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Au Pair – FAQ

Frequently asked questions about residence permits for au pairs

How long are au pair residence permits valid for?

Au pair stays have recently been extended to a maximum of 24 months.  The contract with the host family may be for a shorter period (for example, 18 months), then later extended, but not for more than two years total.  An application for renewal must be submitted no sooner than 2 months before the permit expires.

Can an au pair contract be annulled before it expires?

Both the au pair and host family have the right to annul the contract with 14 days notice. Both parties can annul the contract unilaterally and without warning in cases of serious contract violation or other circumstances that necessitate such an action.

What happens if the contract is annulled before it expires?

If a contract is annulled, the host family must pay travel expenses for the au pair’s return home to the Philippines.  The same applies if the au pair stay ends at the time agreed upon in the contract.

What happens if the au pair becomes ill?

Upon arrival, the host family must  make sure that the au pair is registered with the national healthcare service (and receive a yellow card).  It is also the host family that will pay for insurance for work-related injuries, insurance covering leisure time and accidents, and insurance covering the costs of returning to the au pair’s homeland in case of death or serious illness or accident.  The host family is expected to provide free room and board, as well as adequate care, until other arrangements can be made.

What are the language requirements?

The primary goal of an au pair should be to improve language and other relevant skills, as well as expand cultural horizons by learning about Denmark.   According to the rules, an au pair must have a working knowledge of either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German, depending on the languages spoken in the host family’s home.  For the most part, the au pair and host family communicate using English.  Young children usually speak only Danish, although school children are also taught English.

Au pairs and host families should check with their kommune about offers for language lessons, since in many areas, au pairs can attend classes for Modules 1 and 2 (out of 5 modules) for free.  Danish language lessons are not required, and under the new rules, the host family is not obliged to pay for lessons.  However, we strongly encourage that au pairs learn Danish for practical reasons (talking to children), but mainly because this is key to learning about Danish culture.

Can a single parent host an au pair?

Yes, as long as the family meets the other requirements.

Can an au pair change host families?

Yes.  This should be agreed upon with the original host family and a contract must be signed with the new host family.  The au pair will require a new residence permit.  It can sometimes be necessary for an au pair to change host families when there are problems that cannot be resolved between the au pair and original host family.  This is not a system for prolonging an au pair stay.  If an au pair has completed (or nearly completed) a two-year stay in Denmark, she cannot transfer to another family for another two years even if a new family will take her in.

Is an au pair entitled to attend school during her stay? If yes, who pays?

An au pair is not entitled to attend school in Denmark. The host family is not required to pay for an au pair’s language lessons or other forms of training / education.  Babaylan DK encourages au pairs to learn the Danish language and participate in seminars and trainings that increase their skills and competencies.  We advice that au pairs set aside a good portion of their allowance for skills development and do not miss the chance to gain new knowledge.

Although host families are not obliged to pay for training, they can help the au pair find learning opportunities, formal or non-formal, that could contribute to a young person’s professional development.

What happens if an au pair gets married during her stay?

Her residence permit will be revoked, as she no longer meets the requirements for being an au pair.

What happens if an au pair becomes pregnant or has a baby?

Pregnancy and childbirth have no impact on the au pair’s residence permit. Whether she can continue living with the host family must be agreed upon between her and the host family.  It must be stressed that pregnancy, by itself, is not a ground for annulling an au pair contract.