Can One Find a Job After the Au Pair? Converting an Au Pair Visa to an Arbeitserlaubnis (Work Permit)

Baby Sitter

Last year the age limit for applying for an au pair visa was increased to 27. (Read: New Laws for Non-EU Au pairs and Host Families). At 27, majority of people back home more often have a diploma or even a degree thus the question, would it be possible after the au pair year to simply find a job and put your degree into good use?

Unfortunately, the answer is NO.

The au pair program is designed to target young adults who are interested in learning a new culture and improving their language skills. With the understanding that these young people have recently completed high school, the options open to an au pair are geared towards further training. Therefore after the au pair year, the au pair is allowed to take up:

  • Volunteering opportunities (FSJ, BFD, EFD, FÖJ) or
  • an Ausbildung or
  • a course at the University, this could also be a masters

An au pair interested in working in Germany right after their au pair, would have to return to their home country and apply for the work permit from there. The reason for this is: Germany tries to be fair in their import of professionals. If an individual is applying for a job from their home country, the Embassy and the German Federal Job Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) have to ensure that:

  • the profession is on demand in Germany (to ensure you don’t move to Germany and live on welfare)
  • the same profession is in good supply in your home country (to ensure your home country doesn’t need to import professionals in that same field)

Of course this isn’t the case for an au pair who gets an ausbildung or studies then wants to apply for a job. After studying or doing an ausbildung in Germany, then you have 18months to find a job suited to your training and this doesn’t require you leave the country. The reasoning here is that if Germany trained you they should be allowed to employ you, which isn’t the case if you were trained in your home country and want to move to Germany without “paying back” your country.

Alternatively, if you get married after being an au pair, then your visa changes to a “family visa” in which case you can do anything including apply for a job.

PS: This also applies to those holding a FSJ/FÖJ/BFD visa and would like to apply for a job.


All information received from the Ausländerbehorde.

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