So you came to work in Germany as Au Pair to learn the German language and culture. However, it allows you to stay for up to 12 months in the country. What to do if the Au pair wishes to stay longer? Can you eventually extend your visa or get another one?
Visa for a program Au Pair couldn’t be extended in Germany. It’s only valid for a maximum of 12 months. To extend the stay in Germany, Au Pair can apply for one of the various residence permits within Germany.
Unfortunately, you can be Au Pair in Germany only for up 12 months. To stay longer, foreign Au pairs can apply for different residence permits without the need to leave Germany. In this article, you will learn about your options in Germany after the Au Pair year.
How to Stay After Au Pair Program in Germany?
Congratulations, you finished or almost finished your Au Pair year. What comes next? You loved it and here in Germany and would like to extend your stay. Let’s see which option do you have.
Since German law doesn’t exclude changing the reason of stay, it’s possible and generally permissible for an Au pair to apply for a different residence permit.
In general, there are five ways you can continue living in Germany after the Au pair program. You can do it by applying for a new residence permit in the immigration office for one of the following reasons:
- Attentance of German language course
- Studiens at university
- Particiaption in Social Year (FSJ, BFD)
- Particiaption in Apprenticeship (Ausbildung)
- Particiaption in Au Pair program in another country
Exception: If your home country is one of these: Canada, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina, South Korea, and Chile.
You can stay and work as Au Pair in Germany for up to 24 months by coming to Germany on a Working Holiday Visa and after 12 months applying for an Au Pair visa within the country.
German language course
Maybe learning German one year was not enough for you, then changing to a residence permit for the German language course can be suitable.
A German language course visa is the type of educational visa issued for foreigners willing to complete an intensive language course (minimum of 18 hours per week) lasting 3 to 12 months.
It’s valid initially for three months, with the possibility for extension up to your course length. You can’t exchange this visa for a visa for studies in Germany.
Hence, you have to leave Germany as soon as your language course is complete and your visa runs out.
With a German language course visa, you can:
- take an intensive German language course
- apply an extension of the visa up till the 12 months, if the German language courses isn’t followed by full-time studies
With a German language course visa, you can’t:
- convert it into a student or student applicant visa
- change it into a work permit
- undertake any kind of employment
- start studies at university
- apply for university admission
This visa requires significant paperwork and investments, as the course price starts from 200-300 EUR per month. There are no free language courses for this purpose.
Studies at German university
Another way to prolong your stay in Germany is to start studies at a German university. It could be a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Applicants will need to have a high level of German (B2-C1). Check if you meet the following terms:
- Have an admission letter from the university
- Demonstrate avalibale funds of 10,236 EUR (2020) on your bank account
- Have accommodations and health insurance in Germany
Be aware that you need to pass test either TestDaF or DSH-2 to fulfill language requirements for the university.
Future students in Germany will be required to have health insurance and a blocked bank account when applying for a visa.
For this case, the best health insurance policy is the incoming insurance from Feather, which was particularly made for visa application. Plus, you can get a blocked bank account with Fintiba – a provider for international students in Germany.
Both companies offer great deals for international students.
Participate at Social Year FSJ/BFD
The social year is a volunteer program for young foreign nationals or Germans. Foreigners can spend up to 18 months in Germany in the country by doing voluntary work in the German social sector.
This was my choice after the Au Pair program. It’s also the easiest and cost-effective way to spend another year in Germany.
My favorites were educational seminars, which lasted for a total of 25 days per year. During these seminars, you meet other participants, exchange experiences and get advice from social workers and psychologists. We spend a lot of time in nature during these times.
A social year visa doesn’t require you to have either funds and accommodation. Moreover, the institution where you will work pays a salary and sometimes accommodate.
The maximum salary is 402 EUR plus the amount of your rent if the organization doesn’t provide accommodation.
Usual places to work are state organizations like:
- Hospitals, junior sports clubs, services for disabled people, preservation of historic monuments, ambulatory services, integration houses, civil protection and disaster management, church communities, kindergartens.
Participate at Apprenticeship (Ausbildung)
Ausbildung is theoretical and practical training on the chosen occupation, where you go to school and work at the same time. It lasts between 2 and 3 years.
The most common jobs are handicrafts like electrician, plumber, mason, painter or hairdresser, salesperson or in the health sector such as a nurse, ambulance workers. But often you will find an Ausbildung profession in almost all fields and industries.
During the Ausbildung, you will also work practically at the company/factory/firm/shop wherever you applied for, and another part will be spent learning at Berufsschule (professional school).
The advantages of Ausbildung in Germany are obvious – you get free, high-quality education and get paid at the same time. To apply you must have at least a B1 level of German.
I started Ausbildung as a children’s nurse straight after completing Social Year but it wasn’t something for me to be honest. Before application inform yourself as much as possible about the profession as well as all pros and cons.
Related: “How to become a nurse in Germany”
Participate at Au Pair program in another country
You loved to be Au Pair and taking care of kids and the household. Then why not go somewhere else and become Au Pair ones or more times again?
As a general rule, a person can only work as an Au Pair one time in Germany. But the program Au Pair can be taken an unlimited amount of time; so far, your age doesn’t exceed 30.
The most popular countries to work as an Au Pair are Germany and the USA. But in addition to them, there are a huge number of options: France, Norway, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, or China and more..
If you are wondering where else you can go read this article about the best countries in Europe for the Au Pair program.
Each country has special requirements for the age of future Au Pairs. For the USA, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France it’s 26 years. For Denmark, Norway, Sweden – 29.
Another aspect is the language of the country. You can consider being Au Pair in Austria or Switzerland to bring your German to the next level.
To become Au Pair, the second time, you will need to apply for a visa in the embassy of the chosen country. It can be done from Germany.
Can an Au Pair change visa status in Germany?
Yes, to continue staying in Germany, visa status must be changed. The possible reasons for stay are described above. Your visa will be the same as the purpose of your stay, for example, student or German language course visa.
Can Au Pairs have other jobs?
No. Au Pairs aren’t allowed to work extra apart from working 30 hours per week in the family. It should be clear that the main job of an Au Pair is taking care of the host children and helping with light household duties.
They are paid for this job and are provided free meals and accommodation. Consequently, the host family is considered to be the primary employer.
Can Au Pairs change the hosting family?
Yes, you can change the family unlimited amount of times. Keep in mind that German host families rely on their Au Pair to be committed and to stay with them for the entire length agreed on in the contract.
Recommended products and services in Germany:
- Health insurance for students
- Health insurance for expats, employees, business owners, freelancers
- Liability insurance
- Car insurance
- Best price & value sim card and best deal overall including high-speed internet
- Blocked bank account for students
- Best free bank account in Germany
- Loan in Germany with minimal requirements
- Learn German on the best online platform
- Best free bank account in Austria
- Order translation of the documents online
- Check how much you can earn in Germany (for all professions)
- Free online consultation/assessment with German lawyers and tax advisors
- Compare providers and rates for various insurances, sim cards, internet, electricity, banking accounts, credits & loans, and more.
This post contains affiliate links. The affiliate link means I may earn an advertising/referral fee if you make a purchase through my link, without extra cost to you. It helps to keep this blog afloat. Thanks for your support.