Resources For Current Host Families
Au Pair Visa Information
When a family and an au pair match, Au Pair in America contacts the au pair and instructs her to schedule an appointment for a personal visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in her home country. We set match deadline dates in accordance with the average length of time it takes for an au pair to obtain her visa. This varies from country to country and season to season. Visa documents and instructions are sent to the au pair via courier. The interviewer in her home country also helps prepare an au pair for her personal visa interview.
During an au pair’s visa interview, she must demonstrate to the consular officer that she has binding ties to her home country, including a residence that she has no intention of abandoning. It is up to each consular officer to determine whether or not to issue a visa based on the evidence of home ties that an au pair has provided.
If an au pair’s visa is denied, she does have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process can be lengthy, as she must secure a new appointment at the embassy and be prepared to make a second non-refundable $100 payment. In some cases, Au Pair in America will help support an au pair’s appeal depending upon the reason for the initial denial. In an effort to keep these denials to a minimum, we work hard to maintain contacts with consuls, keep them informed about our program as well as work with the au pairs on what they need to bring to the interview to demonstrate that they have strong ties to their home countries.
The vast majority of au pairs do arrive on the arrival date requested by their host families. We do, however, ask that host families have backup child care in the event of an unexpected visa denial or delay.
For up-to-date information about visas from the Department of State, click here.
Visa and travel outside the United States
Au pairs arrive in the United States with a J-1 visa. This visa can be found inside an au pair’s passport. It is a full page stamp that reads “VISA United States of America” across the top and contains a photograph of the au pair. The visa includes the issuing post name (city where visa was issued), the au pair’s name, her passport number and under the heading “entries”, there should be an “M” for multiple entries. The issue date and expiration date are also clearly marked on the visa.
A multiple entry visa allows an au pair to travel outside the United States as often as she wishes during her 12-month program. Generally we allow an au pair to leave the country for up to three weeks at a time, although exceptions are made with special permission from the Au Pair in America office. Au pairs may not travel outside the United States during their 13th month, since their J-1 visa would have expired.
It is extremely important for an au pair to check the expiration date on her J-1 visa before she plans a trip outside the United States. Often visas expire before the end of an au pair’s program year. If a visa expires before an au pair’s year ends, this only means that she cannot leave the country. If an au pair travels outside the United States with an expired visa in her passport, she will not be allowed to reenter the country.
If you have an extension au pair, please visit our Travel and Flights page for more information regarding travel during the extension term.