Residence permit; application for au pair employees

An au-pair from a country outside the EU requires a residence permit (visa or residence permit), which explicitly allows the exercise of au-pair employment, in order to take up employment.


Au pair employment involves foreign nationals staying with a German host family for a limited period of time. For the foreign national, the acquisition of culture and the deepening of German language skills are in the foreground. In return for imparting this knowledge, the au-pair supports the host parents in taking care of the minor children.

An au-pair who is not a citizen of another member state of the EU, another contracting state of the EEA or Switzerland requires a residence title (visa or residence permit) for the commencement of employment, which expressly permits the exercise of au-pair employment. For entry into Germany, a national visa for au pair employees may be required, which must be applied for in the home country (for exceptions see "National Visa; Issuance and Extension" under "Related Topics"). After entry, the residence permit must be applied for in writing at the responsible foreigners authority before the visa expires or, in the case of visa-free entry, within three months (see "Residence Permit; Issuance and Extension" under "Related Topics").

Foreigners under 27 years of age can be granted a residence permit for au pair employment in families where German is spoken as the native language (under certain conditions also only as the family language, see below) with the approval of the Federal Employment Agency and extended up to a total period of validity of no more than one year.

Nationals of the Member States of the European Union (EU Member States) and from the EEA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) enjoy freedom of movement within the European Union, which also includes the right to free movement of workers. They therefore require neither a visa to enter Germany nor a residence permit and are not subject to any restrictions on taking up gainful employment. Swiss nationals enjoy a legal status similar to that of the free movement of persons under European law. They can therefore also enter Germany without a visa and are not subject to any restrictions on taking up gainful employment. They receive a (declaratory) residence permit from the Foreigners' Registration Office in accordance with the EU/Switzerland Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons.

The Federal Employment Agency has published two leaflets ''Au-pair-Info for German Host Families'' and ''Au-pair with German Families''. The two leaflets and the sample of an au-pair contract can be found on the Internet (see "Further links").


Requirements for the issuance of the residence permit:

  • For au pair employees:
    • Age between 18 and 27 years
    • basic knowledge of the German language
    • valid national visa for au-pair employees
    • concluded au-pair contract
    • health insurance
    • registered main residence with the host family
  • For host families: The host family speaks German as a native language. If German is only spoken as a family language (i.e. German is spoken predominantly in the family, although it is not the native language of the parents), the au-pair must not come from a home country of the host parents.
  • The employment agency has approved the employment.


After entering the country, before the visa expires, a residence permit for the purpose of au pair employment must be applied for.

Required documents

  • Valid passport

  • Current biometric photo (front shot)

  • Supporting documents evidencing medical insurance coverage

  • Certificate of residency certifying the person's principal place of residence with the host family

  • Au-pair contract


  • 100 euros

    In exceptional cases, an exemption from fees may be granted.


Administrative court proceedings; information

administrative claim


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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