J-1 VISA: AU PAIR

Many internationals come in to the United States as a student on an F-1 Visa, but did you know you can come in to the country with a J-1 Visa as a student and an Au Pair?

A J-1 Visa is the exchange visitor non-immigrant visa category for individuals approved to participate in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs. Various programs qualify for this visa type, including the Au Pair program.

An Au Pair provides child care to a host family’s child(ren) for a year in return for room and board, a weekly stipend, and up to $500 towards education cost. Through this program a non-American may legally work while in a post-secondary program in the U.S; a luxury not afforded to many F-1 holders.

All potential Au Pairs must apply through a State Department’s approved program sponsors, and can only be placed with an approved and qualifying host family. In order to qualify as an Au Pair you must be i) proficient in spoken English, ii) a secondary school graduate; iii) between the age of 18 and 26; iv) pass a background investigation; v) capable of fully participating in the program; and be personally interviewed in English by a program sponsor. To maintain legal status, an Au Pair must provide no more than forty-five (45) hours of child care services per week and must maintain not less than six (6) semester hours of academic credit.

To qualify as host parents, parents must i) be U.S citizens or legal permanent residents; ii) be fluent in spoken English; iii) pass a background investigation; iv) be interviewed by program sponsors; and v) have the financial resources to meet hosting obligations

Key Benefits:

  1. Au Pairs will receive up to $500 towards cost of required academic course work. Plus, you have room and board plus compensation for childcare work.
  2. Au Pairs have the option to extend their home family stay for 6, 9, or 12 more month.
  3. Great source of cultural exchange for both Au Pair and host family.

Key Limitation:

  1. J-1 Visas for Au Pairs are approved for only one year, with a potential extension for up to another twelve (12) months.
  2. There are currently only fifteen (15) approved program sponsors and only a limited number of countries have been represented.

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