Skip to content

Au pair employees

The au pair relationship should enable au pairs to improve their language skills and get to know the country and its people better. Au pairs should only be employed for childcare and light housework.

The tasks of an au pair do not include caring for the sick or elderly (looking after family members in need of care).

Usual conditions for au pair employees:

  • Working a maximum of six hours a day
  • Attendance of a language course
  • free board and lodging
  • Pocket money
  • Granting of holidays and days off
  • Conclusion of health and accident insurance
  • Conclusion of a written contract on mutual rights and obligations

There is a European agreement on au pair employment which contains framework regulations on living and working conditions, language tuition, social security and the rights and obligations of the host family and the au pair. Although this agreement has not been ratified by the Federal Republic of Germany, it is generally followed in practice.

A placement agency can help you find a suitable host family or au pair.

Au pairs must have a national visa to enter Germany (exceptions: Nationals of EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as well as Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, the USA and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the meaning of Section 1(2)(6) of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU).

Au pairs must apply for a national visa at the German diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate) in their country of origin before travelling to Germany.

Note: For nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA, it may be advisable to obtain a visa for au pair employment or to enquire about the formalities, despite the fact that they are visa-free. Nationals of these countries should contact the relevant German diplomatic mission in their country of origin regarding this issue.

Au pairs who are not nationals of a member state of the European Union (EU member states) or of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway must, after entering Germany

  • register their new place of residence with the registration office,
  • apply for a residence permit for the purpose of employment at the immigration authority before the national visa expires (or before 90 days have elapsed in the case of visa-free entry).

Au pairs who are nationals of an EU member state or of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway only need to register their new place of residence after entering the country.

The following general regulations apply to au pair employees:

  • Au pairs must be at least 18 years old and no older than 27.
  • They must have a basic knowledge of the German language.
  • The duration of the au pair employment must be at least six months and may not exceed one year.
  • German must be spoken as a native language in the host family.

Detailed information

Internet pages of the Federal Employment Agency

  • Fact sheets "Au pair information for German host families" and "Au pair with German families"
  • Au pair job exchange
  • Sample contract
  • Jobs and internships abroad

Legal basis

Residence Act (AufenthG)

  • §19c Other employment purposes; civil servants

Employment Ordinance (BeschV)

  • §Section 12 Au pair employment

Residence Ordinance (AufenthV)

  • §Section 41 Benefits for nationals of certain countries

Release note

24.01.2024 Ministry of Justice Baden-Württemberg