Info Sweden

If you wish to work as an au-pair in Sweden you must have a work and residence permit ("arbets- och uppehållstillstånd" in Swedish). Working for more than three months in Sweden requires a work and residence permit, no matter what work you do.

An au-pair lives with a host family and receives a certain compensation for light household duties and child care.

The aim of the visit is to acquire international experience and have the opportunity to learn Swedish and get acquainted with Swedish culture. If you have a permit to work as an au-pair you are consequently not permitted to work as a nanny or housemaid full-time.

A previous period spent as an au-pair in another country immediately prior to the planned stay in Sweden could reduce the chances of you being granted a permit in Sweden. It could be a sign that you are not really an au-pair, but a regular full-time nanny or housemaid.

For work that is shorter than three months, citizens in certain countries must have an entry visa.

Requirements for work and residence permit 

In order to be granted a work and residence permit you must

  • have a valid passport
  • be at least 18 years old but not turned 30 
  • be able to argue that you have a distinct interest in and use for the Swedish language 
  • confirm that you are admitted to a course of language study
  • have a written invitation from your host family in Sweden stating the terms and conditions of your employment as an au-pair

Your host family must offer you 
  • an accident insurance that covers accidents and illness during working hours

Applying for a work and residence permit 

You must apply for a work and residence permit from your native country or some other country where you are living outside Sweden. Those who receive a work and residence permit will be given a residence permit card. The card is proof of your residence permit. When you enter Sweden, you must show your residence permit card as well as a valid passport.

Different ways of applying 

You can apply at a Swedish embassy or consulate in the country you live in. You must use the form Au pair (form number 131011). In order for the Migration Board to be able to issue a residence permit card, you will be photographed and have your fingerprints taken in connection with

  • submitting your application or
  • when you receive your residence permit

Make sure your application is complete

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  • copies of the pages of your passport that show your identity, the validity period of your passport and whether you have permits to be in countries other than your native country
  • a written invitation from your host family stating the terms and conditions of your employment as an au-pair
  • a receipt for the application fee

If you plan to work for less than three months and need an entry visa, you must also enclose two photographs in passport format. They must be taken from the front and they must not be older than six months.

Check the requirements of Swedish missions abroad 

Note that the embassy or consulate where you submit your application may require additional documents. You will find more information and contact information on the website of the relevant embassy.

Application fee 

Most people have to pay an application fee. If your application is refused, your money will not be returned. You must also pay a fee when you apply for an extension to your permit.

If you are granted a work and residence permit 

The decision will be sent to the embassy or consulate, either the one where you applied or the one that you specified when you applied on the website. If you have not been photographed previously and had your fingerprints taken, you will need to visit a Swedish mission abroad to do so. Once the residence permit card is ready, the mission abroad will issue, or in certain cases send, the card to you.

Important to remember 

Persons who stay in Sweden for a shorter period than one year are not entitled to the same welfare benefits as permanent residents. It is important that you and your host family have good insurance cover when you travel to Sweden.

Validity period for a work and residence permit

You can only be granted a work and residence permit for the period you have been offered work. The maximum validity period is one year.