Procedure descriptions


Applying for an au pair visa

In order to enter the country, au pairs must usually have a national visa that allows them to take up corresponding employment.

The au pair’s nationality may make entering the country easier. The following do not need a visa to enter Germany:

  • au pairs who are citizens of EU member states However, they must apply for a residence certificate after entering the country.
  • citizens of Switzerland. However, they must apply for a residence permit after entering the country.
  • au pairs who are citizens of the following countries:
    • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and United States of America.
    • However, they apply for a residence permit from the authority for foreign nationals responsible for their place of residence within three months of entering Germany.

N.B. Au pairs may not be employed for longer than one year.
Staying in Germany as an au pair is not the same as staying as a tourist or visitor. Periods of residence as a tourist or visitor are invariably limited to no more than three months in every six.
You are not allowed to work if you are staying in Germany as a tourist, not even as an au pair.

Responsible authority

  • If applying for a national visa:

the German diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate) in whose administrative district you normally reside or in which your dwelling is located

  • If applying for any other type of residence permit:

the authority for foreign nationals responsible for the place in which you want to work as an au pair

  • If applying for an EU work permit:

the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit)

Tip: The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a Verzeichnis der Vertretungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Ausland (list of addresses of German diplomatic missions abroad) on its website.


Die Voraussetzungen für die Erteilung eines Visums erfahren Sie von der zuständigen deutschen Auslandsvertretung (Botschaft oder Konsulat). 

Voraussetzungen für die Erteilung der Aufenthaltserlaubnis sind:

  • Sie besitzen
    • eine Krankenversicherung,
    • einen abgeschlossenen Au-pair-Vertrag und
    • ein gültiges nationales "Visum für Au-pair-Beschäftigung",
  • Sie sind mindestens 18 Jahre alt und nicht älter als 26 Jahre,
  • Sie verfügen über Grundkenntnisse der deutschen Sprache und
  • Sie haben sich bei Ihrer Gastfamilie mit Hauptwohnsitz angemeldet.
  • In Ihrer Gastfamilie
    • besitzt eine erwachsene Person die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit und
    • wird Deutsch als Muttersprache gesprochen. Die Familie kann auch aus einem deutschsprachigen Land oder einem Landesteil stammen, in dem es Deutsch als Muttersprache gibt. Spricht die Familie Deutsch nicht als Mutter-, aber als Familiensprache, kann die zuständige Stelle Ihren Aufenthalt nur erlauben, wenn Sie nicht aus dem Heimatland der Gasteltern stammen. Als Familie zählen Ehepaare mit oder ohne Kind sowie unverheiratete Paare oder Alleinerziehende mit Kind im gemeinsamen Haushalt.
  • Die Agentur für Arbeit stimmt Ihrer Beschäftigung zu.


You must apply in writing for the residence permit you need (national visa, residence certificate, certification of right of residence, EU work permit) using the relevant form. You can obtain visa application forms free of charge from the competent authority. Depending on the authority, you may also be able to download them.

You will find details of each procedure in the procedure descriptions mentioned above.

Tip: You will find visa application forms in several languages and further information on the German Foreign Office website.

You should already know the German family for whom you are to work as an au pair.

Required documents

  • Invitation letter from the German host family
  • Passport (and possibly a copy of your passport)
  • Contract with the agency in Germany or the host family (au pair agreement)

Note: Other documents may be required. Please contact the competent authority in advance.


Make your application as early as possible.


The costs depend on the type of residence permit. You will find details in the procedure descriptions mentioned above.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released the full description on 12.11.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.