You came to work in Germany as Au Pair with the goal to learn the German language and culture. Program Au Pair allows you to stay up to 12 months in the host family. Can you eventually extend your visa or get another one? Let’s discuss this.
No, Au Pair visa could not be extended. Your visa is only valid for a maximum of 12 months, in case you came with a contract for 6 months and decided to stay longer you can extend visa up to 12 months. If you want to stay longer you will need to change the purpose of stay.
Unfortunately, you can be Au Pair in Germany only for 12 months, but there are other ways to continue your stay there, read below to know more.
How to Stay After Au Pair 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 does not exclude the possibility of changing the reason why a person wants to stay in the country, it is possible and generally permissible for an Au-pair afterward apply to stay in Germany for another purpose. In general, there are 5 ways you can continue living in Germany:
- German language course
- Social Year (FSJ, BFD)
- Apprenticeship (Ausbildung)
- Au Pair in another country
Exception: If your home country belongs to one of these: Canada, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina, South Korea, and Chile, then you can in total stay and work as Au Pair up to 24 months by coming to Germany on a Working Holiday Visa and after 12 months applying for an Au Pair visa.
German language course
Maybe learning German one year was not enough for you, then a visa for the German language course will 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.
A German language course visa is valid initially for three months, with the possibility to be extended up to your course length. This visa isn’t meant to be changed into a visa for studies, so, you have to leave Germany as soon as you complete the course.
With a German language course visa you can:
- partake in an intensive German language course
- require an extension of the visa up till the 12 months, if the German language courses will not be 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 university studies
- apply for university admission
Attention: This visa required significant paperwork and investments, as the course price starts from 200-300 EUR per month. There are no free lessons for this purpose.
Another way is to enter a University. It could be a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Important that your level of German is high enough (C1). Check if you meet the following terms:
- Have an admission letter from the university
- Demonstrate that you have funds 10,236 EUR (2020) in your blocked account for converting your visa to student visa
- Have accommodation 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 blocked bank account. If during the Au pair year your guest family took care of your finances and insurance, now it’s time to take responsibility for this.
One of the best German health insurance is DR.WALTER students rate, the company provides one of the inexpensive and reliable packages among many others. You can sign up even without having a student visa yet. Usually, other providers will require it beforehand.
A blocked bank account can be opened at one of the popular provider Fintiba. They especially offer great packages for international students, one of them provides blocked account together with the health insurance!
Social Year FSJ/BFD
The social year is a volunteer program for young foreign or German nationalities. They can spend up to 18 months in the country doing voluntary work in the German social sector.
This was my choice after the Au Pair program, it also the easiest and cost-effective way to spend another year in Germany.
My favorites were educational seminars, which are lasting in 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.
Social year visa does not require you to have either fund and accommodation, moreover, institution, where you will work, pays salary and sometimes accommodate.
The maximum salary is 402 EUR plus the amount of your rent if the organisation does not provide accommodation.
Usual places to work 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, children’s homes such as kindergartens.
Ausbildung is theoretical and practical training on the chosen occupation, where you go to school and work simultaneously. It is lasting between 2 and 3 years.
The most common jobs are handicrafts like electrician, plumber, mason, painter or hairdresser, salesperson, etc or in the health sector such as nurse, ambulance workers. But often you will find an Ausbildung profession in almost all fields and industries.
During the process one part of your studies you will be working 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 this type of education are that you won’t need to prove funds and will get paid while you are working, as well as for being in the school. At the same time getting qualified for your future job! 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.Russianvagabond
Related: “How to become a nurse in Germany”
Au Pair in another country
You loved it to be Au Pair and taking care of kids and 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 program Au Pair can be taken an unlimited amount of time, so far your age not exceed 30.
The most popular countries to be Au Pair: Germany and the USA. But in addition to them, there are still a huge number of options: France, Norway, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Australia or China.
Each country has special requirements for the age of future Au Pair. For the USA, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France it is 26 years. For Denmark, Norway, Sweden – 29 years.
Another aspect is the language of the country. You can consider being Au Pair in Austria or Switzerland to bring 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 in Germany.
Can an Au Pair change visa status in Germany?
Yes, to continue to stay 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 stay. For example student or German language course visa.
Can Au Pairs have other jobs?
No. Au Pairs are not allowed to work extra apart from working in the family 30 hours per week. 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 basically considered to be the main 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.
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