Norway scraps au pair scheme

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway scraps au pair scheme
The Norwegian government has cancelled the au pair scheme with immediate effect. Pictured is the Norwegian parliament in Oslo. Photo by Ekely Getty Images

The au pair scheme has been scrapped by the Norwegian government over exploitation fears, and Friday, March 15th is the final deadline for those whose applications were in progress.


The Norwegian government has scrapped the au pair permit, arguing that it had moved from a cultural exchange arrangement to one of cheap labour.

“From the start, the au pair scheme was about cultural exchange. To give young people, especially women, an opportunity to get a job and a place to live in return for providing help in the family. This is no longer the case,” Per Vidar Kjølmoen, an MP for the Labour Party (Ap), told broadcaster TV 2 .

Au pairs who already have a permit in Norway have a deadline of two years to end the arrangement and return home.

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will only grant permits to those who have registered their application with the directorate and booked an appointment to hand in their documents by March 15th, 2024.

The government first announced plans to scrap the scheme in early 2023, and the policy was part of the political platform on which the current government was formed in 2021.

Unions had previously backed the scheme being scrapped. The leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), Peggy Hessen Følsvik, cited cases where women had been exploited as examples of why the scheme was no longer fit for purpose.


Au pairs in Norway work up to 30 hours a week, with entitlements for one day off a week. In return, they are paid 5,900 kroner a month and receive board and lodging from their hosts.

The average monthly salary in Norway, by comparison, was 56,360 kroner per month in 2023.

In 2022, Norway granted 737 residence permits to au pairs, figures for 2023 were not available at the time of writing.


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