Australia pushes for longer au pair work visas
February 8, 2012
Being an au pair gives an individual the chance to travel to foreign countries and fully immerse themselves in the local culture. Au pairs stay with host families in exchange for helping out with children, and they are essentially live-in nannies.
However, nannies are typically paid regular wages as well, while au pairs receive a small stipend and are granted room and board in exchange for their duties. The trade off is effectively that au pairs get the opportunity to live in another country, which they may not otherwise be able to do. Australia has recently become a favorite destination for au pairs, as traveling to the south pacific country can be rather pricey, let alone taking living expenses into account, according to The West Australian.
Au pair advocates in Australia are looking to make a few revisions to these rules. The Australian reports that the nation's au pair industry is seeking to change the rules surrounding working visas. Currently, a foreign au pair can only stay with a family for a period of six months before their visa expires. If au pairs can be granted longer work visas, they will be able to remain in Australia longer, which may benefit them as well as their host families.
Au pairs can bring along international phone cards so they are able to stay in touch with their loved ones without running up extensive long distance bills on their hosts' phones.