The term au pair means 'on equal terms'. The purpose of an au pair stay is for a young person to stay with a host family 'on equal terms' and thereby get a chance to improve language and/or professional skills as well as broaden their cultural horizon by becoming more acquainted with the host country.
If you are a Nordic or EU/EEA citizen, you do not need a residence permit in order to stay in Denmark as an au pair, but as an EU/EEA citizen, you do need to obtain a proof of residence from the regional state administration (Statsforvaltning).
However, if you are a citizen of one of the new EU countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia), or a non-EU citizen, you must apply to the Immigration Service for an au pair residence permit.
In order to receive the full benefit of an au pair stay in Denmark, you must already have the necessary linguistic and cultural foundation.
This means that in order for you to be granted an au pair residence permit, there are certain conditions which must be met, either by you, your host family, or both of you.
Conditions to be met by you
You must be between the ages of 17 and 29 (both years included) at the time of application
As a rule, you may not be married as this is deemed incompatible with the purpose of an au pair stay
You may not bring with you any children
You must have a working knowledge of either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German
Conditions to be met by your host family
Your host family must be comprised of at least one parent and one child under the age of 18, who must be registered at the family's address
As a rule, at least one parent must be a Danish citizen in order that your host family can introduce you to the Danish language and culture. However, this does not apply if the parents are EU citizens resident in Denmark, who have made use of their right of free movement under the EU regulations
Your host family may not receive public assistance as their primary means of support under the terms of the Active Social Policy Act ('Lov om aktiv socialpolitik'). They must state this in a signed au pair contract (see below)
1.You and your host family must fill out the Immigration Service's au pair contract. The contract is part of the application form and must be signed by yourself and your host family (as well as by your parents, if you are 17 years old)
You should assume a role as a member of the family. This means that you must contribute to the household by carrying out chores related to the family's daily housekeeping, such as baby sitting, cleaning and washing clothes
You are entitled to a minimum monthly allowance of DKK 2,500 from your host family as well as free food and lodging
You are entitled to your own room in the family's home
You must be the only au pair who is registered at the family's address
You must carry out daily chores for 3 to 5 hours per day, 6 days per week. In other works, your chores must comprise 18 to 30 hours per week. This means that if your host family states in the au pair contract that you will carry out chores for 6 hours every day, with the weekend off, you will not be granted a residence permit
You are entitled to one full day off every week. In addition, you are entitled to sufficient time off to follow language courses, pursue cultural and professional interests, as well as participate in religious activities
It is the responsibility of your host family that you are covered by the Danish national health insurance, which entitles you to free medical care. It is also the responsibility of your host family to provide you with appropriate care if you should fall ill.
Generally, it is a precondition for your residence permit as an au pair that you have not previously held a Danish residence permit.
As an au pair, you will be granted a residence permit but not a work permit, as your daily chores with your host family are not considered as work. As a result, you are not allowed to take on paid or unpaid work in addition to your chores, just as you are not allowed to carry out chores or work outside your host family's home. Furthermore, you are not allowed to carry out chores in your host family's home for more than 5 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Despite this, the relationship between you and your host family is regarded as an employer/employee relationship and as such is subject to Danish laws regarding vacation and taxation. The tax authority in the municipality of your host family can answer questions regarding taxation. Questions regarding vacation regulations should be directed to Feriekontoret, Finsensvej 78, 2000 Frederiksberg C; tel: 38 14 84 84.
Telephone hours: Monday-Thursday 12 to 3 p.m., Friday 12 to 2 p.m.
> Application Form AU1 Download PDF or Ms Word
How to apply
If you wish to apply for a residence permit as an au pair, both you and the host family in Denmark must supply information for the processing of your application.
The application form contains a detailed description of how you and the host family should complete the form, and which documents you must attach.
It is the host family in Denmark who begins the application process by completing their part of the application form and attaching the required documents. They send or give the form and attached documents to you. Then you complete your part of the form, attach the required documents, and submit the entire application.