As a rule, all foreigners require visas for stays of more than three months or stays leading to employment. Exemptions apply to EU and EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and Swiss nationals.
Foreign au pairs must be at least 18 years old (17 if from the EU or Switzerland). Minors require a written consent from a legal representative. Foreign au pairs not from European Union, EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and Swiss nationals cannot be over 24 years old on requesting the visa. It is no longer necessary for an Au Pair in Germany to be registered with an agency. Au Pairs and host families can set up a contract directly between themselves. Au Pairs can be married.
In Germany au pairs are paid €260/month, for 30 hours of work per week, up to 6 hours per day. All transportation and Visa costs are the responsibility of the Aupair. Some families may agree to contribute, but this is not a requirement. The aupair must have at least four free evenings per week, and a minimum of one Sunday off per month.
Au Pair visas are a minimum of six months up to a year, however cannot stay longer than a year. After every full month of work, they are entitled to two days of Vacation. If an aupair stays for a full year, they are entitled to 4 weeks of vacation time.
Families are required to pay for insurance in case of illness, pregnancy and childbirth, or accidents. If the aupair is from outside the EU, at least one member of the hosting family must be of German or EU/Swiss nationality. Eligible families include single parents, married and unmarried couples, and registered same-sex couples. Two au pairs may work for the same family if four or more children under 18 are living in the household.
Au pairs need a level of A2 German of a Goethe-Institute or a similar qualification. Au-Pairs who need a VISA will have to prove their German knowledge when applying for it at the local embassy, but people from USA, Canada, Switzerland and the EU who don't need a VISA will have to do that when applying for a work permit as an Au-Pair. They have to have a certificate of their German knowledge or alternatively the level of German will be tested by the Labour Office itself. The Goethe-Institute offers a test to see if you would pass an A2 Exam. Au Pairs are responsible for paying for their own language courses, though some families may contribute to the costs.
Foreign au pairs that are not members of a member state of the European Union (EU), require a residence and a work permit for the Federal Republic of Germany. The residence permit must be requested before departure at the responsible German representation abroad (that is the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany or a regionally responsible consulate) in form of a visa. The local Ausländerbehörde is the organization to contact.
Au Pairs from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States may enter without a visa, though they will still need to apply. Please inquire at the German Embassy and the German Consulate for more information.
The entry visa requires the previous approval of the local authority for foreigners at the residence of the host family. The work permit is given on request by the locally responsible labor office. It presupposes the presence of a valid residence permit or their promise. Au pairs that are not citizens of the European Union need a valid passport of their country of origin for the entry and for the duration of the stay intended. It is recommended that you apply for the visa as early as possible before your intended start date, since visa processing takes time.
Citizens of the European Union need only have a valid identity card for the duration of their stay.
Citizens of Bulgaria and Romania do not require a visa or residence permit to become an aupair, only a passport is needed.
Citizens from Australia, Japan and New Zealand can apply for a Working Holiday Visa. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and can stay up to one year. However, each job is limited to no more than 3 months.
For more information, click on the country you're from below:
Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 can apply for a simplified work permit under the "Youth Mobility Program" for study, travel or work. The visa can only be issued in Canada, no extension or repetitions are allowed.
Additional information can be found from the German Embassy.
A work visa is included in your student visa, if you have been accepted to Germany as a student. However, students from Non-EU countries are only allowed to work up to three months during the semester, which means 90 days (= eight hours daily) per year or 180 half days (= four hours daily) per year.
If you wish to study, you must apply for a national visa for the purpose of studying (student visa). You will need to present the following papers and documents to the relevant German embassy or consulate in your country):
Student applicants who have not yet been admitted to a German university can apply for a Student Applicant Visa. This is valid for three months and can be converted into a residence permit for the purpose of studying once you have been admitted to an institution of higher education.
Foreign students who are not EU or EEA nationals - must, after arriving in Germany and having reported to the registration authority, go to the foreigners authority in their university town to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying.
The foreigner's authority requires you to bring the following documents: