European au pairs

The Belgian au pair placement scheme was created without consideration of European citizens. However, all EU citizens have the right to move freely within the EU. They may use a model au pair contract to make their temporary stay in Belgium official.

Although EU citizens do not require a visa or work permit, they must register in the municipality if they want to stay in Belgium for more than three months. Otherwise, they risk being an illegal resident in Belgium.

If an EU citizen wishes to be an au pair in Belgium, they and the host family must sign signamn official model contract and both parties must comply without exception with the statutory conditions. The model contract must be registered in the municipality to make the European au pair’s residence legal by means of obtaining a Belgian residence card, Type E, for Europeans.

If no official model contract has been signed or registered:

  • You are not an au pair.
  • You risk your residence in Belgium being illegal.
  • You will be working off the books as a live-in housekeeper.
  • You will be paid only a third of the minimum wage you are entitled to.
  • You will have no social security and no medical insurance.
  • You will not be registered anywhere in the system.
  • No-one will know that you are here, meaning you are at more risk of being exposed to exploitation and abuse.

‘Au pair’ is not just a set of words, it is an official residence status. Even if you have not signed an au pair contract or registered as such, you still have employment rights:

  • You have the right to a minimum wage as a housekeeper.
  • The host family can be prosecuted for recruiting an employee for undeclared work.
  • You can file a complaint against your employer without any risk to yourself. We can help you with this.