Becoming an Au Pair in Canada…
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Are you an Au Pair wishing to come to Canada? It is an amazing opportunity to experience Canada, travel and make lifelong friends.
Here are a few things you need to know about becoming an Au Pair before you start contacting families…
The Working Holiday Visa
You MUST be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in order to legally work as an Au Pair in Canada. The Working Holiday Visa is part of the International Experience Canada program and is available to citizens from a select group of countries. Without Working Holiday Visa approval, authorities may deny Au Pairs entry into Canada and send you back to your home country. You cannot work on a Visitor Visa.
Below are the countries eligible as well as the number of Visas awarded each year.
**Note that citizens of Brazil, Mexico, Columbia etc… are NOT eligible for the Working Holiday Visa**
Australia (unlimited Visas)
Belgium (750 Visas available in 2017)
Chile (881 Visas available in 2017)
Costa Rica (80 Visas available in 2017)
Croatia (275 Visas available in 2017)
Czech Republic (1000 Visas available in 2017)
Estonia (98 Visas available in 2017)
France (11,050 Visas issued in 2017)
Germany (5,490 Visas available in 2017)
Greece (180 Visas available in 2017)
Hong Kong (240 Visas available in 2017)
Ireland (7,700 Visas available in 2017)
Italy (1,000 Visas available in 2017)
Japan (6,500 Visas available in 2017)
South Korea (4,000 Visas available in 2017)
Latvia (40 Visas available in 2017)
Lithuania (178 Visas available in 2017)
Netherlands (570 Visas available in 2017)
New Zealand (2,500 Visas available in 2017)
Norway (130 Visas available in 2017)
Poland (638 Visas available in 2017)
San Marino (25 Visas available in 2017)
Slovakia (315 Visas available in 2017)
Slovenia (101 Visas available in 2017)
Spain (875 Visas available in 2017)
Sweden (670 Visas available in 2017)
Taiwan (1,110 Visas available in 2017)
UK (7,000 Visas available in 2017)
It is important to note that some countries fill their Visa quota very quickly and/or are very competitive and have more applicants than available Visas.
Because this is a “Youth Mobility Agreement,” there are age restrictions to the Visa application. For most countries you must be between the ages of 18-30 (however some countries allow participation up to age 35).
More information on the Visa requirements and process can be found on the Government of Canada website for International Experience Canada.
In order to Au Pair in Canada (work with children) you MUST have a medical exam performed by an Immigration Canada certified physician. Without medical clearance you could be issued a work permit that prohibits you from working with children – this is very problematic and makes you ineligible to work as an Au Pair. It is best to have the medical exam completed before you come to Canada but if you already have a work permit or you have been issued approval but not yet left your home country there are ways to address the medical. Contact us for more information if you find yourself in this situation.
Contracts / Pay and Perks
Do NOT accept a job offer without seeing a contract from your potential Host Family. The contract should outline your rate of pay (which should be no less than the minimum hourly wage prescribed by the Provincial government). “Pocket Money” is not legal in Canada and your pay should be based on the number of hours worked x an hourly wage. The contract should also contain a job description and include your responsibilities as well as any Room and Board deductions or perks offered by the family.
Room and Board deductions are standard in Canada but the government caps how much a family can deduct. Every province is a bit different regarding how they calculate deductions but expect to contribute no more than about $75-$85 per week for Room and Board. Some families will tell you that Room and Board is included but then offer you reduced pay. Make sure that you know what you are earning BEFORE any deductions are taken.
By law, families employing Au Pairs are required to deduct Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP). They also may be required to deduct income tax from your pay. This is non-negotiable and a requirement of the federal government.
Some families will offer you certain perks in the contract. Common perks are transit passes (so that you can get around the city on the bus or train), cell phone allowances, gym memberships, use of the family car, passes to local attractions, or possibly bonuses or an offer to cover your Visa expenses. These perks are discretionary and not all families will offer these benefits.
If you still have questions about the process or would like advice, please reach out to us by email email@example.com or through our Contact Us link.
The Canadian Au Pair Solutions Team