How to become an Au Pair in Germany
9 Easy Steps
More and more families in Germany are looking for an Au Pair. Being an Au Pair means that you live with a German family and their kids. You take care of the children. Maybe help in the household. Get some pocket money. Learn German at a language school. Enjoy life in Germany.
Then being an Au Pair may be just the right thing for you.
#1 Start looking for a family… it takes time!
If you want to be an Au Pair, finding the right family is very important. Aspects to consider are: number of children, sympathy, location, infrastructure, language schools, payment. Many people use agencies to help them search for families:
〉 AuPair Village, Aupair to Germany
Tip: Make sure that you meet or call your family before deciding to stay with them. This way you can see if the family is a good match.
#1 Do I need a visa to be an Au Pair in Germany?
〉 You are an EU-citizen? Then you do not need a visa to be an Au Pair in Germany. You can skip the #visa step.
〉 You are not an EU-citizen? If you are not from the EU, then you need a visa.
You can apply for the au pair residence visa at the German embassy in your home country.
Alternatively, you travel to Germany on a tourist visa.
Once in Germany, you then apply for a visa for au pairs at the Foreigner’s office.
#3 Apply for a Visa “Au Pair” in Germany (if needed)
First of all: Schedule an Appointment to get a Visa as an Au Pair in Germany.
How do I do that?
Well, it is most convenient to schedule an appointment at the Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde).
To find your local Foreigner’s Registration Office google “Ausländerbehörde + City”.
The website should be in English. You can make an appointment online in most cities.
Alternatively, you also may show up at one of the following locations without an appointment, but expect to wait for several hours.
For the Au Pair Visa, an interview is also required which they recommend you have an appointment for.
Now… Here are some of the paperwork you need for the ‘Au Pair Residence Visa’
Once you have completed the first steps and scheduled an appointment, it is time to get all documents together.
- Applicants must not be older than 26 years.
- Have a basic knowledge of the German language
- German must be the native language in the host family. An au pair employment may be authorized if German is spoken as mother tongue in the host family. Otherwise, it is only possible when the employee does not come from the same country as the host parents.
- Current biometric photo 35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background.
- Au pair contract with the host family
- The form “Antrag auf Erlaubnis einer Beschäftigung als Au Pair” – Application for an employment permit (not self-employed) which requires the approval of the Federal Employment Agency. To be filled out by the au pair
- The form “Stellenbeschreibung”. To be filled out by the host family.
- The form “Fragebogen Au-pair” to be filled in by host family
- Health insurance Proof (see above)
- The form “Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels”
Finally: attend the appointment & get your visa!
Make sure to bring all forms and documents to the appointment. If you feel your German is not good enough, do bring a friend to the appointment. Or perhaps a member of your host family can accompany you. If you have all documents and present your case clearly, then….
…you will walk out with your Au Pair visa for Germany! Congrats!
#4 Every Au Pair in Germany needs health insurance…
Every Au Pair registered in Germany must have valid health insurance. This is required by the German law. For those of you that also need a visa: You must have proof of health insurance for the visa application. Otherwise you cannot become an Au Pair in Germany.
This is what Paul, a former Au Pair in Darmstadt, says:
“I didn’t know where to get health insurance. My Au Pair agency offered to get me health insurance. But it was extremely expensive. After browsing and googling, I finally found CareConcept. They have a health insurance made for Au Pairs in Germany. I was very happy with them – they covered everything and even spoke Spanish.”
So in the end you must decide for yourself which health insurance suits you best…
On our website you can fill out the application forms for health insurance for free. If you are unsure, which health insurance to get you can also make a free appointment with a representative from AOK public health insurance. The meeting will be in English or German and you get all your questions answered.
#5 The best bank account for Au Pairs in Germany
So. You probably already have a bank account in your home country.
But it may be expensive to make bank transfers and get cash from your home bank account. There are many bank accounts which have monthly fees in Germany.
For example, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Commerzbank, …
So, which is the best bank account for Au Pairs in Germany?
As Au Pairs do not earn a lot of money, I suggest a free bank account.
Free bank accounts are usually completely online.
You can do everything on your smartphone and laptop.
Just select whichever one you prefer best.
Note that to actively use your bank account, you must register in Germany.
#6 Get a prepaid SIM card
I am sure you possess a mobile phone and you want to stay connected to your family and friends at home. You can get a German SIM card at most German supermarkets. They are usually at the counter, where you pay.
Do you intend to make and receive international calls? In this case, I would recommend ordering a free SIM card online. It takes 1-2 days.
I am sure your host family takes care of the card until you arrive.
The advantage of an international SIM card is that it offers special deals for
- highspeed Internet, cheap calls and texts within Germany
- free international minutes
- website and service are in English
#7 Move in with your host family & register your new address
Well done! You live with your host family now.
You have your own room. Or you share a room. You take care of the children. You go out and have fun. What a life!
BUT: before you forget — you must register your new address!
In order to register your new address, you must fill out a simple registration form. Here you can do this online. If you don’t register, you don’t legally exist in Germany. So this is very important.
#8 The best ways for Au Pairs to learn German
Now that you officially live in Germany, you may want to improve your German skills. There are plenty of ways to do that.
You want to learn German the fast way?
Then you may consider getting a private teacher. Or perhaps a fun and free language learning app? I personally think it’s all about combining different methods in order to succeed!
You prefer to learn German in a school?
The Volkshochschule (public, cheap) and the Goethe Institut (private, more expensive) are the most well-known institutions for learning German.
Select whatever method is best for you when learning a new language.
#9 Enjoy yourself & deregister before you leave!
All good times must come to an end…
Your time as an Au Pair in Germany will go by quickly. Believe me.
Time flies – especially when you enjoy yourself.
Soon you will embark on new adventures. Yet the experiences that you collected as an au pair in Germany will always remain a part of you.
Having been an Au Pair in Germany will look great on your CV, too. Today, employers don’t only look for excellent grades. They want people with life experience. People who have done some hand-on jobs. Well, I can’t think of a job that is more hands-on than being an Au Pair.
In any case.
At some point, you must pack your stuff. You have to close your bank account. Cancel all your contracts. And for cancelling your contracts, you need your deregistration confirmation (Abmeldungsbescheinigung). Once you have a deregistration confirmation – a piece of paper that shows that you will leave Germany permanently – companies must let you out of the contracts.
For example. You were member of a gym in Germany. But you leave Germany before the contract is finished. Well, show your gym the deregistration confirmation and they must terminate your contract at the time of your departure.
As you can see, it is important that you deregister (abmelden). And it’s your last step…
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