EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
Non-EU: Citizens of all other countries
Au pairs from EU/EFTA countries
Step 1: A valid identity card or passport
EU or EFTA citizens do not need a visa to travel to Belgium. Nonetheless, au pairs from these countries do need to have a valid identity card or passport. A tip at this point: Au pairs should check the validity of their identity papers well in advance.
Step 2: Register with local municipality in Belgium
Citizens of EU or EFTA countries do not need a residence permit in Belgium but they do have to register with the municipality of the host family upon arrival if the au pair will be staying longer than three months. A valid passport or identity card is necessary for this step. Au pairs do not need to have a work permit for the au pair stay, and they are not allowed to undertake any other paid work during the stay in Belgium
Au pairs from non-EU countries
Step 1: A valid passport
Au pairs from non-EU countries need to have a valid passport to enter Belgium. This passport should be valid for at least one further year.
Step 2: Apply for a work and employment permit
Non-EU citizens require a valid work permit to work in Belgium as an au pair. Au pairs must not have had a work permit in Belgium in the past. The host family needs to apply for a work permit B and employment permit. This application needs to be made with the immigration authority for the respective host region in Belgium (Brussels, Flanders or Wallonia).
The work permit is valid for 12 months and cannot be extended. It is only possible to change host families once in this 12 month period. Another important point is that the au pair cannot have any other paying work during the au pair stay.
Step 3: Apply for a visa
For a stay of less than 3 months
For a stay of less than 3 months, a short-term visa (Schengen visa Type C) must be used. Please note, however, that some countries are excluded from this visa. In any case, au pairs must fulfil the entry requirements of the Schengen area for a short-term stay. Further information is available from the responsible authorities
For a stay between 3 and 12 months
When the au pair stay will be longer than 3 months, then a Schengen Type D visa is required. The application for this visa can be made at the Belgian embassy or consulate in the au pair's home country. The following documents must be submitted:
- A valid passport
- The Type B work permit that the host family has applied for,
- A medical certificate completed and signed within the last 6 months by a doctor approved by the Belgian embassy
- An up-to-date police clearance certificate (criminal record check)
Step 4: Registration with the local municipal authority in Belgium
After arriving in Belgium, the au pair must register with the local administrative officials in the municipality of the host family. The au pair's Shengen Type D visa and passport are necessary for this step.