Au pair programs and visa information in Finland:
Future host families can obtain further information at local authorities, au pairs have the possibility to enquire at the Finnish embassy.
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 (henkilotunnus 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 doctor visits, at banks etc. It consists of a birth date and a four digit identification number.Contractual conditions
The au pair may not be a relative of the host family.
The au pair may not take his/her own children with him/her to Finland.
The au pair must have a interest in the Finnish or Swedish language and culture.
Language skills: Basic knowledge of the Finnish or Swedish language need to be demonstrated or the applicant needs to read Scandinavian Studies with reference to Finnish history, politics and culture and he/she needs to be able to prove this.- Host family:
The au pair may not be a relative of the host family.
There are no restrictions concerning the number of the family's children or concerning the family members' nationality. Singles, too, may employ an au pair.
Agreement type: There is no standard au pair contract. However, it is advisable to take down the contract in written. 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 his/her 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 his/her 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 his/her 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 (tyontekijan 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.Residence permit:
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.For au pairs from non-EU/EFTA 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 he/she has enough financial means to support himself/herself during his/her 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 his/her 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 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 only 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 shall offer to the au pair the opportunity of learning the Finnish or Swedish language. The au pair shall be interested in the Finnish culture and in the Finnish or Swedish language before his/her 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 no relatives; a statement why the au pair would like to learn Finnish or Swedish and why he/she 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; commitment of the host family to take out a health insurance and an accident insurance for the au pair.Health insurance
Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries shall enquire in their home country how long their health insurance is valid during a stay abroad and should take out a health insurance with an au pair insurance company, if applicable.Au pairs from non-EU and non-EFTA countries
Au pairs from non-EU and non-EFTA countries need their own health insurance. The family has to make sure beforehand that the au pair has a valid health insurance. The costs for health insurance have to be paid by the host family.Personal liability insurance
The host family's personal liability insurance is also valid for the au pair, if he/she 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, life insurance and unemployment insurance
An 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 a life insurance (ryhmahenkivakuutus) and an unemployment insurance (tyottomyysvakuutus). These three insurance types are related to each other and the employer can take out these insurances under one contract at one insurance company.Employer's contribution
The employer's contribution to health insurance and social security (sotu- ja sava-maksut, "Social Security Payments", "Health Insurance Premium") which the employer has to pay in the case of normal employees does not need to be paid, if he employs an au pair. These contributions needn't be paid, if the au pair earns less than € 940 per month or if he/she works less than 18 hours per week.- to pension insurance
Contributions to pension insurance have to be paid for every au pair over 18 years of age. The TaEL "Pension Act for Performing Artists and Certain Other Employee Groups" applies to au pairs. The employer pays the contribution to Etera every month.
As from 2007: Amendments to the pension legislation - from then on it is also possible to use other insurance companies than Etera.
Information about insurance for foreigners in Finland can be obtained at the Finnish pension office Etera or from the Finnish Centre for Pensions Elaketurvakeskus(Pensionsskyddscentralen).
Host families should always seek personal advice.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 in how far 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 (henkilotunnus).
Please also ask the local revenue board (verotoimisto), if there are any fiscal advantages for au pairs or tax relief (kotitalousvahennys) or reimbursement of expenses (kotihoidontuki) for host families.Working Holidaymaker Program
Finland has a bilateral Working Holidaymaker agreement (tyoloma) with Australia's and New Zealand's governments.
A Working Holidaymaker visa (tyolomalupa) is a residence permit which entitles the holder of this visa to work in Finland up to a certain limit.For Working Holidaymaker from Australia and New Zealand
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 Holidaymaker may stay up to 12 months. The Working Holidaymaker 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 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 Holidaymakers may not bring with them children or spouses 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 €).For Working Holidaymakers from New Zealand
Preconditions: The participants need to be nationals of New Zealand and they must be mainly resident in New Zealand when filing the application.
Working Holidaymakers 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 Holidaymaker from New Zealand are obliged to take out a health insurance wich is valid during their whole stay.
Finish/Swedish/English usual salary range is approximately $150 to $200 per week.