Au Pair in France


An au pair is a young adult wishing to experience a new culture and lifestyle by sharing their time, culture and Apply Now!helping hands with a family in a foreign country. The words “au pair” come from the French meaning ‘at par’, or ‘equal to’. Taking this into consideration, the au pair is meant to be an equal part of the family and treated as a family member.

What is an Au Pair?

An au pair is a young person between the ages of 19 – 27 who lives with a family in a country other than his or her own for a maximum of 12 months, helps with general housework and childcare in exchange for room & board and pocket money (stipend). The au pair program is one of cultural exchange and the au pair is given the opportunity to study and to experience the culture of the country that he/she is in. In return, the au pair will be asked to perform general household duties (washing and tidying up, laundry, ironing, cooking etc.) and to take care of children during a limited number of hours a day and/or baby-sit at night. The au pair is not an employee but a member of the family and will be treated as such.

France is world renowned, and Paris, its capital city, is the most visited city in the world. Known for wine, cheese, countryside, monuments, art, history, mountains, cities, beaches and so much more, France is the perfect place to discover the true meaning of culture and class in Europe. With a population of 64 million people, France is a diverse nation with many ethnic backgrounds contributing to a fascinating society. Adding to its diversity are 3 climates: mediterranean, oceanic and continental covering 550,000 sq km and 5,500 km of coastline.  In France you will find a variety of outdoor recreation and beautiful natural surroundings from mountain ranges to beaches to hillsides to thriving cities and small villages. Paris is widely known for its monuments: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Grande Palais, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame and so many more; it is a city of art & history. Bistros and parks are aplenty and families, both local and tourists, enjoy everyday life in Paris and all that it has to offer.

What is it like to be an au pair in France?

The au pair programme is a cultural exchange where you will share the life of a French family while taking care of their children. As an au pair in France, you’ll work 30 hours a week and your duties will be to take care of the children and help with light housekeeping duties in exchange for pocket-money & room and board. A placement in Paris is a bit different than elsewhere. Indeed, most of the time Parisians live in apartments and have an independent accommodation for their au pair at the top of the floor of their building or at walking distance from their home.

The working hours and duties will vary depending on the ages of the children and the family’s needs. Being an au pair they will work 30 hours/week usually a total of 5-6 hours daily and they will baby-sit for no more that 2 evenings a week. The au pairs should expect to work more on Wednesdays since the children in France do not have school. Their duties will be to take care of the children, to play with them, to pick them up from school. They are also expected to do some light housework such as the children’s room, some ironing and to keep the house tidy.

Everyone has a problem adapting to a new culture and some au pairs might suffer from a culture shock. But don’t assume that the task of breaking the ice is only the family’s responsibility.  The children may be difficult to handle at the beginning but they will soon start to respond if you play with them and show them attention. Homesickness can happen throughout your stay, but generally more at the beginning of your settling period.  These feelings are natural and you must try to understand them as something that will pass rather than an indication that moving abroad was a mistake. Keeping yourself busy and build a social life will be the key to a successful stay.

Requirements for Au Pair in France

When applying for the Au Pair in France Program you must fulfill the following requirements

  • You are aged between 19 and 27
  • You have previous childcare experience
  • You have a minimum of French language knowledge or a good English one
  • You agree to pay your round trip ticket to France
  • You agree to study French and pay your school fees (approximately 350 EURO per semester)

A long stay visa (D) is required for any stay in France that exceeds 90 days. Since june 1st, 2009, the visa issued for a “au pair” stay is valid as a resident card at the same time, from 3 to 12 months. You don’t need to apply for a resident card with this visa. You will be required to register at the local branch of OFII office within the first 3 months of your stay in France.

You will only need to apply for a resident card if you stay more than a year in France.

The long stay visa (Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour or VLS-TS) allows you to stay in France for more than 3 months. Upon arrival in France, you will have to validate your VLS-TS at the OFII office.

Please complete the upper part of the attached OFII form and submit it with other required documents to the visa officer at your appointment.

