An au pair agency can sponsor and apply for your Dutch residency permit so you can live and work as an au pair in the Netherlands for up to one year.
You can work as an au pair for one year with a host family, carrying out light household tasks in exchange for board and lodging. But you – and your host family – have to fulfil certain specific conditions. Only an au pair agency can lodge your application, who acts as your recognised sponsor/employer.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a provisional residence permit (MVV) to enter the Netherlands and/or a residence permit to stay in the country for more than three months. As of 1 June 2013, you (or a sponsor) can apply for both permits in one application, through the Entry and Residence Procedure (TEV).
To find out if you need an MVV for entering the Netherlands, or if you only need to submit an application for a Dutch residence permit, read Dutch provisional residence permits (MVV) and temporary residence permits.
Conditions for au pairs
In addition to the general requirements for MVV/residence permit to enter and stay to the Netherlands for longer than three months, as an au pair you must:
- be aged 18–30;
- have not held a residence permit in the Netherlands for exchange purposes before;
- stay with a host family (ie. at least two people) for whom you have not worked (abroad) before, with ‘sufficient long-term means’ to support you all;
- you must be registered with the Municipal Personal records database (BRP) at their address;
- undertake no more than 8 hours per day or 30 hours per week of light household duties, with a previously agreed daily schedule
- not pay more than EUR 34 to any au pair agency as a registration fee.
Your sponsor must be an au pair agency recognised by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Contact the IND for a list of recognised agencies. As well as submitting an application on your behalf, your sponsor can also put forward objections and appeals if the application is refused.
The sponsor has to sign a declaration that you fulfil the criteria for your stay, provide information about you and your host family (for example, the latter’s income) and has a legal obligation to report any changes to the IND while you’re in the Netherlands, for example, if you change host families. The agency must also pay repatriation costs if au pairs overstay their visa.
How to apply for an au pair residence permit
The au pair agency will submit your application to the IND on your behalf.
The sponsor will tell you which documents they need to send to the IND but they will definitely require copies of your passport/travel ID. Foreign documents will need to be authenticated or ‘legalised’ by the appropriate authorities in the originating country and be in Dutch, English, French or German. For more information, read how to prepare supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications.
The agency will have to pay a fee to process your application, which is non-refundable if your application is rejected. The current fee is EUR 614. Fees will be reviewed mid-year, so check the latest fees here.
There may be additional costs for legalising or translating documents or administrative costs incurred by the embassy or consulate in processing the application.
The IND aims to take two weeks to assess your application.
Once you have your residence permit
You can only work for your host family, carrying out the daily tasks previously agreed. You cannot undertake any other type of work.
How long is the permit valid for?
It’s valid for one year only and cannot be extended. If you want to stay in the Netherlands when the permit ends, you have to make an application for a new residence permit with a new purpose of stay, and the IND will assess you to see if you meet the conditions. You should make the application before your initial residence permit runs out.
Read the complete guide to Dutch visas and permits to find out if you’re eligible to apply for a new residence permit with a different purpose of stay.
If your circumstances change
If you change host families, for example, your au pair agency must inform the IND in writing.