How to become an au pair in Germany?

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Germany has 10 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

step by step to get to Germany

Au pair
Working Holiday

find family / au pair, sign contract

Follow our tips on how to find the perfect au pair / the perfect host family with connectAuPair.

invitation letter

To apply for a visa / residence title the au pair needs an invitation letter (in German) from the host family.

To obtain a working holiday visa, the au pair theoretically doesn't need an invitation letter, if (s)he is able to prove sufficient funds.


It's mandatory that the au pair has a health insurance.

Our recommendation: Aupair24 (Dr. Walter) offers an au pair insurance, which combines all necessary insurances (health, accident, liability) in one package and can easily be taken out online.

In any case, the host family is responsible for sufficient insurance of the au pair!

The au pair needs proof of a valid health insurance policy while in Germany to remain active throughout the total duration of stay with at least € 30,000 coverage including costs for medical evacuation/repatriation.


For entry into Germany, au pairs must normally have a national visa which permits this type of activity. The body responsible for issuing this visa is the German diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate) in the country of origin.

Required documents:

  • valid passport (at least valid until the end of the au pair stay!)
  • invitation letter from host family
  • au pair contract (see links and downloads for a model contract)
  • recent passport photograph
  • proof of health insurance (from the host family)
  • proof of basic German knowledge
  • motivation letter, why the au pair wants to work as an au pair in Germany
  • ... (depending on the home country of the au pair)

In most cases, the responsible diplomatic mission has a check list on their homepage which exactly defines which documents the au pair needs to bring along in which languages and with how many copies.

Please note: 
In some countries (especially in Africa) in may take several months, until the au pair gets an appointment at the embassy and then again several weeks (up to three months) until the visa is finally issued - please plan accordingly and look for an au pair in due time.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America may enter Germany without a visa and only need to apply for the residence permit (work permit) once they are here.

But please note: Without a valid au pair visa, the au pair is not allowed to commence employment!! So if the au pair wants to start working as an au pair right away (which will normally be the case) and host family and au pair want to be sure that he / she will be allowed to work as an au pair before the au pair leaves his/her home country, it's better to apply for a visa in the country of origin!

You need to apply for the visa in person at the Deutsche Institut in Taipei.

Required documents (more details in German or Taiwanese, or use the Google translation to English):

  • Completed application form (Application for a residence permit)
  • Signed "Belehrung" (instruction)
  • Two passport-size photographs (35 x 45 mm, front shot, not older than 3 months)
  • Taiwanese passport and 1 copy; Your passport must have been issued within the previous ten years, have at least two blank pages and be valid three months after the end of your stay in Germany
  • Flight booking (including return flight) in English- when you pick up the visa the original ticket must be submitted
  • Proof of sufficient funds (2000 EUR for 1 year) - probably the au pair contract (invitation letter of family) will be accepted instead
  • CV in English or German
  • Written statement of the reasons for the stay and an overview of the proposed activities during the period of stay, possible in German or English
  • Health insurance valid for Germany and for the whole duration of stay period, submitted at the latest when collecting the visa

further documents

Which further documents the au pair probably needs to bring along?

To proof the payment of the pocket money, most families will want to transfer the money to a bank account of the au pair. Therefore the host family should check what documents the bank asks for to open a bank account for an au pair, so the au pair can organize them at home already (see also “bank account” below).

If the au pair wants to drive a car in the host country, (s)he eventually needs e.g. a legally attested copy of the national driving license. See also “driving license” further below.

organize trip

The trip will normally be organized by the au pair, of course in accordance with the host family.

Even when everything is clear and all questions are asked, it's good to stay in touch until the journey starts - it's important that also the children get to know that a new au pair is coming and communicating from time to time through Skype is a good way to get used to each other.

start journey

What to take with you as au pair? In our community you can find tips from other au pairs!

Please note: Border authorities may examine whether the prerequisites for entry continue to apply. This examination is international practice. The au pair might be refused entry even though (s)he is in the possession of a valid visa, if the prerequisites for entry no longer apply.