I- General eligibility conditions 

  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 35 upon submission of application,
  • Must be a Canadian citizen and reside in Canada upon submission of application,
  • Must be in possession of a Canadian passport, valid for minimum of 3 months after the completion of the visit, · Must be financially solvent for the duration of the visit.
  • You can only be admitted twice in the youth exchanges agreement, and it must under two different visa categories. The stays must be discontinuous. Participants must thus return to re-apply for a different visa. The duration of each stay cannot exceed one year, except for young professionals wishing to continue their development under a work contract (possibility to extend their stay by 6 months).

You must present yourself in person at the French Consulate responsible for your jurisdiction and if your visa is granted, it will given to you the same day. By mail, the wait is longer: approximately 1 to 2 to weeks, or even more during the summer period, due to the increase in applications.

1st step before departure

  • Complete the attached visa forms, and submit the required documents to the General Consulate of France of your jurisdiction, in accordance with your place of residence (Vancouver).
  • You can submit your visa, at the earliest, 3 months prior to your departure for France, and it is advised that you make an appointment through the Consulate’s website.
  • If you present yourself in person at the Consulate and your visa is granted, it will given to you the same day. By mail, the wait is longer: approximately 1 to 2 to weeks, or even more during the summer period, due to the increase in applications.

Required Documents

[1] Passport valid at least three months after the expiry date of the visa + photocopies of the main pages (photo, validity date, visas…)

[2] 1 long stay visa applications duly filled out and signed + 2 recent and identical photo ID, format 35mm X 45mm only, with a clear and plain background. Pictures with hat, caps, sunglasses, etc. will not be accepted (NO CUT OUT OF /OR CANADIAN PASSPORT SIZE PICTURE).

Please glue one picture per form and include the remaining one in an envelope.

[3] Any document supporting your status in Canada for more than 6 months and allowing your re-entry : Canadian birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card, permanent resident card (to be photocopied both sides), Canadian visa sticker valid at least 3 months after your departure from France,… + photocopy

[4] Last school and/or university diplomas + photocopy

[5] Original of the Accord de placement signed and stamped by the local Work Office “Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de l’Emploi”(DIRECCTE)) + photocopy. This will be given to you by the au pair agency after you have been placed with a family.

[6] Pre registration (“certificat de pre-inscription” or “lettre d’acceptation” or “certificat d’inscription” issued by the school) in an institution or a school or a university in France + photocopy. This will be given to you by the au pair agency after you have been placed with a family and registered at a school.

[7] Original return ticket or proof of e-ticket + photocopy, or proof of sufficient financial means to purchase it before your departure (minimum of CAD $1,500).  We do not recommend buying your ticket before you have your visa!  A bank statement showing approximately $1500 CAD should be sufficient.

Latitude International will ensure you receive the Accord de Placement and Lettre d’Acceptation after you’ve been placed with a family.  Please remember that you must be enrolled in a French language program part-time to qualify for the visa and you are responsible for this cost.

Booking Your Au Pair Visa Appointment

Consulate General of France in Vancouver
(Residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories)

1130 West Pender, Suite 1100
Vancouver British Columbia V6E 4A4

Book a visa appointment in Vancouver:

Consulate General of France in Toronto
(Ontario, Manitoba)

2 Bloor St. East Suite 2200
Toronto Ontario M4W 1A8

Book a visa appointment in Toronto:

For other jurisdictions please contact Latitude International Education.

 2nd step in France

  • For a stay lasting over 6 months (holders of a long-stay visa marked: « carte de séjour à solliciter »), you will have to contact the Prefecture for your place of residence within the month of your arrival for a temporary residency card. 
You must provide a proof of residency, a copy of your work contract by the DDTEFP for the 2A visas, proof of enrolment in a University for the 2B visas, an internship agreement for the 2C visas.
  • At this time, you will have to undergo a medical examination by the OFII Office
  • For candidates with 2D and 2E visas, you will have to go to the Direction Départementale du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Formation professionnelle, before you start working, to request a temporary work permit (APT).

The hosting agency in France will assist you with this second step!

