Wednesday, August 31, 2005

US Visa

I receive tons of emails from the fellow au pair friends about USA. Although I've never been an au pair there my best friend did. I am familiar with the process.

Some of you ask me about the visas. First of all, if you want to go to the US, you must get a J-1 visa. I only recommend a J-1 visa even though some au pair sites tells you on the internet you can get a H-1 visa or something like that. This is not true. H-1 visa is ONLY granted to the SKILLED workers to go to USA. I don't believe the US government will grant a H-1 visa to an au pair or nanny even if this person is highly educated.

To get a J-1 visa au pair and the family must register with an agency. There are only 6 of these agencies and they are the only agencies who can get you the paperwork for legal J-1 au pair visa.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I get so many emails from other au pairs asking me how to go about choosing a host family. My first advise is to go with your instincts. You are the person who can make the best decision.
I would ask many questions to the family. Most important one is to get a clear work schedule and duties. You must get these written if you can in your au pair contract.
You must also ask them for pictures of the house and the family. Find out what kind of area they live in. Is it close to public transportation? Will you drive or take the bus/subway? This is very important if you want to go to a language school.
Talk to their references if they provide them. Ask them if they had an au pair before.
I found a long list of questions to ask here
I think all of them are important and can be used as a guide.