Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Au Pair Program and J-1 Visas

The San Francisco Chronicle featured this interview of an "Au Pair Matchmaker"

We have over 500 au pairs in Northern California, from Carmel to Sacramento. We have a 90 percent success rate with our matches. But it takes a lot of work, a lot of mediation.

Sometimes it's impossible. You'll have the social butterfly au pair matched with host parents who want a homebody. She wants to be out with friends, getting into the local community. And the family is like, "We want a big sister who's going to be a member of the family."
Or you get the family who says, "We only want you here when you're working, and then we'd just as soon you'd be out doing your own thing."
Once someone applies to the program, it takes about a month and a half to vet the au pair, verify their information and interview them. We need to see school records, criminal background check, health screening results. The overseas office has to verify child care experience, personal references.

They're interviewed in English by someone in our partner offices, and interviewed in English again when they go for their J-1 Visa, which allows the au pair to come over and work for one year with the possibility of extending one year.

The Department of State sets forth guidelines that the host family and au pair are required to follow. As a DoS-designated sponsor, AuPairCare is charged with enforcing those rules: The au pair has to be between 18 and 26; she can't work more than 45 hours per week; and she needs to complete six units or 60 hours at an accredited postsecondary educational institution.
Also, the host family must provide the au pair with a private bedroom, and the family has to live within an hour's drive of an AuPairCare team member. Read more...


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