Spain is a country that offers a lot of possibilities, including learning the second most spoken language in the world.
Spain has a population over 48 million inhabitants; it has always been one of the favourite touristic places not only within Europe but also at a worldwide level.
Its capital city, Madrid, as well as Barcelona, are the two cities that receive the biggest number of tourists per year, and many tourists visit La Alhambra, in Granada, the City of Arts and Sciences, in Valencia, the Great Mosque of Córdoba, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and small, beautiful cities like Toledo or Segovia.
Apart from the wide cultural variety you may find in Spain, there is its incomparable cuisine and a sunny weather, which will allow you to enjoy its beautiful beaches (Ibiza, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Cíes Islands, Valencia, Alicante).
And, as if that weren't enough, do not forget the so popular festivals such as Las Fallas of Valencia or the festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, as well as the nightlife, together with the good mood of its people, which makes it a funny and friendly destination.
The main Spanish cities are:
Citizens of the European Union or EFTA do not need any visa to be an Au Pair in Spain. They only need a valid passport, an agreement executed with the family, and register upon arrival in Spain for long time periods with the Registry of Inhabitants, and request a Registration Certificate of European Union citizen.
Australia, Canada and New Zealand have a Working Holiday agreement with Spain, therefore citizens from these countries may request this type of visa.
To that effect, they must contact the Spanish embassy in the source country in order to check requirements, expected number of visas they will need for a year and file their request.
Any Au Pairs not included in the foregoing list will need to request an Au Pair visa for Spain.
If your stay as an Au Pair will last less than three months, you must check if your country is exempt from requesting a visa, otherwise, you must request a short-term or a student visa.
If your stay as an Au Pair will last more than 3 months, the best option to obtain a visa is through the student visa. To that effect, you must register, before requesting the visa, with a Spanish language course, university or any course to obtain a master's degree.
In the case of the Spanish language course, to obtain the visa you must sign up for the course and submit the pertinent registration with a school supported by the Cervantes Institute and the course must last at least 20 weekly hours.
Spanish embassies around the world
Information from the Government of Spain to foreigners
European health card
Given the particular regulations of each country as regards the visa and any changes that may occur as to the process to obtain it, Needaupair.com is not responsible for the information, opinions, and advice expressed on this website and, in every case, it recommends that users get information on these topics in each reference country.
Any non-European Au Pair who chooses a European Union country, or a non-European country, as well as any European Au Pair who selects as target country a non-European Union country, will need a Visa for her/his stay as an Au Pair in such target country.
According to the host country, the type of Visa and the requirements to obtain it will vary from one country to another one based on their different regulations.
You may find information in the countries section on the general requirements needed for each country to obtain a Visa. Needaupair.com advises you to request information at the embassy or consulate of the target country located in your country.
In any case, the Au Pair shall be responsible for following the procedure to obtain a visa. However, it is important that the host family also obtain information and provide support to their Au Pair at all times, as well as send any necessary documentation (agreement and letter of invitation) so that the Au Pair shall have evidence of her/his stay in the host country.
The host family may obtain information in the domestic immigration office on the standard requirements the country's embassy demands from an Au Pair.
Usually, the Au Pair will need the following documents to obtain a Visa:
ID or passport in force; make sure both documents are in force to request a Visa.
The agreement signed by the Au Pair and the host family.
A letter of invitation written by the host family (in some cases it must be certified by a notary public) and sent to the Au Pair so that the latter is able to justify her/his stay.
A criminal records certificate: applicants having criminal records will not obtain a visa.
Health certificate stating the Au Pair is a healthy person.
Some countries may also require the Au Pair to have a minimum level of the host country's language, which will be evidenced by an official document issued by a determined entity.
European Union and European Free Trade Association member states
Special visa for the Au Pair: J1 and Working Holiday
Every citizen born in a European Union member state is entitled to the right of free movement, which allows them to live and work in any country belonging to the EU. This right is also granted to citizens from countries belonging to the European Free Trade Association.
Currently, the European Union comprises 28 member states:
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, and Sweden.
Apart from these countries, citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, given that they belong to the European Free Trade Association, are entitled to the right of free movement within the European Economic Area, formed by 28 member states of the European Union.
There are countries in the adhesion path but which are not yet members and therefore their citizens are not entitled to the advantages of the EU countries, namely: Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey.
To be an Au Pair in the United States you will need to obtain a visa, the J-1 being the simplest one since it is a special visa issued to participate in cultural exchange programmes in the United States for 12 and 24-month periods.
General requirements to obtain a J-1 visa are:
Be between 18 and 26 years old
Have a certain English level
Be healthy; a health certificate will be required
Have no criminal records; a criminal records certificate will be required
Have experience in childcare
Have completed mandatory Secondary School
Have a driving license
Not having been an Au Pair in the United States before
After finding through Needaupair.com your host family, the family must register you with a U.S. agency sponsoring the J-1 visa, which will guide you through any necessary procedures.
In the following link you may find all the necessary information to obtain a J-1 visa: http://j1visa.state.gov/
The Working Holiday visa is a residence permit allowing foreign citizens to live and work during a certain period of time in a host country; it is issued so that citizens are able to travel and have the possibility of enjoying the lifestyle of a foreign country without need to incur standard costs involved in a permanent residence, therefore, it is ideal for those people who want to become Au Pairs.
In order to obtain such visa it is essential that your country and the host country have signed an agreement under the Working Holiday programme.
Countries, grouped by continents, that offer this type of visa are:
Oceania： Australia and New Zealand
Middle East and Africa: Israel and South Africa
America: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Uruguay
Asia: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam
Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Such visa is not applicable to all the previous countries, but it depends on particular agreements executed between the two countries, that is why Needaupair.com recommends that you request information from the embassy or consulate of the target country located in your country, to check that the target country and the country you choose have executed an agreement which allows you to obtain a Working Holiday visa, as well as the requirements established to obtain such visa.