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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
  • 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, after arrival in Germany you must apply for a residency permit from the Foreigners' Authority responsible for the place of residence within 90 days.

Attention: 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. A tourism stay or visit is always limited to a maximum of 90 days within a 180 days period. You are not allowed to work if you are staying in Germany as a tourist, not even as an au pair.

Responsible department

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 the residency permit application: The Foreigner's Authority

The Foreigner's Authority is:

  • the city administration if you live in a city district or major city district
  • the rural district office if you live in a rural district.



The requirements for the issuing of a visa can be obtained from the competent German representation abroad (embassy or consulate).

The prerequisites for obtaining the residence permit are as follows:

  • You have
    • health insurance,
    • an au pair agreement and
    • a valid national visa entitling you to work as an au pair;
  • you are at least 18 years old and no older than 26
  • you have a basic knowledge of German and
  • you have registered with the municipality giving your host family’s address as your principal residence.
  • At least one adult person in your host family
    • is a German citizen, and German is spoken
    • as the native language. The family can come from a German-speaking country or from a part of a country in which German is the native language. If the family speaks German as a family language but not as their native language, the competent authority can only allow you to stay if you do not come from the same country as the host parents. A family is defined as a married couple with or without children, an unmarried couple or a single parent with a child in the same household.
  • The Federal Employment Agency must consent to your employment.


You must apply in writing for the residency title you need (national visa, residency permit) in writing 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 service descriptions.


Make your application as early as possible.

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.


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

Processing time

Depending on the residence permit: several weeks or months

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 13.03.2019. 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.


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32