It is common to find information about Brazilians who want to work as Au Pairs, but you never hear about foreigners being Au Pairs in Brazil. The reason is because this type of exchange is not possible according to Brazilian Legislation. This article will explain why Au Pairs are not common in Brazil.
Au Pair is one of the most traditional cultural exchange programs, because it allows an exchange student to live with a foreign family, following their daily routine. The Au Pair normally helps the family by taking care of their children and doing some household tasks. In Brazil, some exchange agencies offer this program to Brazilians who wants to be Au Pairs, but you never hear about foreigners coming to Brazil to be Au Pairs.
Au Pairs are not Included in Brazilian Legislation
The Brazilian Legislation does not provide the option for an inbound Au Pair exchange in the country, which means that, in Brazil, an Au Pair Visa doesn't exist and that this type of activity cannot be done by foreigners in the country.
Even though many households utilize some type of housekeeping services, the housekeeper profession was only regulated by the government in 2012, granting domestic workers similar rights to regular workers. As the lawmakers are still trying to deal with issues related to the existing Brazilian domestics workers, we can assume that regulations for foreign au pairs will not be created soon.
Brazil Has the Biggest Population of Domestic Workers
According to a study conducted in 177 countries by ILO, the International Labor Organization, Brazil has 7.2 million domestic workers, 6.7 million of them are women and half a million are men. These numbers place Brazil at the top of the list of countries with the highest population of domestic workers in the world.
Since maids accumulate tasks that go way beyond housekeeping tasks - some maids also run errands and take care of the children - most Brazilians would only value getting Au Pairs for the cultural exchange aspect.
Other ways to get to Brazil
If you are young and eager to get to Brazil, there are other ways to obtain a visa to spend some time in the country. One alternative is to apply for a specific education course in Brazil which will entitle you to get a visa. Unfortunately under the student visa employment is forbidden, but you may be able get an internship if you are taking a college education. Note that not all courses entitles the student to obtain a visa.
If you are still a student, we recommend you check if your school or university has exchange programmes with Brazilian institutions. For some courses at the São Paulo University USP, there are as many Brazilian students participating in international exchange programmes as there are foreign students taking part in the graduation in Brazil.
The other alternative is to apply for volunteer work, which may entitle you to get a visa to stay in the country for a certain period of time.