Information for au pairs from non-EU countries

You are from a non-European country? Have you already done the Quick Check? Here you will find interesting information on visa and documents you need for your stay in Germany.

Are you an EU or EFTA citizen? In this case, different regulations apply. Please find more information on this page.

Au pairs from non-EU countries need a visa in order to enter Germany. Allow for enough time in advance for your visa application. It can take some time until you get your visa.

Step 1: Check the validity of your passport

Make sure that you possess a valid passport before you organise your trip.

Step 2: Have you received an invitation letter and contract from your host family?

Your future host family should send you a signed contract and invitation letter by post. You need these documents for your visa application. Therefore, it is important to have them in good time. Here you can download the invitation letter and contract.

Important to know: Processing times for applications can sometimes take longer, depending on the German Embassy in the au pair's home country. We therefore advise au pairs to apply for an appointment for a visa application at the relevant diplomatic mission as soon as possible after they have made a commitment with a host family. Until an appointment is available, the au pair can sign a contract with a host family and start making sure they have the neccessary documents.

Step 3: Apply for your visa

  1. The German Embassy examines your basic knowledge of German. The embassy in your country also defines which knowledge level can be considered as adequate. Ask the embassy in advance if your language level is sufficient for getting a visa.
  2. In Germany, there is an age limit for becoming an au pair. You should not be older than 26 when you apply for your visa.
  3. You should take the following documents with you when applying for your visa at the German Embassy in your country:
  • the au pair contract signed by your host family (original)
  • the invitation letter from your host family (original)
  • your valid passport
  • the insurance confirmation you received from your host family (your host family commit themselves to taking out insurance by signing the invitation letter)
  • write about how the au pair stay will fit in with your set plans

According to the au pair contract, the au pair employment should start within 6 months after applying for the visa. The duration of the au pair placement should be of at least 6 months.

As soon as the visa is issued, you may leave your country. The processing of the visa may differ from one country to another, therefore it is recommended to allow for 6 weeks up to 3 months time. Call the German Embassy if you wish to know how much time it will take exactly.

Further documents could be required, such as a police clearance certificate or a health certificate. In this case, it is equally recommended to ask the German Embassy in your country.

Step 4: Registration in the host country

Upon your arrival in Germany, your host family should register you at the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) and the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde). The residence permit will first be issued for 3 months and must be extended afterwards.

As of 1 September 2011, au pairs in Germany need to apply for an electronic residence title, the so-called "Aufenthaltstitel", at the Immigration Office in their host country. For this purpose, a biometric passport photograph is required. Costs vary depending on the duration of the residence the au pairs apply for. The process of issuing a residence permit, which is valid for up to one year, costs 100 euros. According to present experiences, it may take 3 to 4 weeks until the residence permit is handed out. Therefore, we recommend that you ask the local Immigration Office about this matter in time.

Separate treatment for specific countries:

  1. Are you a national of Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea or Hong Kong? In this case, you may be able to apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa, too. Please contact the competent authority for more information.
  2. Visa exemption on entry: Au pairs from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the USA may travel to Germany without a visa. However, they need to apply for a residence title at the local Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) within three months after their arrival and before the au pair placement starts. Please note: Au pairs need to prove their basic knowledge of German of at least A 1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages at the local Immigration Office in order to receive their residence title.

Secondary employment basically not allowed

Au pairs who enter Germany on a visa may only carry out the job for which the visa was issued. According to the Immigration Office in Berlin, a secondary employment (part-time job) is not allowed.

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

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