How to Acquire an Au Pair Visa!
(MAKE SURE THIS APPLIES TO YOUR COUNTRY! CHECK THE GUIDELINES AT YOUR LOCAL GERMAN EMBASSY. YOU MAY BE ABLE, OR POSSIBLY REQUIRED, TO START THE VISA PROCESS BEFORE COMING TO GERMANY.)
How to Acquire an Au Pair Visa!
Upon your arrival (after you recover from jet lag, of course!), please start this process. The sooner you do, the better. Plus, Berlin says you must register your place of living within 7 days of moving in!
1. Registering for your Anmeldebestätigung
First register for your Anmeldebestätigung, which is an official record of where you live. You register at an office called the Bürgeramt (resident’s bureau), and there is one in every part of Berlin.
*Search Google maps for your nearest Bürgeramt.
This is an example for the search “Bürgeramt Tiergarten” -> http://tinyurl.com/burgeramttiergarten
This one happens to be in the Tiergarten Rathaus (Town Hall) but that will not always be the case.
You will need:
-Your au pair contract, signed by you and your host parents
-The following form, found here to download: http://tinyurl.com/Anmeldungsformular (this form, signed by your host parents and you, can be brought in instead of your signed contract).
Upon arriving at the Bürgeramt, you’ll probably face a rather long looking line. Avoid this by going early, and not during peak hours like lunch time. The first line is to receive a number, and when you do, go into the waiting room until your number and room (Platz) is called.
OR: You can alternatively book an appointment here: http://tinyurl.com/bookthatappt
You will hopefully come to a desk with a very nice person waiting to help you, like I did, but you may get someone who is a bit gruff and may not be as open to speaking English like mine was. In that case, prepare a statement and say: “Es tut mir leid… ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsch. Ich würde bitte gerne meine Adresse registrieren.” (“I’m sorry, I only speak a little bit of German. I would like to register my address, please.”) From there, they will be able to help you and you can show them the forms you’ve brought in.
Right then and there, you’ll receive a piece of paper with an official signature and stamp on it. Congratulations, you now are registered as living in Berlin. But you aren’t legal yet…
1.5 Take a Picture!
You will need a few passport photos printed of yourself for the next step of the visa process, and the easiest way to do this is to visit any number of photo shops throughout Berlin.
The one I went to was inexpensive (10€ for 6 photos) and the man who took my photo was extremely nice, attentive and spoke English. You can find this shop right near the Oranianburger Tor U-Bahn stop, on Friedrichstraße. The website is here: http://www.foto-schulze-berlin.de/
You can go in anytime, and within 15 minutes or less, you will have your photos in hand!
2. Visiting the Ausländerbehörde
This is the tricky part of the visa process. This is where a (probably) rather prickly person at a desk will ask if you are at an A1 level in German, and why you are here, and to hand them a complicated collection of forms that you should prepare beforehand. I would strongly recommend bringing a German speaking person with you. This could be a friend your age, but if possible, bring either of your host parents.
Fortunately, there is no standing in line for a number. You can make an appointment online! Click the following link for the webpage to do so: http://tinyurl.com/auslanderbehordeAPPT
Where it says “bitte auswählen” with a pulldown menu, choose your country and then when the next menu (Sachgebiet) pops up, choose “Sontiges Anliegen”… then under Anliegen, choose “Aufenhalt zur Aufnahme eider Beschäftigung als Au-pair.” It will then show you a list of the forms you’ll need, which I will outline at the end of this part.
The office is located here, as seen on Google maps: http://tinyurl.com/auslanderbehorde… The Westhafen stop is the closest S-Bahn station, but it’s a bit of a walk. There is an M27 Bus that stops more of less up the block. It’s the Nordufer station, it’ll be on a bridge, and you’ll want to walk past a Kaiser’s supermarket to find the building.
The building is quite obvious, but it’s a bit confusing since there is Haus A, B and C. You will want to walk all the way to Haus C, and up to the correct floor (2). (note: this is specifically for Americans, since this is from personal experience. Just follow the signs for your country!) Find the waiting room, which is simple, as there are lots of signs to follow. Sit in the waiting room, and you’ll most likely be called right at your appointment time.
Going in, you’ll talk with the person behind the desk, hand in all your forms, and they will give you further directions. If all your forms are in order, then you should have no problem! You will receive a temporary pass, called a Fiktionsbescheinigung and this will be tucked into your passport, after you pay 20€. Anytime from a week onward, you’ll get an email with a room to report back to. You will have to come back, hand in your Fiktionsbescheinigung and will then receive a real visa (this will cost 50€, but is also something your host family should pay for).
Things you will need:
-1 biometric photo
-Your Au Pair contract, signed by you and your guest parents
-A request for permission form for paid employment (requires approval by the Federal Employment Agency) [this is completed by you]
-Job description form [completed by your host parents]
-Au Pair questionnaire (work permit for employed au pair) [completed by host parents]
-Form for health insurance [completed by your host parents]
-Application form for residence permit [completed by your host parents]
Congratulations, once you follow the above steps, you are legal to live and work in Berlin as an Au Pair for one year. Enjoy your time here!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!