Therefore the au pair should carry with him/her documents giving evidence to the purpose of the stay - in particular proof of sufficient funds (au pair contract) and health insurance.

step by step once you're in Germany

Au pair
Working Holiday


Although it's not mandatory, normally the host family picks up the au pair from the airport or train station (or organizes a pick-up).

The first days should then be reserved for getting to know each other and introducing the au pair to the family's daily routines.

You are not sure how to welcome your au pair and which rules you should define? Have a look at our tipps and discuss with other families in our community!

You are feeling homesick, the kids don't seem to like you and you just feel like returning home asap? Get comfort and tipps from other au pairs in our community!
And with our nearBy function you can immediately see which other au pairs live nearby and can meet with them.

residence registration

Within a week after moving in, the au pair must register at the primary residence of the host family.

Required documents:

  • passport / identity card (for EU)
  • au pair contract

work permit

The work permit is granted together with the visa and allows to start working immediately after arrival in the specified job (= au pair).

The Working Holiday Visa will already include the Work Permit for Germany.

bank account

To be able to deduct the cost for the au pair from tax, the host family needs to prove the payment of the pocket money by a bank transfer to the au pair's bank account - which does not necessarily need to be a German bank account.

As opening a bank account for the au pair is normally a simple thing to do in Germany, it is recommended for the convenience of the au pair, that the host family helps him/her to open a German bank account.

A very good option for au pairs is an online bank like N26: It's very easy to open an account, it's for free and everything can be done via smartphone.

driving a car

According to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (bmvi), a foreign driving licence is generally valid for 6 months.

If you hold a driving licence from a state that is not a member of the EU or the EEA, this licence will be valid for six months after you have established your normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. After this period, your driving licence will no longer be recognized.

As au pairs are only allowed to stay in Germany for a maximum of one year, this is easy to prove and therefore the au pair can extend the deadline until the end of the stay at the driver licensing authority (normally part of the "Landratsamt"):

In exceptional cases, the driver licensing authority may, upon request, extend the deadline by up to six months if you can prove to their satisfaction that you will not have your normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany for longer than 12 months.

Should the au pair be driving the host family's car, the au pair and host family should clarify issues of insurance and liability beforehand, including the question of who is to bear the costs for material damage in the event of a car accident.

elongate visa / apply for residence permit

After entry, and before the visa expires, the au pair must apply for a residence permit for the purpose of working as an au pair.

Required documents:

  • valid passport
  • recent passport photograph
  • official confirmation of registration at primary residence of the host family
  • proof of health insurance
  • au pair contract

The working holiday visa should normally be issued for 12 months, so it's not necessary to elongate the visa.

step by step to change family in Germany

Au pair
Working Holiday

find new family

Have a look at our tips, how to change family!


As normally the family pays for the insurance, either the current insurance must be taken over by the new family or the current insurance is terminated and a new policy is issued.

If the family pays for the insurance, either the current insurance must be taken over by the new family, or the current insurance is terminated and a new policy is issued.

residence registration

The au pair needs to de-register his /her primary residance at the place of the current host family and within a week after moving to the new host family, the au pair must register at primary residence of the new host family.

Required documents:

  • passport / identity card (for EU)
  • au pair contract

work permit / residence permit

As the work permit (and the correlated visa) is always issued for working as an au pair for a certain family, it has to be newly issued when the au pair changes family.

The new work permit is issued by the ZAV, the Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung, (International Placement  Center) but the au pair needs to apply for it at the local immigration authority (Ausländerbehörde).

Required documents:

Officially, the au pair is only allowed to work at the new family after he / she received the new work permit (which can take several weeks).

As the working holiday visa is normally not issued for working at a specific guest family, the work permit should also be valid after changing family.

step by step to leave Germany

Au pair
Working Holiday

de-register residence

Before leaving Germany, the au pair has to de-register his / her primary residence.


Also consider the following, especially when the au pair leaves earlier than planned:

  • Cancel standing order for pocket money
  • Cancel au pair insurance

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Hi, my name is Maria Knauer

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