Step-By-Step Guide to Applying For an Au Pair Visa

Young people from all over the world can become au pairs in the USA. They need to apply through one of the officially approved agencies.

First, they must complete their country’s high school equivalent. Then, they need to have a criminal background check done.

Check the Requirements

Becoming an au pair involves more than just being a babysitter or nanny. Most au pairs must take language courses and attend cultural events as part of the program. Additionally, most countries require future au pairs to obtain a visa before entering the country.

The visa required for au pair participants is the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, a non-immigrant visa issued by the Department of State through InterExchange or one of its officially approved agencies. Young people worldwide can become au pairs if they meet the program’s requirements and complete their initial agreement with a host family for at least 12 months.

The first step in how to get an au pair visa is to schedule an interview at their closest U.S. embassy or consulate. The interview lasts only a few minutes, but bringing all the necessary documents is essential. Failure to do so may result in a denied visa, deportation, or being banned from applying for future U.S. visas. The interview is held to make sure that the applicant (1) meets the requirements of the au pair program, (2) will be able to fulfill her responsibilities fully, and (3) has a strong desire to return home after the completion of the program.

Fill Out The Application

In most countries, you’ll need a passport and visa to become an au pair. The United States, for example, requires au pairs to obtain a J-1 visa through an official au pair exchange sponsor. Once you’ve been accepted and matched with a host family, your agency will prepare the DS-2019 form to help you apply for your visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.

The DS-2019 form will have your personal information, educational background, and other essential details to help you qualify for the au pair program. You’ll also need to submit a letter from the host family inviting you to live with them and their children in their home. This letter is essential because it can show that the family knows and accepts that the au pair’s wages are like household employment and must be reported on Schedule H.

The letter must also demonstrate that the host family has sufficient income to pay for their living expenses. Once your application is complete, the au pair agency will schedule an interview with a consular officer in your country of residence. At the interview, the consular officer will confirm that you (1) are a good fit for the program based on your goals, skills, and education, (2) have binding ties to your home country, and (3) can participate in the program for at least 12 months.

Make an Appointment

Au pairs must have a valid passport to attend their visa interview. The Consular Officer will decide whether or not the au pair receives their visa. Once the decision is made, the au pair will receive their passport internationally. During the visa interview, the au pair will be asked several questions to ensure they only come to the United States to work as an au pair and intend to return home after completing their program.

Depending on the au pair’s country of origin, additional steps in the application process must be completed before they can get their visa. The au pair should consult with the embassy in their country for more information.

If the au pair wants to extend their time in the United States, they can apply for a non-immigrant visa extension or through marriage-based immigration.

Bring The Required Documents

In addition to the family’s invitation letter, an au pair must bring a copy of her/his/her passport and proof of financial support. The au pair should also have a clean criminal record.

Host families are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from the au pair’s wages. These are reported on Form 1040 and Schedule H, Household Employment Taxes. If the au pair’s annual wage exceeds a certain amount, the host family must also obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.

The au pair visa is part of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. It allows a caring live-in caregiver between 18 and 26 to work for a U.S. host family in return for room and board and a weekly allowance. The au pair must apply through a designated agency, meet specific requirements, and adhere to U.S. regulations and agency rules. The au pair must attend a visa interview at their home country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate. During the interview, the au pair must demonstrate to a consular officer that they have binding ties to their home country and will not abandon them during their stay in the United States.

Attend The Interview

An interview is a short meeting with a consular officer to check your documents and verify your identity. You may have to hand in additional information or pay a visa fee, depending on your country.

The interviewer will ask questions to ensure you are a good fit for the program and ready for an experience abroad. For example, they will want to know what childcare experience you have and whether or not you have any specific responsibilities you would be happy to take on.

It is essential to be well-prepared for the interview, as it can be a stressful process. Be calm and honest, and try to make the interviewer feel at ease. It will help if you talk about things that interest the interviewer, such as your goals and interests in life.

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