STEP 1: COMPLETE APPLICATION
Each au pair must be screened in their home country by the international partner of an authorized U.S. Sponsor;
Each au pair's application will be reviewed by the local international partner, and after review, the au pair will:
Be interviewed in English by the International partner to determine appropriateness for the au pair program and to determine whether the au pair has an acceptable level of English skill;
Be administered a psychometric test to determine personality features of the candidate au pair, and whether the au pair is suitable for the au pair program;
Following the application and screening interview procedures in the au pair's home country, some additional application materials will be submitted to the U.S. Sponsor. As part of the process, the au pair should become familiar with the U.S. State Department regulations regarding the au pair program. These regulations can be found here.
STEP 2: APPLICATION REVIEWED AND APPROVED
After the screening process is completed, the au pair's documentation will be sent to the U.S. Sponsor, and the sponsor will review the application, and approve or pass on it based on the information provided. Neither we nor any Sponsors can guarantee that any au pair will be approved.
STEP 3: AU PAIR PROFILE CREATED, MATCHING PROCESS STARTED
Once the au pair's application is approved, the au pair's profile will be created by the Sponsor and either placed online for host families to view or available for matching by the sponsor, or both. The au pair's application is also available for host families to view.
Host families go through a similar rigorous process by Sponsors to qualify them to participate in the au pair program. The process involves screening, background checks and suitability checks, personal visits by sponsor representatives to the home, and personal interviews. Once approved, a host family with tell a sponsor their preferences for an au pair.
Host families will either review profiles and applications of candidate au pairs, or the Sponsor will suggest au pair candidates based on the host family's preferences, or both. Once a host family and the sponsor decide on an au pair candidate, the host family will make at least two phone calls to the au pair to introduce themselves and interview the au pair candidate.
Placement of au pair candidates in host homes usually takes place within 3 to 4 months, but may vary from case to case.
STEP 4: MATCH IS MADE BETWEEN HOST FAMILY AND AU PAIR
Once the host family selects an au pair, the au pair is notified of the host family's interest in hiring them, and visa documents are prepared, and sent to the overseas partner's office in the au pair's home country.
The documents include the host family's application, the Form DS-2019 form, au pair training schedule, insurance information, Au Pair Handbook, the Sponsor's local community representative information and a community profile of where the host family lives.
STEP 5: INTERVIEW WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY IN AU PAIR'S HOME COUNTRY
Once the DS-2019 form arrives in the au pair's home country, the overseas partner schedules an interview with the nearest US Embassy for the au pair for a J-1 non-immigrant visa.
The Au Pair and/or the Overseas Partner must pay the U.S. Government (Homeland Security) the SEVIS I-901 fee. This $35 USD fee can only be paid on line at http://www.fmjfee.com. To pay, the person paying must click on the File I-901 Form online and enter the information from the DS-2019 form. The fee must be paid with a credit card and the receipt must be print after the process is complete. This receipt is presented to the US Embassy at the time of the au pair interview.
The au pair must fill out the US Embassy interview forms DS-156, 157 and 158 which can be downloaded here. In addition to the SEVIS I-901 $35 fee, there may be additional fees required for the Embassy interview. The overseas partner will inform the Au Pair of the necessary fees.
The US Embassy decides whether an applicant is issued the J-1 visa or not. Depending on the Embassy, au pair applicants are notified immediately or it could take up to three weeks to inform au pair applicants of the decision.
STEP 6: THE VISA IS APPROVED – TIME FOR DEPARTURE AND TRAINING
The au pair will complete a Pre-Departure Orientation, given by the overseas partner in the Au Pair’s home country
Au Pair will complete up to 45 hours of intensive training in infant/child safety and development either in their home country before they leave for the U.S., or in the U.S. upon arrival. There is no charge to the au pair for this training.
Depending on the sponsor's program fees, flight arrangements for the au pair will be made.
A dental checkup to take care of any outstanding dental problems is advisable, as au pair insurance only covers emergency dental treatment.
Au Pairs will need a minimum of $200 US in personal money to cover various expenses upon arrival in the U.S., such as transportation expenses, and spending money.
STEP 7: THE AU PAIR MEETS THE HOST FAMILY
Following completion of the au pair training, the au pair will fly directly to the host family's location, and will go to the host family's home, and begin the one year au pair program.
Local Community Representatives will assist the Au Pair throughout the entire stay.
Au Pairs will participate in Cultural Events with the Local Community Representative and Host Family.
The Au Pair will need to commence classes in formal educational settings at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in order to complete at least six hours of academic credit or equivalent (Au Pairs receive up to $500 from the host family toward the cost of required academic coursework).
During the one year program, the au pair must adhere to all rules, regulations and policies of the Au Pair program as required by U.S. law and regulations, and the sponsor's program.