Questions on the au pair stay in Germany

Find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions on the au pair stay in Germany.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

  • Our current au pair recently received a personal identification number from the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern). This number serves tax purposes. None of our previous au pairs ever received such a number. Does this mean that au pairs recently became liable to pay an income tax?
    Host family Abel from Germany
    We would first like to point out that we cannot and may not provide you with a legally binding information.

    However, we have researched this matter and found the following information. Here is what the press office of the Federal Central Tax Office wrote to us: "Every natural person having his/her domicile or habitual residence in Germany is subject to an unlimited income tax. For this reason, every person is given a tax identification number as a classification criterion for financial adminstration. The fact alone that they are given a tax identification number does not automatically lead to any consequences neither for the host family, nor for the au pair. Consequences may follow, if a reason for a concrete tax liability arises within the course of individual examinations."

    With regard to tax liability of au pairs, we received the following information: an au pair usually receives a low income. Therefore, an au pair does not have to file a tax return in Germany, according to our tax expert. In case of any doubt, individual cases are to be examined. For further information, please refer to your tax consultant. We hope that we were able to answer your question.
  • My Russian au pair and I are not getting along well with each other. We talked many times about this, but did not reach a satisfactory compromise. Our mutual expactations are way too different. I want to terminate the au pair contract and want to know what needs to be considered?
    Edna, host mum from Germany
    Being frank about your mutual expectations is definitely the right thing to do when facing problems with each other. Should you repeatedly fail to come to a solution and well believe that a termination is the best thing to do, please abide by the notice period agreed upon in the contract. This period is usually two weeks.

    • Stay fair. Talk to your au pair about what is to happen next. There are two options, either she will find another host family or she will return home.
    • As your au pair entered Germany on a visa, she will have to leave despite the fact that her visa is valid for 12 months if she decides to go for the latter option. Leaving Germany before the 12 months are over will render it impossible for her to come back to Germany to work as an au pair. Do talk to her about this matter.
    • If your au pair prefers to change to another host family, she needs to be aware of the regulations. Changing host families must basically be approved by the relevant Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde). Please contact the authorities to find out if the change can be granted and what will be exactly needed to obtain approval. Note that there are some differences between the relevant regions.
    • The change to the new host family should take place seamlessly. The au pair may not leave her current host family and temporarily stay over at her friends' before entering her new host family's home. This may result in a rejection of the change request by the local Immigration Office responsible for the new host family. Should the change be rejected, the au pair will have to leave Germany as soon as possible.
    • You may wish to help your au pair find a new family, although we know that this may not be an easy thing to do. Please inform the Immigration Office as soon as you have found a new host family. Ask your au pair to equally help you find a new au pair.
  • I live in the countryside and would like to host an au pair. Language course are held in the next village, 14 kilometres away from us. The next town is about 40 km away. Therefore, I wonder, whether you could tell me, if a 14-kilometre-drive would be reasonable for an au pair? Do I even have a chance of finding an au pair?
    Petra, host mother from Germany
    You are right: most au pairs prefer large cities to the countryside. Thus, your choice will be slightly reduced. However, the most important thing for you is to find a matching au pair.

    In order to help you with your search, we would like to give you a few tips:

    • Search for an au pair who likes sports and is active, thus being able to keep himself/herself busy. Somebody, who possibly likes outdoor activities. An au pair, who loves to go shopping or to the cinema everyday, would most likely not be happy in your home.
    • Emphasize the advantages of life in the country and of your own family in the free texts of your profile on AuPairWorld. Think about which activities are offered close to your home. Are there riding opportunities or a nice hiking trail?
    • For your au pair it would be a great offer to be allowed to use your car for the way to his/her language course. What about public transport in your area? Are there buses or trains regularly? All these points would be an additional plus, which you should definitlely highlight in your profile.
    • Depending on the au pair's country of origin, the meaning of "living in the country" may differ. In Canada or Finland this would mean that most families live quite far afield. In Germany, which is densely populated, "living in the country" may mean something entirely different.

    This applies to your situation and to the fact that your au pair would have to drive 14 kilometres to attend his/her language course. This is still reasonable, though. After all, the most important thing is that your au pair feels happy with your family and that you both get along well with each other.
  • Unfortunately when I took the German language test at the Consulate the first time, I failed the oral exam. Can I take the test again?
    Christina, au pair from the USA
    Unfortunately there is no generally applicable answer to this question. At the Consulate in the USA, where Christina took her test, it was possible to take the test again. However, in general, there is no set rule for German embassies abroad regarding how many times someone can take the language test.

    We therefore recommend that au pairs contact the German Embassy in their home country in advance and find out whether it is possible to take the exam more than once. These regulations are set individually by each German Diplomatic Representation and therefore vary from country to country. 
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Do you have any other questions? Find the information you need on the au pair stay in Germany or write us an email. We will be glad to help!

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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