How to host an au pair from a non-EU state

Which entry regulations apply to your au pair? Which documents need to be applied for? Here you will find more important information about au pair regulations in Germany.

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On this page, we provide you with information on regulations for au pairs from non-EU countries. Should you have clicked on the wrong page, you can switch to the page How to host an au pair from the EU.

Au pairs from countries outside the EU need a visa to enter Germany. The au pair should not be older than 26 years when applying.

NEW on AuPairWorld: Visa service Germany

Visa for Germany as a host countryYour future au pair is a non-EU citizen? You need support in terms of handling formalities regarding your au pair's visa application? Why not benefit from AuPairWorld's long-term experience in the au pair business? We will be more than pleased to advise you. Our visa service will help you and your au pair prepare and complete all necessary documents for the au pair stay in Germany.

Step 1: Send your au pair a contract and an invitation letter

Send a signed contract and an invitation letter to your au pair by post. You can download an example of the invitation letter and au pair contract from our site.

Step 2: Your au pair can now apply for a visa

The au pair needs to submit the signed contract and invitation letter to the German Embassy in order to apply for an au pair visa.

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.

Au pairs who need a visa must have a basic knowledge of the German language. Your local German Embassy decides which level of knowledge is considered to be sufficient. The au pairs should contact the embassy in their home country by phone to find out if their language level is sufficient.

For issuing an au pair visa, the Foreigner's Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde in German) may ask the host family to sign a letter of committment. In Hamburg, this document costs 25 euros. Should you sign a letter of committment in order to employ a non-European au pair, you should not forget to take out insurance to cover potential deportation costs.

Note: According to the au pair contract, the au pair employment should start within 6 months upon visa application. The duration of the au pair placement should be of at least 6 months.

As soon as the visa has been issued, the au pair may enter Germany. The processing of the visa may differ from one country to another, therefore it is recommended to allow for 6 weeks to 3 months time.

Step 3: Register your au pair at the German Ausländerbehörde (immigration office)

As soon as your au pair arrives in Germany, you need to deal with some administrative issues. Your au pair needs to register at your local Einwohnermeldamt (residents' registration office) and the Ausländerbehörde (immigration office). Please help your au pair with the administrative tasks. The Ausländerbehörde will automatically contact the Arbeitsamt (Employment Agency) concerning the work permit.

The au pair needs your duly filled in host family questionnaire (PDF) in order to apply for their residence title. Since the questionnaire, according to the central placement service in Bonn, is relevant for approval of the application, you need to dedicate a little more time for filling in the blanks. It is important that you read the information for German host families (PDF), information for au pairs with a German host family (PDF) as well as information on work permits for au pairs in Germany.

Note: 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 "eAufenthaltstitel", at the Immigration Office in their host country. For this purpose, a biometric passport photograph is required. Costs vary depending on the duration of residence the au pair applies 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 contact your local Immigration Office in time to find out more.

Separate treatment for specific countries:

  1. Special regulations apply to au pairs from Australia, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea or Hong Kong. There is a bilateral agreement between Germany and those countries. Nationals of these countries may be able to apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa. Your au pair should contact the competent authority for more information.
  2. Visa exemption on entry: Au pairs from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea or the USA may travel to Germany without a visa. However, they must apply for a residence title at the local Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde) within three months upon arrival and before the au pair placement startsPlease note: Au pairs need to prove their basic knowledge of German of at least A 1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages at the local Immigration Office in order to receive their residence title.

Secondary employment generally not allowed

Au pairs who enter Germany on a visa may only carry out the job for which the visa was issued. 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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