Embassy of Belgium in Australia

Au pair Visa

WORKING AS AN AU-PAIR IN BELGIUM

Introduction

If you wish to be an au-pair in Belgium you need a work permit.

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) i.e. the EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, and additionally Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Special arrangements apply for Switzerland while Monaco follows the French regulations are exempted.

The Belgian host family is responsible for obtaining authorisation to employ a foreign national and a work permit for the au-pair. As soon as she has a work permit the au-pair is in a position to apply for a visa.

The visa or authorisation for provisional sojourn (Autorisation de séjour provisoire - Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf)

Again the nationals of the member countries of the European Union and those of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland are exempt.

The au-pair has to apply at the Embassy or Consulate of his place of residence. If you live in Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga or Tuvalu, apply to the Embassy of Belgium in Canberra.

Documents/evidence you have to submit:

1. Two application forms completed and signed.

2. Two recent identity photographs.

3. Your passport, preferably valid for at least another 15 months.

4. Visa application fee: Consular fees.

5. Prepaid self addressed return envelope (express, registered or courier) or postage fee.

6. Original Work permit (arbeidskaart/ permis de travail).

7. An original National Criminal History Record Check (Name check) not older than six months on the day you submit your application, delivered by the competent authority. Please refer to the criminal history check information on this website. This document has to be legalised by means of an Apostille. You can obtain the Apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia / Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand. See “Obtaining Documents”.

8. An original recent medical certificate. The medical exam is to be done by a doctor appointed by the Embassy (see list of designated doctors). A blood test for syphilis and a chest x-ray for tuberculosis must be undertaken first, so that you can hand the results to the designated doctor.

If you live 150 km or more away from a designated doctor, you can choose a different doctor. Please let us have his name and address along with his telephone and fax number or his e-mail address. The Embassy will then need to legalise the doctor’s signature. Please refer to Consular fees.

The processing of the visa (Authorization of Provisional Sojourn) takes 3 to 6 weeks.

If you cannot make a personal appearance and you have to send your application by mail, the following requirements apply:

(1) Your signature on the application form must be notarised (certified) by a notary public or a Justice of the Peace.
(2) Do not send your form and documents to an Honorary Consul, only to the Embassy in Canberra.

Important remarks

  • You must go to the municipality of residence (commune) for registration within eight days following your arrival in Belgium.
  • The period of validity of your visa is three months after the visa has been affixed to the passport. The validity of the visa should not be mistaken for the validity of the residence permit, which will be issued by the Town Hall of your place of residence in Belgium. You will be given a residence permit to cover the period of your stay in Belgium at the offices of the municipality (usually corresponding to the validity of the work permit + 2 months)

The work permit (Permis de travail B – Arbeidskaart B)

The host family is responsible for obtaining it.

The conditions are generally:

  • the host family must comply with the regulation governing the employment of au-pairs
  • the host family may not already have an authorisation to employ a (another) au-pair
  • the duration of the employment of the au-pair may not exceed one year
  • the au-pair may move to another host family only once, providing the overall period of employment does not exceed one year and the new host family meets the requirements.

The work permit will be handed to the host family at the offices of the municipality (Town Hall). The host family will pass it on to the au-pair.

Conditions of employment

The au-pair

  • must be between 18 and 26 years old
  • must undertake not to take up other employment during her / his placement as an au-pair
  • must have a degree allowing her/him to apply for a university admission in her/his home country or must show that she/he has been studying up to the age of 17
  • must show that she/he has a basic knowledge of the language of the host family or undertake to acquire that knowledge upon arriving through an intensive language course
  • during her/his stay carry on learning the language at a recognized language centre and show quarterly that she/he continues attending the courses
  • may not have had a work permit previously

The host family

  • must give the au-pair a separate room and give her/him free access to the family home
  • must subscribe a comprehensive insurance for the au-pair, covering medical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses
  • allow the au-pair a full day off per week and give her/him every opportunity to practise her/his religion or convictions
  • pay the au-pair by transfer to her/his bank account the amount of € 450 per month at least as pocket money
  • have in their household at least one child under 13 years old
  • show that they have made provisions for the day-care of any children under 6 years old; this means that the host family is not allowed to take on an au-pair as a nanny
  • provide a police report for all the family members over 18 years old
  • undertake to take out an insurance covering the early repatriation of the au-pair in case of accident or illness and also undertake to pay the costs to the Belgian State that may originate from such early repatriation or generally from the stay in Belgium of the au-pair
  • agree to give access to their home to officials in charge of supervising the placement of au-pairs

Miscellaneous

The sharing of home chores by the au-pair, including baby-sitting, should not exceed 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week. These chores may not be the main reason for the au-pair’s stay with the host family.

If the requirements are not met, conditions for the employment of domestic personnel will become enforceable against the host family.

Practical procedures

There are a number of organisation linking host families and au-pairs. You can contact these organisations via JINT vzw, which is a body set up as a coordinator by the Flemish government. Addresses of au-pair organisations may be found in the yellow pages under section 7286 or on the web. The au-pair should of course contact an organisation in her/his own country first.

Regulations applicable to au-pair employment

  • Law of 30 April 1999
  • Royal Decree of 9 June 1999

Additional information

On the admission and settlement of foreign nationals in Belgium

* at the local Town Hall*
* the Department of the Interior
Algemene Directie Dienst Vreemdelingenzaken
Antwerpsesteenweg 59B, 1000 Brussel
Tel.: + 322 206 13 00, fax: + 322 206 14 55
Internet: www.ibz.fgov.be and www.dofi.fgov.be

About visa

*at the local Town Hall
*at the Department of Foreign Affairs
Dienst Visa
Karmelietenstraat 15, 1000 Brussel
Tel.: 02 501 81 11, fax: 02 501 38 38
Internet: http://diplomatie.belgium.be

On employment authorisations and work permits B

  • Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
    Departement Economie, Werkgelegenheid, Binnenlandse Aangelegenheden en Landbouw, Administratie Werkgelegenheid
    Afdeling Tewerkstelling, Cel Migratie
    Markiesstraat 1, 1000 Brussel
    Tel.: + 322 553 43 99
    Internet: www.vlaanderen.be/werk
     
  • Ministerie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
    Ministère de la Région Bruxelles-Capitale
    Bestuur Economie en Werkgelegenheid
    Directie Werkbeleid
    Kruidtuinlaan 20, 1035 Brussel
    Tel.: + 322 204 21 11
    Internet: www.brussel.irisnet.be
     
  • Ministère de la Région Wallonne
    Division de l'emploi et de l'immigration
    Place de la Wallonie 1, 5100 Namur
    Tel.: + 3281 33 31 11
    Internet: http://emploi.wallonie.be
     
  • Ministerium der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft
    Abteilung Ausbildung, Beschäftigung und Europäische Programme
    Hostert 15 in 4700 Eupen
    Tel.: 087 59 64 86, fax: 087 56 95 60
    Internet: www.dglive.be

On au-pairs

  • JINT vzw
    Grétrystraat 26, 1000 Brussel
    Tel.: 02 209 07 20, fax: 02 209 07 49
    Internet: www.jint.be