The amendment of the Law on the Employment of Foreign Nationals affects au pairs, as well as host families in Germany. As we previously reported, the upper age limit for au pairs entering Germany on a visa was expected to be raised from 25 to 27 years of age according to the new regulation. This amendment was approved by the Bundesrat on 3 May. The decision will enter into force on 1 July 2013.
The amendment originally provided that host families no longer needed to be native speakers of German; German should simply be the first language spoken in the family. This aspect was in the meantime restricted by the Bundesrat. According to the corresponding press release, at least one of both host parents needs to be a German native speaker. The reason given for this is that the use of German within the host family merely in addition to other languages is not in line with the basic idea of au pairing. The main objective for au pairs when living with their host families in Germany is to improve their German language skills and learn more about their host country.
However, even after 1 July 2013 exceptions can be made in certain cases. In its decree, the Bundesrat also included this sentence: “If host families, who do not speak German as their first language, still speak German at home, they may be entitled to host an au pair, provided that the boy or girl does not come from the host family's country of origin.”