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Casuistry au pair policy

On this page information about the au pair policy is highlighted.

Doing light domestic work as an au pair (third-country nationals) for a host family

A host family does not need to be in possession of a work permit for the au pair. The au pair may only carry out light domestic work for the host family. The carrying out of other activities is not permitted. This is stipulated in Section 1j of the Implementation Decree of the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act.

The au pair may only carry out light domestic work at the address of the host family at which he/she is registered.​ If the host family - for instance, due to a divorce - no longer lives at one address, the au pair may not carry out light domestic work at both addresses.

If the foreign national is no longer in possession of a residence permit for the purpose of being an au pair, then he/she may not work for the host family (anymore). If this does happen, then both the host family as well as the foreign national are in contravention of the Aliens Act and the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act. This situation could occur in the following cases:

A foreign national who is not obliged to have a regular provisional residence permit (mvv), who has not yet submitted an application for a residence permit in the context of exchange as an au pair
A foreign national who is not obliged to have an mvv, who wants to stay in the Netherlands as an au pair, can travel to the Netherlands without an mvv. After entry, this foreign national can stay with a host family, but may not work there until the application for the residence permit is granted. It is therefore of importance that the application for the residence permit is submitted as soon as possible after entry.

Foreign national who is obliged to have an mvv, as long the residence permit is not valid yet
The residence permit enters into force on the day that the foreign national enters the Netherlands. This date of entry is given in advance by the au pair agency to the IND. If the foreign national arrives in the Netherlands prior to the entry date given, he/she does not stay in the Netherlands yet on the basis of a valid residence permit under the "exchange" restriction and he/she may not yet work for the host family. It is therefore recommended that the au pair enters the Netherlands on the given entry date.

During the procedure of a notice of objection against the rejection of an application for a residence permit in the context of exchange (au pair)
If an objection against the rejection of an application for a residence permit is lodged in good time, the foreign national may often await the decision to the notice of objection in the Netherlands. In such a case, the foreign national stays legally in the Netherlands (see Section 8, opening words and under h of the Aliens Act), but is not in possession of a valid residence permit. So during the procedure of a notice of objection, the foreign national may not work for the host family.

After a residence permit has been revoked under the "exchange restriction within the context of a treaty or not" (au pair)
When the residence permit of the foreign national is revoked, he/she may no longer work for the host family. If an objection against the rejection of an application for a residence permit is lodged in good time, the foreign national may often await the decision to the notice of objection in the Netherlands. In such a case, the foreign national stays legally in the Netherlands (see Section 8, opening words and under h of the Aliens Act), but is not in possession of a valid residence permit. So during the procedure of a notice of objection, the foreign national may not work for the host family.

Subsequent to the expiry of the residence permit
Subsequent to the expiry of the residence permit, the foreign national must leave the Netherlands within 4 weeks. During this period the foreign national cannot be deported. During this period the foreign national has no legal residency in the Netherlands. This means that the foreign national may not work for the host family in this period.

Untenable situation in a host family

An untenable situation, for example, is when there are irregularities, malpractice or abuse of the au pair. Then the au pair agency ensures that the au pair goes to another host family as fast as possible. If the au pair does not stay in a host family, he/she no longer complies with the conditions of the purpose of residency 'au pair'. If the au pair agency cannot immediately place the au pair at another host family, then the au pair agency must ensure that the au pair is temporarily taken care of at another address.

During the temporary sheltering, the au pair may not carry out a service in return in the form of light domestic work. If the au pair agency cannot relocate the au pair within 4 weeks, the IND will revoke the residence permit. This period of 4 weeks is the time which an au pair gets to leave the Netherlands if the residence permit is no longer valid or has been revoked.

If there are irregularities, malpractice or abuse of the au pair, the recognised sponsor must explain as detailed as possible on the notification form why it concerns an untenable situation. Then it is clear to the IND what the au pair's situation is. As a result, the posing of follow-up questions is kept to a minimum.

You can direct your questions on this topic to the au pair mailbox.

WHS/WHP

​If a young person from Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Korea wants to stay in a host family as an au pair, then he/she must comply with all the terms and conditions of the Dutch au pair-policy. This person stays in the Netherlands as an au pair on the basis of an exchange programme of an au pair agency or exchange organisation which has been approved by the IND. The IND has recognised such au pair agency or exchange organisation as a sponsor for the purpose of the au pair's residency. The host family only needs to pay a maximum of € 340 pocket money per month instead of the statutory minimum wage. If there is an employment contract between the young person from Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Korea and the host family, then the host family must pay the statutory minimum wage. The young person is then not considered as an au pair as meant in the au pair-policy. In the event of uncertainty about this, the matter can be presented to the courts to decide whether it concerns an employment contract.

On grounds of the WHP and WHS young persons with a Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or South Korean nationality can make acquaintance with the Dutch culture and community. In order to pay for the costs of their stay, the young persons may work. The employer does not need to be in possession of a work permit. The young person does not need a sponsor in the Netherlands and may choose the place of residence in the Netherlands personally.

If the young person does work, that must be in accordance with Dutch employment law. This includes the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act and the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act. If the young person who participates in the WHS/WHP works in a host family, these regulations must also be complied with. The young person is not an au pair and the host family cannot simply suffice by paying a maximum of € 340 pocket money. The SZW Inspectorate can impose an administrative fine on the host family if the regulations of employment law are not complied with.

Recognised au pair agencies have a duty of due care for young persons who (want) to stay as au pairs in the Netherlands. Amongst other things, this is because of the vulnerable position of young persons in a host family. A young person who wants to stay as an au pair in the Netherlands, but applies for a residence permit in the context of the WHS/WHP, does not have the protection of the duty of due care.
Information can be found via the client service information guide on the IND website about the Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Working Holiday Scheme (WHS).

Departure period

​It is presumed that after termination of the validity of their residence permits, au pairs may stay in the Netherlands for another 4 weeks. This presumption is incorrect.

The residence permit for staying as an au pair in the Netherlands is valid for a maximum of 1 year and cannot be extended. The validity is stated on the residence permit. After expiration of the validity the au pair has no legal residency anymore in the Netherlands. The au pair must arrange the return trip to the country of origin or permanent residence prior to the expiry of the validity of the residence permit.

The main rule is that a foreign national who does not stay or no longer stays legally in the Netherlands, must leave the Netherlands of his own accord within 4 weeks. During these 4 weeks the foreign national cannot be deported, but he/she has no legal residency in the Netherlands.

During the departure period of 4 weeks the au pair may not carry out light domestic work for the host family. Otherwise the au pair and the host family are in contravention of the law, for example, the Foreign Nationals (Employment) Act. The recognised sponsor has an obligation to provide information. This means that the recognised sponsor informs all those involved, including the host family and the au pair, about all the relevant legislation and regulations.