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Work permits – Au pairs

If you would like to hire a foreign adolescent as an au pair, you must apply for a work permit for the au pair.

Conditions for working in Flanders

Foreign nationals who come to work in Flanders must first receive permission to work. This obligation applies to everyone apart from a few well-defined categories of foreign workers.

A foreign au pair who does not belong to one of these well-defined categories and who therefore needs a work permit can work in Flanders if they meet the conditions below.
The au pair (see Article 9,14° of the Royal Decree of June 9, 1999) is a young person staying temporarily in a host family to:

  • improve their language skills
  • get to know the country better.

The adolescent au pair participates in family life and receives room and board in exchange for light household chores.

An au pair is not the same as a nanny, babysitter or domestic servant. Cultural education and language enrichment prevail during the stay.

In order to avoid household chores and looking after children becoming the main purpose of the stay, the adolescent au pair, the host family and the agreement between both parties must meet certain conditions.

Application to be made by the employer – the host family

For a foreign adolescent au pair who is coming to Belgium to work, the employer – the host family – is responsible for applying for a work permit and employment permit, even when this is for longer than 90 days or with a Schengen visa for 90/180 days.

On that page you will also find the procedure for renewing the work permit and employment authorisation.