Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Au pair work in the US

Au pairs from all over the world have the impression that going to the US on a tourist visa will allow them to work anywhere they like. I talked to several friends who have been there with an agency, they don't recommend this avenue as it is too risk and illegal. They realize that it takes some time and effort to make an arrangement to go there, but it's worth it to do the paperwork right if you don't wanna be banned from entry to the US. The procedure as follows:

Register with a cooperating agency in your country. US allows many nationalities participate in their au pair program. There are a dozen US agencies that are authorized by the State Department to arrange the au pair program. Au pair's local agency must be working with one of these agencies.

Family must be registered with one of the mentioned agencies in the US. I believe they are everywhere except remote areas.

Each party should pay their fees to the agencies. Au pair side is easier as her fee covers her airfare etc... So you could get everything handled almost just for the price of an airfare. They actually call this a deposit and au pair gets it back upon successful completion of the program.

These agencies coordinate the paperwork together for the au pair to apply for a J-1 visa. Au pair applies on her own and a visa is not guaranteed naturally.

I'll keep this short for now and post more information about US au pair life in the coming days.