Employing au pairs

An au pair is a person who lives with another family and is paid for child minding and light housework . The purpose of their stay in Sweden must be to obtain international experience and the opportunity to learn Swedish language and culture.

An au pair who is the citizen of a non-EU country needs a work permit. Citizens of certain countries also need a visaexternal link, opens in new window for jobs that last for less than three months.  

Requirements for obtaining a work permit

In order for the person you want to employ as an au pair to obtain a work permit

  • they must be 18-30 years old
  • you must offer no more than 25 hours of light housework per week
  • they must be studying Swedish for much of the remaining time
  • you must offer room and board
  • you must offer a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 3,500
  • household and studies combined must not exceed 40 hours per week.

Write a job offer specifying the above terms and send it to the au pair. Enclose a certificate of admission to studies in Swedish.

The au pair may not work full time

A person with a permit to work as an au pair may not take a full-time job as a child minder or home help.

Having just worked as an au pair in another country can make it more difficult to obtain a permit in Sweden, due to the possibility that the real purpose of their stay is to take a regular job as a child minder or the like.

Applying for a work permit

The au pair must apply for a work permit on their own. Additional information is available under Working in Sweden.

After the decision has been made

Once the decision has been made,  a copy will be sent to you indicating whether or not a permit has been granted. If you want to know the reasons for the decision, you must obtain a power of attorney from the au pair.

A permit can be granted for the period during which employment lasts but not past the time for which the au pair's passport remains valid. A permit to work as an au pair may be granted for up to one year altogether. The permit must be issued before they enter Sweden.

Au pairs who receive permits for three months or longer are also given a residence permit card, which is handed over or sent by the embassy or consulate general. The card, which the au pair must show when entering Sweden, is proof of their right to be in the country. Making and sending the card takes up to four weeks.

Notify the Tax Agency

When you hire someone from a non-EU country, you must notify the Tax Agency. You do this by filling in the form “Notification – Employment of a foreigner SKV 1160” with details of the name, address and employment period of the person who will be working for you. You will find the form at the Tax Agency websiteexternal link, opens in new window.

You only need to inform the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) when you employ a person for the first time. With an application for an extension, you do not need to inform Skatteverket.

You must keep copies of documents that show that the person has the right to stay and work in Sweden. The documents must be kept on file during the entire employment period and for 12 months after the employment has ended.

If the Migration Agency refuses the application

A decision concerning a work permit can be appealed against within three weeks. Information on how to do this can be found in the decision.

Important information regarding insurance

In order for an employee to receive a work permit, the employer must provide health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance for the employee when they begin working.

In order for an employee to extend their work permit, they must have been provided with health insurance, life insurance, industrial injury insurance and occupational pension insurance for the entire period in which they have had a work permit in Sweden.

To show that the insurance has been valid throughout the employment period, the document must state the start date of the policies and their terms and conditions.

Someone who has been in Sweden for less than one year does not have the same rights to social benefits as someone who is a resident of Sweden. For this reason, it is important that the person in question has been provided with insurance to cover any costs that may arise in the event of illness or an accident.

Last updated: 2019-06-27

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If you wish to ask the Migration Agency a question you can find our contact details under the heading Contact us.