What benefits does an Au Pair in France receive?

In the previous section, you learned about what is required from you in order to get the necessary visa in order to Au Pair in France. The entire process may seem scary and long, but remember, it’s a one time process, unlike the benefits and perks that you will enjoy when you’re an au pair! Here are some of the things that you can benefit from while you au pair in France:

  • Full board and food
  • A minimum of 80 euros/week
  • Transport Pass (Pass Navigo)
  • One day off /week
  • One weekend off minimum /month
  • One week paid holiday every 6 months
  • Medical insurance – civil liability (for long-term stays)
  • Free time to study French and visit Paris
  • An au pair certificate when you have fulfilled your stay

The host family provides the au pair with a private room including bed and desk. It will, be properly furnished, clean and pleasant.  Many families will provide their au pair with phone & computer facilities, as well as a TV and radio/CD player. If such facilities are not provided, the au pair will have access to these facilities in the living room or common areas of the home, like any other member of the family would.

Paris offers a large choice of French language courses for au pairs. Our team will help you find a suitable language school depending on your budget, your timetable and distance from your host family home. You usually follow between 6 and 10 hours/week of General French, French civilization and conference. You have the possibility to prepare official examinations such as:

  • Sorbonne diploma
  • TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français)

Some schools organize cultural outings for all the students. It’s a good way to make new contacts and learn more about our country. Note that language classes in France are at your own charge and cost around 120 euros/month.

Our multi-lingual team is here to support you throughout your stay. You will receive a welcome pack on your arrival with the list of other au pairs in your area.  Your host agency organises several au pair parties through out the year; it is a good way to get to know new people. When settled you will also have enough free time to do several activities. For instance, you can join a health club or a community sports team.  You will also meet other au pairs at school and will have the opportunity to do some cultural outings.

Generally au pairs will receive 2 weeks paid holiday per year.  Holiday times are to be mutually agreed upon between the hostfamily and Au Pair. If a host family wishes to take an Au Pair on holiday with them, it must be decided in advance if it is a holiday for the Au Pair as well, or if he/she will be working i.e babysitting.


How to apply to be an Au Pair in France?

The au pair program fee covers administrative and program costs which includes:

  • personalized au pair matching and placement with a suitable host family
  • placement with well-screened, suitable family who agrees to the high program standards of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA)
  • guaranteed maximum working hours and pocketmoney & contract in accordance with IAPA regulations
  • pick-up at airport or train station
  • orientation package upon arrival
  • au pair activities and events organized by hosting agency
  • also processing and screening of your application plus interviews

Our program is designed to give you personal & administrative assistance as well as assurance that you are going to have a great au pair experience with a safe and comfortable family! There are two parts of the Au Pair in France application process:


  • Complete the online au pair application form
  • Submit a “Dear host family” letter explaining your family background, experiences with children, motivation for the au pair programme, personality…
  • Passport copy
  • $600 CAD program fee + $50 non-refundable application fee invoiced after you have been accepted to the program based on the online application. Read our refund policy here.

After submitting your online au pair application form, your application will be reviewed. If your application is accepted, you will be prompted to pay $50 CAD/USD or 50€ non-refundable application processing fee. This must be paid before proceeding with the skype interview and the rest of the application process. This fee can be paid by paypal, interac e-transfer or bank transfer.


  • 2 childcare references with translation in French
  • 1 character reference with translation in French
  • photos with family, friends and children you have taken care of (maximum 5 photos)
  • copy of most recent diploma with a certified translation in French
  • a criminal record check certificate
  • a copy of birth certificate with a certified translation; this must also be authenticated by the government 
  • proof of French language education (can be a transcript or letter from French instructor, must be written in French)

After you have been placed with a family you will need:

  • a recent medical certificate or doctor’s note stating you are in good health (with French translation)
And remember, Latitude International Education Consulting is a an award-nominated agency and a member of the World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE) and works only with IAPA accredited hosting agencies!

By this time, you will have arrived in France and should be comfortably settled with your host family and schedule. Bienvenue en France!