Au pairs


Au pairs are young people from EU/EFTA Member States who live in Switzerland with a host family for a maximum of two years to learn the language, improve their professional skills and expand their general knowledge within the framework of cultural exchange programmes. In return for board and accommodation, they work in the host family’s home.


  • Au pairs from the EU/EFTA area are admitted.
  • The language spoken by the host family and locally in the region should be different to the mother tongue of the au pair who they employ - in the Canton of Zurich German is viewed as being the local language.
  • The au pair must be aged between 17 and 30.
  • Permits for au-pairs from Croatia are subject to quotas for short-term residents - in such cases the fixed quotas for short-term resident permits determined in the protocol to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons applies. Citizens of EU-27 States are not subject to any restrictions in this respect.
  • Attendance at a language course to learn the language of the country is mandatory.
  • The au-pair may be employed for at most 30 hours per week and must have one complete day off per week.
  • The employment may only consist of light housework and care of children for which reasonable payment should be made.
  • Au-pairs have the right of residence with the host family and must have their own room.


  • The same provisions that apply to nationals of third countries apply fundamentally to au-pairs from Croatia- with the exception that the age can range from 17 to 30 and that no agency has to be involved.
  • The conditions for entering the country and residence are given in the Directions and comments on the introduction of the free movement of persons (VEP). The permit is valid for 12 months (short-term residents permit for a contract lasting 364 days) and can be extended for stays with the same host family to a maximum of 24 months where this is justified.

Conditions of employment

The general conditions of employment are arranged in accordance with the Normal contractual conditions for domestic staff in the Canton of Zurich. Further information about employment conditions, continuous training, payment, accident and health insurance, taxation at source, deductions from salaries, tax liability and other information can be found in the au-pair information sheet.

Application documents

  • Copy of a passport

Please apply using the electronic form. If you have not yet registered, please request a password by selecting “New registration”. If you wish to apply using the form use the Application for an entry permit.