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What is an au pair stay?

An au pair stay is a temporary stay that is limited to a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 months. The au pair stay does not constitute permanent residence and is generally only possible once. A repeat stay is also excluded if the maximum duration of one year has not been exhausted.

For foreign au pairs, the focus is on acquiring cultural knowledge and improving their German language skills. In return, the au pair supports the host parents in looking after the underage children.

Further information can be found on the the website of the Federal Employment Agency.


  • Basic knowledge of the German language corresponding to level A 1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Au pairs must be at least 18 years old at the start of their employment and may not be older than 26 at the time of application.
  • The start of employment according to the au pair contract must not be later than 6 months after the visa application.
  • Host parents are married couples, registered same-sex partners or unmarried couples with at least one underage child living permanently in the same household, as well as single parents with at least one underage child living in the same household as the parent employing the au pair. The family status of the host family must be proven, e.g. by submitting a registration certificate.
  • At least one parent of the host family is a German citizen, a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or a Swiss citizen.
  • German is spoken in the host family.
  • The host family is not related to the au pair.
  • An effective au pair contract has been concluded in accordance with the model published by the Federal Employment Agency.

What documents must be submitted during the application process?

To apply for a visa at the embassy, you will need the following documents in the original with one set of copies. Please sort the individual sets (original + one set of copies) in the order listed below.

Please do NOT staple the application documents!

Online application Videx form fully completed and personally signed including declaration to section 54 residence Act.

If the application processing via VIDEX does not work, you can download the PDF application form here.

A current biometric passport photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm with a light-coloured background) according to the photo sample table of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The photo should not be older than three months.

Personally signed passport (original with one copy of the passport data page), with at least two completely empty pages and sufficient validity.

If you do not have your habitual residence in Switzerland, the German Embassy in Bern is not responsible for processing your application.

Original signed Au pair contract based on the model of the Federal Employment Agency.

Au pair questionnaire completed by the host family.

Detailed curriculum vitae and motivation letter in German or English language.

Language certificate level A1. The interview will be in German language to proof your German language skills (level A1).

The health insurance must be valid throughout the EU from the day of entry for the entire duration of the stay. Minimum cover: EUR 30,000, incl. assumption of costs for pregnancy and repatriation in the event of illness or death.

Passport copies of the host parents in Germany.

Information sheet with check list to download

The German Embassy Bern reserve the right to ask for additional documents at any time during the processing of your application.

Postage expenses of 7 Swiss Francs


Visa fee of 75 Euro payable by cash in Swiss Francs or in Euro by Visa or MasterCard (information here).

Appointment booking

Please book an appointment here to submit your application. New appointments are regularly activated in the appointment system. Unfortunately, there are no additional appointments.

To submit your application, please appear in person at the visa section of the embassy (Willadingweg 78, 3006 Bern) at your pre-booked appointment. Please book one appointment per person. The visa office will accept your complete application documents and the fee and take your biometric data. It is not possible to submit an application without an appointment.

Processing time

In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 3-5 weeks (calculated from the day you procided all documents).

During the application process

Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa department and cannot be answered. We will contact you by email as soon as the decision has been made. In principle, all communication can only take place with the applicant themselves, a legal representative or an authorized person.

Decision about the application

You will be informed as soon as the embassy has decided on your application. Your passport is required for the visa to be issued.

Please check your visa label as soon as you have your passport with the visa in your hands. You should inform us immediately of any errors so that we can issue a new visa.

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