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Au Pair in Geneva

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An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children. He or she will get food and accommodation provided by the family free of charge, and a small allowance in addition (sort of pocket money - about 600 CHF/month). The family must also allow the au pair her time off. During time off, the au pair is free for what she wants to do: learning a language at school or lazing around in Geneva.

Au pairs are not professional child minders and will not be a qualified nanny. Au pairs should not be responsible for children under 2 years of age.

There are no set conditions to become an au pair in Geneva. However, one will probably prefer girls (it can be boys... but it's rare) between 18 and 30, citizens of the European Union (The residence permit is given by the Cantonal Office of population - OCP - and only citizens from the European Union, USA, Canada - non French speaking, Australia and New Zealand are allowed to apply) and experience with children is likely to be demanded.
The minimum is 2 months and the au pair cannot stay more than 2 years.

What the au pair must know

She will have to take care of the children, i.e.:

  • speak the language, at least enough to understand and talk,
  • be sure they get up on time; dress the children/ensure the children dress themselves,
  • take them to school/nursery/activity classes...,
  • play with them,
  • be in charge of their meals,
  • tidy up their rooms,
  • be free to baby-sit them if needed, some evenings.

What the family has to do

The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not an employee but a home help for the children. Therefore they will make sure:

  • the au pair must have her own bedroom,
  • the au pair will work to a maximum of 40 hours per week She should have minimum 2 days (2 x 24 hours) off during the week (make available the au-pair's agreed free time and days off),
  • they understand that having an au pair doesn't mean someone who is going to do the housework, the dishes....etc. However au pairs may be asked to do some housework, especially related to the children,
  • medical insurance will have to cover the au pair in case of sickness or accident,
  • the family pay an allowance (pocket money) each week,
  • it may be good to register the au pair with the family GP,
  • Her possessions should also be registered on the house insurance.
  • The au pair will be declared at the Office Cantonal de la population (OCP) within the first 2 weeks. This office is in charge of delivering a residence permit (work permit L)

The OCP will send the form to the Office de la Main d'Oeuvre Etrangère (foreign work force office), 7 rue des Battoirs, 1205 Geneva. This office will check whether the familly complies with the necessary criteria for employing an au pair.

Some addresses...

If you want to register as an au pair or as a family, you can contact:

You can also consult:

You will find also information on the website Centre d'Accueil Genève International with details of écoles Didac providing courses for young au pair.

Usually agencies will ask registration fees from the family, the au pair or both.

For transfrontaliers/transborder residents (resident in France, working in Geneva or looking for work in Switzerland) it is possible to find information at the Maison de l'Emploi.

Update 17/08/2006

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Nouvelle procédure d'autorisation en SUISSE
Swiss Federal rules have ENGLISH :

changed for the obtemption of a working Permit as "AU PAIR". People from USA, CANADA, NEW ZELAND, AUSTRALIA, etc... are pleased to ask a professional agency for any requests. FORMA-PLUS Sàrl do it for you. Pleas take contact on the phone +41 (0)22 779 10 36 or per e-mail :

Veuillez prendre note que les lois fédérales suisses ont changé depuis le 1er janvier 2008 et que dorénavant, une demande d'autorisation pour personnel au pair provenant de la zone non EU et tout particulièrement pour les ressortissants des pays suivants (CANADA, USA, AUSTRALIE, Nouvelle-Zélande, etc...) doivent être effectuées par une agence agréée. FORMA-PLUS Sàrl se tient à votre disposition pour l'ensemble des démarches et pour d'avantage de renseignements. contact : +41 (0)22 779 10 36 ou par e-mail :



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