Beginning in March, 2019, French regulations for the au pair program will undergo several changes.
25 hours per week
A major change for au pairs traveling to France will be a 25-hour weekly limit on childcare and household help. This is intended to help au pairs experience French culture outside of their homestay and take a language class if desired.
French language classes no longer required
Au pairs will no longer have to take French classes during their program. Host families must still allow time in au pairs’ schedules to attend classes if desired, and for experiencing the culture of France in general. Also, au pairs will not need to prove that they can speak French before traveling.
That being said, it's important to know at least the basics and we strongly encourage au pairs to take a class.
"Jeune Au Pair"
The name of the program will also change. Previously au pairs came under the student visa umbrella but the new “Jeune Au Pair” (young au pair) visa more clearly acknowledges an au pair's status distinct from that of a student. The term “au pair” translates to “on par,” signifying a cultural exchange among equals.
Do I need a visa to become an au pair in France?
Yes. For stays longer than 90 days in France you'll need a visa. Your agency should help you with visa information, but you'll have to visit a French embassy or consulate and pay the visa fee once you have a confirmed match with a host family.