Au Pair in Germany

Au Pairs in Germany will not only improve their language skills but also discover a multicultural society and interesting traditions through their Host Family. During this time, they will also have some responsibilities, mostly related to the host kids.

With an Au-pair program, young people from all parts of the world are given the opportunity to live with a German host family for a certain period of time (usually 6 to 12 months). They get to know the daily family life of their host family, improve their German language skills and get an interesting insight into another culture. The tasks of an Au-pair are mainly in the childcare but also in the occasional assistance in the household, in return, the family provides catering, accommodation, and a pocket money. The Au-pair program is very advantageous and interesting for both parties (host family and Au-pair). An Au-pair is by no means to be regarded as a domestic worker but as a family member.

Working hours

Au Pairs in Germany work 30 hours per week (including babysitting) with a maximum of 6 hours daily. According to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (German Employment Agency), Au Pairs should have at least 4 evenings and one complete day free.

Please consider that Au Pairs from Non-European Union (EU) member states are not allowed to work in another field.

Pocket money

Germany’s official Au Pair program establishes 280 euros as the monthly salary. Host Families must also pay 50 euros for the Au Pair’s language course In some cases, this will cover the complete cost but in some other the Au Pair will have to pay the rest.

Time off and holidays

In Germany, Au Pairs will have at least one free day per week and 4 free evenings. At least one Sunday per month must also be free. German regulations establish that Au Pairs in a one year stay will have four weeks of holidays. If the stay is shorter, they will have two days in a working month.

Language course

Au Pairs in Germany have the chance to attend a language course to improve their German skills. Host Families pay 50 euros for the course fees. Sometimes 50 euros are enough to cover the costs but in other cases the Au Pair must pay the rest of the fee.

What else?

  • The Au Pair should register at the foreign office (Ausländerbehörde) as soon as possible once in Germany
  • The Family must contact the responsible foreign office in case of any doubts regarding local regulations

Au pairs from non-EU countries need a visa in order to enter Germany. It is important to start the visa application process sufficiently early as it can take some time to complete. 

Step 1: Check passport validity

Au pairs need to be certain that they have a valid passport before planning their trip.

Step 2: Invitation letter and contract

The future host family sends the au pair the signed au pair contract and an invitation letter by post. The au pair needs these documents for the visa application. It is therefore important that they be sent well in advance of the au pair stay.

Important: Depending on the German embassy in the au pair’s home country, processing times for applications can sometimes be quite lengthy. 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 definite arrangements with a host family. While waiting for an appointment to be available, the au pair can get the contract with the host family signed and and start making sure that all the necessary documents are ready.

Step 3: Apply for visa

1. The German Embassy examines the au pair’s basic knowledge of German. The individual embassies define what knowledge level will be considered adequate. Therefore, it makes sense for the au pair to inquire at the local embassy in advance to find out what level of language proficiency is deemed sufficient for an au pair visa.

2. In Germany, there is an age limit for au pairs. An au pair cannot be older than 26 years of age when the visa application is made.  

3. The au pair needs the following documents when applying for a visa at the Germany embassy in her or his home country .

  • the au pair contract signed by the host family (original)
  • the invitation letter from the host family (original)
  • a valid passport
  • the insurance confirmation from the host family (the host family commits to taking out insurance when signing the invitation letter)
  • a statement of motivation indicating how the au pair stay fits together with the au pair’s specific plans

According to the au pair contract, the au pair stay should start within 6 months after the application for the visa has been made. The duration of the au pair placement must be for at least 6 months.

As soon as the visa has been issued, the au pair may travel to Germany. The processing time required for the visa application can vary from 6 weeks up to 3 months time. For more detailed information, contact the respective German Embassy and inquire.

Further documents can sometimes be required from the au pair, such as a police clearance certificate or a health certificate. Again, it is advisable for the au pair to inquire directly at the German embassy in his or her country.

With the letter of commitment, the host family declares that it is prepared to cover the living costs of the au pair. This commitment remains in force until the au pair has left the country. When the host family has signed such a letter of commitment, it is also advisable to think about implementing an insurance to cover possible deportation costs.

Step 4: Registration in Germany

The au pair visa is initially valid for a period of three months and enables the immediate commencement of au pair activities. When the au pair has arrived in Germany, the host family must register the au pair at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). The residence permit and work permit will first be issued for a period of 3 months and must be extended thereafter.

As of 1 September 2011, au pairs in Germany need to apply for an electronic residence title, the so-called eaufenthaltstitel at their local Immigration Office. For this purpose, a biometric passport photograph is required. Costs vary depending on the duration of the period of residence. A residence permit which is valid for up to one year costs 100 euros. Based on current experiences, it may take 3 to 4 weeks until the residence permit is issued. Therefore, it is advisable to contact the local Immigration Office in good time regarding this matter. 

Requirements for the guest family:

  • Married couples, single parents or unmarried couples with children;
  • At least one parent must be of German nationality or nationality of an EU / EEA state or Switzerland and the mother tongue of the family must be German. If the family speaks German as a family language, an Au-pair may not come from a home country of the host parents;
  • A separate room for the Au-pair within the family home, house must be available;
  • The family must be financially able to pay for the Au-pair/work.

Requirements for Au-pair:

  • Age 18 – 26 years;
  • First-time Au-pair stay in Germany;
  • Be single and have no children of your own;
  • Have at least basic knowledge of the German language. (Provable by a   German certificate A1-Levels or higher, for German-language students please provide a copy of the diploma or study certificate);
  • Experience in childcare
  • Be healthy.

Tasks of an Au-pair

The daily tasks of an Au-pair are very different. They depend entirely on the individuality and the lifestyle of the family that the Au-pair has taken with them.

The everyday life of an Au-pair generally includes:

  • To supervise the younger children, that means, to supervise them and accompany them on their way to the nursery school or school or to certain events, to walk or play with them;
  • To prepare breakfast and simple meals;
  • To perform light housework, to help keep the apartment clean and in order, to wash and to iron the laundry;
  • The house or the apartment helped to guard and to take care of the pets.
  • The nursing and care of the elderly (care of dependent family members) are NOT the duties of an Au-pair!