Au Pair Visa

10 Challenges with Work Visas that Impact Au Pairs

While traveling to another country to work as an au pair can be a rewarding and fun cultural experience, and a great way to live abroad, there are also several challenges involved. One particular aspect of working abroad as an au pair that creates challenges is the issue of work visas. There are many challenges involved with au pair work visas, and ten of them are listed below.

  1. Lengthy waiting time. Even if an au pair and a family agree on a starting date, if the visa has not arrived the au pair will not be able to start. This can be very frustrating, especially if the family needs an au pair immediately.
  2. Costs. Work visas are sometimes very expensive. There are usually fees involved with the forms and documents involved with getting a work visa. In some cases a family will pay these fees for an au pair, but if not they can be a large expense for the au pair.
  3. Limited coverage. Work visas do not always cover husbands, fiances, or partners. Typically work visas only cover the employee, no additional people.
  4. Expiration. Work visas may expire sooner than an au pair or family would like the job to be over. Work visas typically last for less than a year and are not able to be easily renewed.
  5. Limited travel. Work visas often do not allow an employee to travel in and out of the country during the duration of the visa. If an au pair needs to suddenly return home for an emergency, they may not be allowed to go and return.
  6. Limit of work. Sometimes work visas contain a maximum number of hours that an employee is allowed to work. This limit may not be compatible with a family’s needs.
  7. Limit on pay. Sometimes work visas for au pairs are only granted if the au pair agrees to not be paid and receive only room and board. This is not a good arrangement for au pairs wanting to save money.
  8. Possibility of being denied. Even after an au pair is hired by a family, there is no guarantee that a work visa will be granted. Au pairs should keep this in mind before booking flights or making plans.
  9. Additional fees. If an au pair goes through an agency to get a visa it may be a quicker and easier process, but it is also much more expensive. Agencies sometimes charge an additional 3,000 or more dollars for assisting au pairs in receiving visas.
  10. Limited flexibility. Work visas for au pairs are very stringent, and if au pairs decide they would like to work for a different family or organization it won’t be possible under their work visa.

Working abroad as an au pair can be an enriching way to see a new place and live in a different culture. While there are many great job opportunities for au pairs abroad, the issue of work visas can present challenges that should be considered.