Why do young women travel half way round the earth to care for children in suburban Copenhagen? Whatever the case, it is clear that the ground rules have changed. A new bilateral agreement with the Philippines will allow the Integration Ministry to stop au pairs using stays in Denmark to obtain permanent residence, reports Copenhagen Post.
Under the new visa rules, it will no longer be possible for an au pair to live with a family member in Denmark, or with a family of the same nationality as themselves.
The new rules seem to be aimed at controlling the mushrooming number of au pairs travelling here from the Philippines. In 2009, of the 2,773 au pairs registered in Denmark, 2,165 – or nearly 80 percent – came from the Philippines according to the latest figures from the Integration Ministry.
This means that the number of Filipino au pairs increased by 356 percent between 2004 and 2009, while the size of the Filipino community in Denmark grew by 76 percent from 4,721 to 8,317.
The ministry has also begun to run checks on the marital status of candidates for au pair visas. In a spot check carried out on 49 cases involving Filipinos, they discovered that over half had given false information and were therefore ineligible. To receive an au pair visa one has to be under the age of 30 and unmarried. Visas are also restricted to those who do not have young children in their country of origin.