Au pair programs and visa information in Austria:
Recently, Austria has relaxed its policy for au pairs from outside the EEA*. In the past, it was impossible for au pairs from outside the EEA to work in Austria. However, since April 1, 2001, au pairs from non-EEA countries, including the U.S., may come to Austria as an au pair provided they receive the necessary visas.
Under the new rules, the host family is required to submit a formal notification of employment (Anzeige) in advance to the regional office of the Austrian labor authorities (Arbeitsmarktservice/AMS). Arrangements can be made through an agency authorized to sponsor au pairs, such as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Auslands-Sozialdienst (Tel: +43-1-512 7941, Fax: +43-1- 513 9460) or, in the case of private arrangements, information and forms may be accessed directly through the AMS homepage. Upon submission of the request, the labour authorities will issue a confirmation authorising the employment and a contract of employment which will contain the general conditions of employment (such as salary and hrs to be worked per week).
Once this procedure is complete, an au pair can apply for an Austrian residence permit which is valid for a maximum of 12 months and is required to be renewed after 6 months. Note that this permit can only be applied for outside of Austria at an Austrian Embassy or Consulate.
*The EEA is defined as the European Economic Area which is made up of the EU countries, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.