Au pair in Denmark

Au pair programs and visa information in Denmark:

Au pairs can come from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and from any EU country. Au pairs of other nationalities need to obtain a residence permit.

In order to obtain a residence permit as an au pair, it is mandatory for the applicant to meet certain mandatory language and cultural standards in order to reap full benefits from an au pair stay in Denmark. This means that the applicant should be able to speak and understand a reasonable level of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German. In addition, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

1. The au pair must be between 17 and 29 years of age.

2. A written contract must be drafted between the host family and the au pair (and the au pair's parents, if the applicant is under 18). The Danish Immigration Service has drafted a standard contract which must be used.

3. The au pair must receive at least DKK 2,500 per month in pocket money from the host family.

4. The au pair must receive free food and lodging in the host family's home.

5. As a rule, the au pair's daily working hours must not exceed 5 hours and the weekly working hours not exceed 30 hours, and the au pair must have at least one day off per week.

6. There must be at least one underage child living in the home of the host family, and the au pair must be able to assume a familiar status within the family.

7. As a rule, at least one of the parents in the host family must be a Danish citizen.

Special rules for au pairs applying for residence permits

An au pair is eligible for a residence permit, but not a work permit, as tasks the au pair undertakes for a host family are not formally regarded as work. An au pair may not seek paid or unpaid work in addition to those tasks set by the host family.

However, an au pair job is nevertheless regarded as involving an employer/employee relationship, and is therefore subject to Danish labour vacation legislation as well as Danish tax laws. The municipal tax office in the host family's local municipality can answer any questions regarding taxation. Questions regarding vacation laws should be directed to Feriekontoret (the Vacation Office?), Finsensvej 78, 2000 Frederiksberg, tel. 38 14 84 84 (telephone service hours: Monday-Thursday 12-15, Friday 12-14).

How long are residence permits issued for?

An au pair is eligible for a residence permit for a maximum of one year at a time, and never longer than the duration of the au pair contract. The residence permit can be extended to a maximum of two years.

If an au pair applies for an extension of his or her residence permit, he or she is permitted to continue residing as an au pair during the Danish Immigration Service's examination of the application, provided this work continues under the same conditions and with the same host family. The contract between the au pair and the host family must also be extended and submitted together with the application. An au pair may not begin working with a new host family until the Danish Immigration Service has granted permission.

Can family accompany the applicant?

An au pair does not have an automatic right to bring his or her family to Denmark. Only in extreme extenuating circumstances can the Danish Immigration Service grant a residence permit to a spouse, cohabiting companion or underage children living at home. The family must be able to support them.

For more information please see the Danish Immigration Service's pages on au pairs and on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark's page on being an au pair in Denmark.