You want to be an au pair in a Danish family
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What is the au pair scheme?
If you are a young foreign national wishing to learn about Danish language and culture, you can apply for a residence permit in Denmark as an au pair.
You must have made an agreement to live with a Danish host family. By taking part in the daily life of the family on the same terms as the other family members, you can gain the desired insight into Danish culture.
The host family will give you food, accommodation and a monthly allowance (pocket money). In return you must take part in ordinary domestic chores.
If you are a citizen of a country outside of the EU/EEA, you must submit an application for a residence permit to SIRI – use this webpage to apply.
If you are a citizen of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you do not need to apply for a residence permit, but must instead apply for a EU residence document.
What conditions do I have to meet as an au pair?
You must contact and make an agreement with a Danish family about being an au pair with them.
Moreover, there are a number of conditions to meet before you can obtain a permit as an au pair:
The agreement between you and the host family must be set by a binding au pair contract which establishes the framework for your stay as an au pair with the family.
When SIRI assesses whether your stay as an au pair is in accordance with your life story, or whether there is a reason to assume that your purpose for applying differs from the intention behind the scheme, SIRI will look at the following:
- Whether you have completed a youth study programme equivalent to the Danish 9th grade.
- Whether you are able to communicate with your host family and manage yourself in Denmark. Thus, you must be able to speak and understand either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German on a moderate level.
- Your reason for applying to stay as an au pair in Denmark.
- Any previous residence permits or applications for residence permits in Denmark.
- Any previous stays as an au pair in other western countries.
- Any previous stays with host families in Denmark.
- Whether you are related to your host family, or whether you are of the same nationality as one or more of the family members.
- Your education and any vocational experience, including whether a stay as an au pair has a natural connection to your life, career and development so far.
When you apply, you must meet the following requirements in order to be granted a residence permit as an au pair:
You must be at least 18 years old, but you must not have turned 30.
You must not have started a family:
- You must not be or have been married, be or have been in a stable cohabitating relationship or be or have been in a civil partnership.
- You must not have children.
- You must not be expecting a child unless you are already staying in Denmark as an au pair and wishes to change your host family.
What conditions do my host family have to meet?
Your host family must consist of at least one adult and a child under the age of 18, and they must be registered at the same address.
If the parents do not live together, they can agree to have you living with them in turns. Both parents must sign a contract with you, and both parents must meet the conditions for being a host family.
A family cannot host au pairs if there are no children under the age of 18 registered at their address.
In addition, the host family must meet the following requirements:
At least one of the parents in the host family must have a thorough knowledge of Danish culture and be able to communicate that knowledge to you.
Therefore, it is required that at least one of the parents is a Danish citizen, a EU citizen or has been living in Denmark for a extended period of time and is significantly attached to Denmark.
Non-EU citizens with diplomatic status in Denmark cannot be a host family regardless of how long time the family has been living in Denmark.
In addition, the host family must not be related to you or be of the same nationality as you.
The host family is only allowed to have one au pair at a time. An overlap of maximum 14 days between a former and a new au pair is permitted, provided that the former au pair will pass on knowledge to the new au pair.
None of the members of the host family can be supported by public benefits under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act.
In the application form, the family must declare not to be receiving public benefits at the time when the application is submitted. It is, however, allowed to receive minor occasional benefits that do not replace an actual income.
If a host family previously has been abusing the au pair scheme, the family can be excluded from using the scheme for a period of time – and you will not be able to stay as an au pair with the family.
The penalty period of the family from the au pair scheme varies in duration:
- 10 years in cases of a violation of the criminal law due to violence, threats etc. against a former au pair.
- 5 years if an au pair has been working illegally for the host family or for others.
- 2 years if the au pair contract has not been followed, e.g. if a former au pair has been given less pocket money than the minimum amount, has not been given an arrival or return ticket when required, or if the family has not taken out the necessary insurances.
On the application form, the family must sign a statement declaring that they are not excluded from hosting an au pair.