MANILA, Philippines – The ban on au pairs bound for all European countries has been lifted, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday, February 22, 2012.
Au pairs are single women and men, usually between 18 and 30 years old, who undergo a type of cultural exchange arrangement with a European host family, where they are considered a ‘temporary’ member of the family.
Au pairs would also do some housework as part of the arrangement with the host family, but are not considered domestic workers.
The lifting of the ban came after the government issued new guidelines for the departure of au pairs to the said continent, the DFA said in a press statement.
The procedures and requirements for the departure of au pairs have been simplified under the new guidelines, which were drafted by a technical working group composed of several government agencies.
Under the new rules, au pairs are required to submit only the following documents before leaving:
- An authenticated contract of engagement (authentication usually by the Philippine diplomatic post at the destination)
- A passport with a valid au pair visa
- A certification from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas
They do not need to go pass through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), since au pairs aren’t considered overseas Filipino workers, the press statement noted.
The ban was put in place in 1998 due to reports of abuses in the au pair system. Prior to lifting the current ban, 3 countries were allowed to receive Filipino au pairs starting 2010: Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark. – Rappler.com