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The Au Pair Programme 

The au pair programme is an international cultural exchange that gives young people the opportunity to spend some time abroad.

By law, the au pair programme is determined by different requirements. If any one of these requirements is not met, the au pair is considered a domestic worker, this has financial consequences for the host family.

Both the Au Pair and the host family understand that the main goal of the stay of the Au Pair is culture exchange: the au pair will learn about the Swiss society and culture. The host family shall treat the au pair as a member of the family and not as an employee.

Who can be an au pair in Switzerland? 

A difference is made between EU, Non EU  Nationals 


Au pairs with a European nationality do not need to go through an agency but cannot be an Au Pair in Switzerland without a residence permit! 

  • between the age of 17 and 30 years

  • An au pair residence permit can be renewed, but the total period is limited to two years. 

  • Unmarried and no children 


Non EU 

Au pairs from countries outside the European Union can only come to Switzerland through a registered au pair agency

Many cantons ( Geneva, Vaud, Zurich,..)  do not accept no EU Au Pairs anymore.

  • Between the age of 18 and 25 years old

  • Maximum 1 year 

  • Unmarried and no children 

General rules that apply to all cantons

Requirements for 
au pairs


The au pair cannot work more than 30 hours per week, not even for extra pay.​


The au pair will be living in the home address of the host family and will be registered at the canton and town-hall.


The au pair is only allowed to have a work schedule with the host family, he/she is NOT allowed to work at other places nor work for others. The au pair is not allowed to do work for herself either ( language teacher, selling things online, etc.).


The au pair shall follow a language course to learn the local language.

Requirements for
host families


The host family has at least one child 


The mother tongue of the Au Pair is different from the regional language 



The mother tongue of the Au Pair not the same as the host family’s.


The maximum working time is 30h per week

The activity may only include childcare light housework​.


The au pair shall have the opportunity to attend the language course on a regular basis. The host family shall discuss with the au pair which course he/she would prefer and when the course is held.


Paid Holidays, 5 weeks for Au Pairs under 20 and 4 weeks for Au Pairs over 20 


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