Accepted countries: Finland accepts au pairs from all countries.
Age: An au pair may be between 17 and 30 years old.
Duration of stay: 12 months at the utmost
Purpose of the au pair stay: Au pairs are young people who go to Finland in order to learn the Finnish or Swedish language and get acquainted with the culture by living with a host family, by looking after the family's children and doing light household duties.
Personal Identity Number: Au pairs, who stay in Finland for longer than 6 months need a Finnish Personal Identity Number (henkilötunnus or sosiaaliturvatunnus, personbetecking). This can be applied for at the Local Registration Office (Maistraatti). This number is necessary e.g. for the revenue board.
The Personal Identity Number is also used for identification for visits to the doctors and at banks etc. It consists of a birth date and a four digit identification number.
Agreement type: There is no standard au pair contract. However, it is advisable to establish a written contract. For au pairs from non-EU countries a written contract is necessary because it is needed to apply for a residence permit.
In Finland there are no programs like Demi-pair.
Working hours: 30 hours per week at the utmost, not more than 5 hours per day
The au pair lives with the host family as an equal family member. The working hours (i.e. the time which the au pair spends with child care and household tasks) of the au pair may not exceed the working hours of the other family members.
Work contents: The au pair takes part in the host family's normal household tasks. Mostly this means child care and light household duties. Work contents need to be agreed upon by the host family and the au pair.
Pocket money: The au pair's pocket money has to amount to at least € 252 net per month (as of 03/2010). Furthermore the family has to offer board and lodging.The gross salary shall be adapted in such a way that the au pair has € 252 per month after tax for their use.The Finnish host family shall enquire at the Finnish revenue board VERO how much salary the au pair should receive to ensure that the au pair receives € 252 net per month.
Period of notice: The period of notice needs to be agreed upon by the two parties and in most cases it is 2 weeks.
Time off: at least 1 whole day per week has to be off. Once a month the au pair should have a Sunday off. Babysitting in the evenings needs to be agreed upon.
Holidays: It is standard practice that the au pair has two days of vacation per month in accordance with the Finnish labour legislation.
Accommodation: The accommodation for the au pair should be similar to the rooms of the other family members. The au pair has to have their own room.
Board and lodging: The family has to offer free board and lodging to the au pair.
Language course: The au pair is obliged to take part in a Finnish or Swedish language course during their stay to be able to apply for a residence permit. The family has to give the au pair the opportunity to attend a language course. But it is the family's decision whether they pay for it.
Travel costs: Travel costs have to be paid for by the au pair but many families choose to pay a part of these costs.
It is also common practice to provide the au pair with a monthly ticket for local public transportation.
Work permit: A work permit (työntekijän oleskelulupa, residence permit for employed persons) is not required in the case of real au pair work - neither for EU citizens nor for non-EU citizens.
For au pairs from EU and EFTA countries
For citizens from EU and EFTA countries neither a visa nor a residence permit (oleskelulupa, ordinary residence permit) is required.
If EU or EFTA citizens want to stay in Finland for longer than 3 months, they need to register their stay at the local police.This registration costs € 40. The candidate should also bring along the au pair contract.
Citizens from Denmark, Island, Norway and Sweden do not need to register with the police but with the „Local Register Office“ Maistraatti (Magistraterna) under the „Inter-Nordic Migration Form“.The same applies to nationals from other countries whose place of residence is in one of the nordic countries.
Au pairs from other countries do not need a visa, but a residence permit. When applying for a residence permit, the candidate needs to prove that they have enough financial means to support themselves during their stay in Finland.
The temporary residence permit has to be applied for at the Finnish embassy or consulate of the au pair's country and the candidate needs to obtain a visa label in their passport before traveling to Finland. The application fee has to be paid for by the au pair and cannot be reimbursed, if the final residence permit is not issued. It is issued by the foreigners' registration authority (Ulkomaalaisvirasto) and costs € 175. Since an au pair employment is considered as a cultural exchange by the foreigners' registration authority, it is important not to describe the au pair as a nanny when applying for a residence permit. It is important to mention within the application in which language course the au pair will take part and when this course will take place (because the host family will offer to the au pair the opportunity of learning the Finnish or Swedish language). The au pair must be interested in the Finnish culture and in the Finnish or Swedish language before their stay and should possibly have learned a little of the language. Also hobbies, studies or other knowledge of the Finnish culture are taken into account when the applicant files the application for a residence permit.
