So you’re wondering how exactly you can become an Au Pair in Germany and travel the world? You’ve arrived at the right place!
Surely you’ve already researched exactly what an Au Pair does, and you’ve weighed the pros and cons of Au Pair Life, and you narrowed down your decision to move to Germany… yay! Now, you’re trying to figure out how to take the next step.
After living in Germany for the past year as an Au Pair, I know exactly what you are going through. I even know the answers to the questions you don’t even know you have.
Allow me to explain in a simple 3-step process exactly how you can go about becoming an Au Pair:
STEP 1 – Create an online profile
Although there are agencies that do the work for you to match you with a family, in my experience, I find it unnecessary and costly. You can just as easily create a free profile on sites such as AuPairWorld.com (I found this one to be the best) and look for families yourself based on your criteria.
Creating a great Au Pair profile is the first step to having a successful experience.
Start by clearly identifying what your goals are for your year as Au Pair, and where you imagine yourself living.
- Do you want to live in a big city and only want to take care of 1 child?
- Or do you prefer to live in the suburbs or the countryside with lots of kids and maybe even a dog?
- Do you want to focus on learning the language or prefer to travel?
- You should ask yourself as many questions as possible, and be honest with yourself.
Remember to upload pictures that will be attractive for families — this is not an online dating website, so avoid duck-face selfies and showing too much cleavage. Show instead pictures of you with family and friends, and of course with children!
STEP 2 – Find the right family
There are tons of great families, but that doesn’t mean that you will be the right match for each other. Going back to point number one, it’s important you clearly identify what you want out of the experience in order to find the right family for you. Each family is different, and have different expectations, so it’s important to be specific about what you want.
Only set up interviews with families that you could potentially see yourself living and spending lots of time with. During the interview, be very detailed with your questions. There’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Here are 15 questions you NEED to ask your host family during the interview.
Trust your instinct and be patient… I promise the right family for you is out there! Once you’ve found your ideal host family, you will need to sign a contract where the duties should be clearly stated, as well as an invitation letter. Additionally, they will need to provide you with health insurance (mandatory), as you may need this for the following step.
STEP 3 – Arrange your Visa situation
If you are an EU passport holder, LUCKY YOU! The process of becoming an Au Pair just got a whole lot easier. All you need is a valid ID card or passport, and the signed contract, and to register at the Einwohnermeldeamt upon arrival.
If you come from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea or the USA, you are also quite lucky and can travel to Germany without a visa. You do however have to register yourself at the Einwohnermeldeamt when you arrive.
If you do not hold an EU passport (like me)… the process is not too complicated, but it definitely takes longer, so you should take that into consideration. (I come from Mexico, and it took me about 5 weeks to obtain my visa!)
Requirements for Au Pair Visa:
- Make sure your passport is valid and doesn’t expire for the next year (or longer)
- Be able to speak a bit of German (A1 Certification preferred)
- Go to the embassy in your home country and bring:
- the au pair contract signed by your host family
- the invitation letter from your host family
- your valid passport
- the insurance confirmation you received from your host family
- Register at the Einwohnmeldeamt /Ausländerbehörde upon arrival.
**Please note that in Germany, there is an age limit for becoming an au pair. You should not be older than 26 when you apply for your visa. Check with your embassy or consulate for other details, as some countries may be required to provide additional documentation.