EU) or 18 (Non-EU) – 30 years old and comes to Spain for a cultural experience. During this experience, the au pair will learn a new language, learn about a new culture, and become part of your family!
Requirements for a host family
- You need to have at least one kid under the age of 18 years old;
- You have an interest in inviting someone from another country to experience a cultural exchange;
- You are able to offer meals and a salary of minimum of 70 euros per week;
- You are able to provide the participant with their own room with a window;
- Respect the working hours of the au pair (maximum 30 hours per week).
Laws and regulations in Spain
Au pairs must comply with these measures:
- They have no children;
- They have a basic knowledge of Spanish or English (recommended);
- They have at least an intermediate school certificate, a university degree is also a plus;
- They are entitled to a visa (if necessary);
- They can pay for a visa (if necessary), travel, and other au pair expenses;
- They have a clear criminal record.
Au pairs from the EU or an EFTA country do not need a visa. Au pairs from countries not belonging to the European Union or EFTA countries need a visa to work as an au pair in Spain. They need to apply for it at the Spanish embassy in their home country. The type of visa the participants need depends on their citizenship because there is no official au pair program in Spain and therefore there is no specific visa. The visa process may take a few weeks to be completed. Note: Applicants from Latin America cannot apply for a visa to become an au pair in Spain because Spanish can not be the first language of the au pair.
These are the visa requirements for a Non-EU au pair:
- Age: 18 – 30;
- Basic knowledge of the Spanish language;
- High school diploma that grants a higher education;
- Passport valid for the whole stay;
- Contract signed by both parties;
- Clear criminal record;
- Ability to pay for the visa and trip;
- Proof of enrollment in a language course that takes place at least 20 hours a week;
- The candidate’s native language cannot be Spanish.
Au pair contract
To gain insight into the agreements made between you as a host family in Spain and the au pair, there is the au pair contract. The au pair contract contains important information such as:
- Au pair contract: the au pair contract must be signed before the au pair travels to the host country and must specify all the arrangements for the au pair’s stay (services, holidays, working hours, pocket money, etc.). This ensures a clear and fair settlement between the family and the au pair. It’s possible to cancel the contract. The legal notice period is 14 days;
- Duties: as an au pair, the focus is on taking care of the children. In addition, the au pair helps with light household tasks;
- Board and lodging: the au pair lives in your home and receives free board and lodging. This also applies during holidays and illness;
- Hours: the au pair works an average of 30 hours a week. This already includes the hours that the au pair is babysitting;
- Free time: the au pair is entitled to at least 2 days off per week. One of these days must fall on a Sunday at least once a month. Nanny Nina recommends giving the au pair 4 weeks of vacation every 12 months;
- Language course: au pairs must have the opportunity to follow an English language course. This is paid by the au pair herself;
- Driver’s license: many host families like it if the au pair has a driver’s license. It is important that an au pair has sufficient driving experience and feels comfortable. Foreign driving licenses are valid for a period of 12 months after arrival. After this period, other arrangements may be necessary. In addition, it is important to clarify beforehand what the agreements are about insurance and liability issues.
Au pairs applying for a student visa must attend a language course at one of the schools recognized by the Instituto Cervantes. The course must be of at least 20 hours a week. The duration of the language course should be the same as the length of your stay. As a host family in Spain, you should give your au pair enough time to do a language course.
Hosting an EU au pair
1. Check if the Au Pair has insurance in Spain
Citizens from EU countries can benefit from the European Health Insurance Card. This card covers most of the care in EU countries.
2. Register your Au Pair
If the participant stays in Spain for more than 3 months, they should register at the local office. Which documents the au pair needs depends on the province of Spain the Host Family is living in. The au pair will have to go to the local registration office and request an EU registration certificate. For that matter the participant will need:
- Two copies of form EX-18 residency application
- A valid passport
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof that the au pair can afford the stay in Spain. The contract which includes pocket money and information about the accommodation may be helpful. Participants from EU countries can stay as long as they want and can also participate in the program if they have been working in Spain before.
Hosting an Non-EU au pair
1. Sign the contract
In order to apply for a visa, the au pair will need a contract. It also helps to avoid problems and misunderstandings in the future. It should include important information about the schedule, working hours, free time, and pocket money. To avoid miscommunication between you as a host family in Spain and your au pair, a contract is very important.
2. Insurance in Spain
Check if your au pair has purchased private health insurance. In Spain, the participant needs to take care of it and pay for it. Check this website for au pair insurance.
3. Visa application
You as a host family in Spain should support your au pair with the visa application and provide them with all required documents. The au pair needs to find out which visa they will have to apply for. The au pair needs to go to the Spanish embassy in their own country and apply there for a visa.
4. Register your au pair
If the participant wants to stay in Spain for more than 6 months, they need to request an ID for foreigners (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) at the immigration office (Oficina de Extranjería) or the local police station right after the arrival.
Why choose Nanny Nina to find you an au pair?
So you want to become a host family in Spain? Great! We can help you with that. We have a big database with a lot of potential and qualified candidates. We have screened them thoroughly and have made sure they are good candidates. We also offer personal guidance through the whole process and if the au pair is not a suitable match, we find you a rematch. Your au pair is also able to join our ‘academy’ where the au pair can gain skills about first aid, self-development, and a lot of helpful tips for their au pair journey. Are you excited to become a host family in Spain? Sign up here as a host family in Spain and we will do the rest!
The costs of this are 1000 euros.
Enjoy your time together!
Frequently asked questions
Does my au pair need a visa to work in Spain?
Only if your au pair is from a country outside of the EU, then your au pair needs a visa. Your au pair needs to get his or her visa at the Spanish ambassy in their country.
Do I need to pay my au pair?
Next to food and lodging, au pairs has the right of a weekly allowance of minimal 70 euros per week.