To apply for a residence permit the following documents are required: an application form; the au pair contract in which the working hours, free time, tasks, pocket money, holidays and accomodation are indicated; a declaration that the au pair and the host family are not relatives; a statement why the au pair would like to learn Finnish or Swedish and why they would like to get acquainted with the Finnish culture in Finland; the certificate of an enrollment into a Finnish or Swedish language course, its contents and who pays for the language course fees; a certificate presenting the au pair's financial means (e.g. bank statement); a passport photo of the au pair; the au pair's identity card or passport; the au pair's health certificate which may not be older than 3 months; a clean criminal record of the au pair; a declaration of how the host family's childrens' day care has been arranged during the au pair's stay and commitment of the host family to take out health insurance and accident insurance for the au pair.
The host family's personal liability insurance is also valid for the au pair, if they can be defined as a „person living permanently within the household“. Normally, the au pair lives with the family so that this condition would be fulfilled. To be on the safe side the family should anyway consult their insurance company in this matter.
Accident insurance (tapaturmavakuutus) for an au pair is a general obligation. The costs for this insurance depend on the insurance company and amount to app. € 60 per year. The employer additionally has to take out life insurance (ryhmähenkivakuutus) and unemployment insurance (työttömyysvakuutus). These three insurance types are related to each other and the employer can take out these insurances under one contract at one insurance company.
Tax for the au pair: Au pair work in Finland is subject to taxation. As a general rule an au pair does require a tax card and has to complete a tax return. The tax card needs to be applied for at the Finnish revenue board VERO. For this purpose the au pair contract needs to be shown to VERO. Please enquire with the revenue board VERO about tax rates for the pocket money and to what extent board and lodging is taxable as value of benefits in kind.
The host family deducts the tax from the au pair's salary and pays it to the revenue board. There are different tax cards. Please ask the local revenue board (verotoimisto) which one is best in the individual case. If it is done correctly from the beginning, one can save money. Before going to the revenue board the au pair should have a Finnish Personal Identity Number (henkilötunnus).
Please also ask the local revenue board (verotoimisto), if there are any fiscal advantages for au pairs or tax relief (kotitalousvähennys) or reimbursement of expenses (kotihoidontuki) for host families.
Finland has a bilateral Working Holidaymaker agreement (työloma) with Australia's and New Zealand's governments.
A Working Holidaymaker visa (työlomalupa) is a residence permit which entitles the holder of this visa to work in Finland up to a certain limit.
Age: The participants of the program must be between 18 and 30 years old (at the date when the visa is applied for)
Duration of stay: The Working Holiday Maker may stay for up to 12 months. The Working Holiday Maker visa is only issued once and cannot be prolonged.
Participation: It is possible to take part in the Working Holiday program only once.
Preconditions: The main purpose of a stay under the Working Holiday program is to go on holiday.
The participants need to have a valid identity card or passport.
Working conditions: Working Holidaymaker may work for 9 months during their stay of 12 months. They may only be employed with the same employer for 3 months. They are not allowed to take on a permanent working position.
Documents: In order to apply for a Working Holiday visa the following documents are required:
The participants need to be nationals of Australia.
The participants need to be healthy and need to provide a certificate of good conduct (confirming that the holder has no criminal record).
Working Holiday Makers may not bring children or spouses with them who financially depend on them.
Financial means: Applicants need to have sufficiant financial means to support themselves during their stay in Finland. They need to have at least 3000 AUD (app. 1500 €).
Preconditions: The participants need to be nationals of New Zealand and they must be mainly resident in New Zealand when filing the application.
Working Holiday Makers may not bring with them children who financially depend on them.
Financial means: Applicants need to have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Finland. They need to have at least 3000 NZD (app. 1500 €)
Health insurance: Working Holiday Makers from New Zealand are obliged to take out a health insurance which is valid during their whole stay.
We are continually researching and updating our Host Country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.