The situation concerning the outbreak of the coronavirus is currently changing on a daily basis. We understand that the latest news may raise concerns and questions among our participants and anyone interested in attending the au pair programme at this time. The well-being of all our customers and employees is our number one priority and focus. We at AuPairCare watch the current developments very closely and are in contact with all parties, partner agencies and colleagues abroad. In order to keep you up do date on the lastest developments, please consult the most frequently asked questions regarding the current status of our au pair programme which we have gathered below. 

According to the latest information (as of July 22nd, 2020) there are now exceptions both for arranging appointments/applying for a J-1 visa for au pairs and for direct entry to the USA from a country within the Schengen area. These exceptions mainly apply to au pairs who are matched with host families, which is a so-called NIE (National Interest Exception). In particular, among other categories, these are families working in the medical field. You can find the exact parameters for qualification on this website of the US Department of State.

General Questions

Can I currently start my booked program?

USA:

According to the current status, program starts for our programs in the USA are possible from 01.01.2021 at the earliest. The J1 programs for the categories Au pair, Work & Travel, Internship, Training and CampCounselor were suspended on 22.6.2020 until the end of the year (with a potential correction within 30 days of the effective date of the proclamation and every 60 days thereafter while the proclamation is in effect). From our side, we are happy to make it possible to postpone the start of the program to 2021 under the current contractual conditions.

However, if you are already in possession of a valid J1 visa, you could enter the USA as soon as the entry ban is lifted by the U.S. government. However, this would have to be done before the expiration date of your visa. You must also make sure that the DS-2019 form contains current program information or apply for a new DS-2019 form from us. Please contact your Program Coordinator for information on how to obtain a new DS-2019 Form.

AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND:

Our programs in these countries can only take place again when entry is permitted. We will make every effort to contact the participants concerned as soon as possible in order to clarify the further procedure. If you have any questions, we recommend that you contact us via email.

What is the further procedure if I cannot postpone the start of the program and therefore have to withdraw from the program?

Since we offer a wide range of programs, we would be happy to clarify this question with you individually. Please contact us by e-mail.

Can I apply now for a program with start 2021?

You are very welcome to apply for our programs (and without financial risk). Use the time now to create applications and start the process with us. However, your flexibility is needed, as we cannot yet say for sure when it will be exactly possible to enter the respective country. We will of course inform you immediately when it is possible to start again.

We will have detailed program information (prices, services, contracts) for most programs from September on. For the au pair program you can already go through the complete application process.

Does my international health insurance also cover treatments in connection with COVID-19?

If your program includes insurance through Intrax, it will cover COVID-19 treatment as any other disease. Since the insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, it would not apply if you were already ill upon arrival. Also, the health insurance would not cover the costs of prophylactic tests without symptoms.

If your program does not include insurance about Intrax, you should check with your health insurance company.

What does President Trump’s executive order mean with regards to the au pair program?

President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspends the issuance of new visas for a number of programs through December 31, 2020, including the J-1 visa issued for the au pair program. For current placements already in the U.S., this will not affect your program participation.

How will this affect au pairs with no visa?

Unfortunately, due to the executive order, au pairs without a visa in hand will not be able to arrive before December 31, 2020.

How will this affect au pairs who have an approved visa and a scheduled arrival?

The executive order states that anyone who does not hold a valid nonimmigrant visa and does not have an official travel document outside the United States may not enter. If the au pair has a valid J-1 visa and a DS-2019 form, our interpretation is that her entry will be permitted.

Will au pairs still have the ability to extend after President Trump’s proclamation?

Yes! Please check your portal for more information on extension opportunities.

Do you anticipate an update to this executive order?

Yes, as stated in the executive order, within 30 days of June 24, 2020, the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor will recommend any modifications. We will update au pairs and host families accordingly.

We are hearing reports of potential waivers or exemptions to the presidential proclamation for au pairs. Is this true?

AuPairCare is reviewing these reports with contacts at the U.S. Department of State, the White House and policy makers to get clarity on these reports. As of now, we can only rely on the proclamation as stated. Should anything change, we will be sure to update you accordingly.

What does this mean for AuPairCare?

AuPairCare will continue to provide an excellent experience for thousands of au pairs and host families on program, and we will continue to do so as we believe in this cultural exchange program. We will also continue to advocate strongly for new visas to be issued to our international community and will keep host families updated of advocacy efforts and ways they can support these efforts individually

Will I still be able to apply for a January 2021 arrival?

Yes! We encourage au pairs to continue to apply for the program if they can arrive in 2021. We will have host families who will be ready to match with them. 2021 Virtual and Standard (in person) Academy dates are being added to the AuPairCare arrival date calendar now.

Do you think that these restrictions could be extended in the US?

AuPairCare does not anticipate an extension on the J1 visa restriction. As stated in the executive order, within 30 days of June 24, 2020, the Secretary of Homeland Security in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor will recommend any modifications. We will update au pairs and host families accordingly.

Applicants still in the process of completing their Application

Once an applicant finishes the application do you recommend that he/she continues with the process? Yes! Please continue submitting applications. AuPairCare host families are already matching for 2021 arrival dates.

Will the documents and the information still be valid, for example the police background check?

Au pairs have one year to match with a host family from the date their application is accepted. AuPairCare will be reviewing whether we need to extend the timeline for au pairs to match but 99%+ of our au pairs match within that time frame so we do not anticipate a problem.

Should au pairs wait until later this year to start looking for a host family?

There is no need to wait. AuPairCare recommends au pairs submit their applications when they are ready to begin interviewing and are ready to match for a 2021 arrival date.

 

Applicants that are already matched and are waiting for their visa interview

Will APC contact each family to see if they are okay with a new 2021 arrival date?

AuPairCare has already reached out to host families to see if they can wait for a 2021 arrival. If an au pair’s match is withdrawn, you will receive a notice from your Partner Services Representative.

If the family decides that the new arrival date is not okay, will the profile of the applicant be reactivated again?

Au pairs with withdrawn matches will be immediately available to match with a new host family. Au pairs should update their earliest available arrival to a 2021 date in their au pair room portal. Please alert your program advisor if you prefer to withdraw from the program rather than match with a new host family for a 2021 arrival date.

Will the process of looking for host families be suspended or will au pair profiles continue to be active for families looking to receive an au pair in 2021?

There will not be a matching suspension. AuPairCare host families are looking for 2021 au pair arrivals now.

Should an au pair with a valid visa appointment go to the appointment?

We believe most visa appointments in 2020 will be cancelled. If an au pair still has a confirmed visa appointment, please alert your program advisor 14 days prior to the appointment.

For the au pair with a match withdrawal, will their DS-2019 still be valid?

It is our understanding that any DS-2019 form issued for a 2020 arrival date should not be used to apply for a J1 visa because US embassies will not be issuing J-1 visas for 2020 arrivals. AuPairCare will be monitoring the timeline of when embassies will begin issuing visas for 2021 arrivals. New 2021 arrival date DS-2019 forms will be issued as new matches are confirmed and as arrival dates change.

How can au pairs help keep matches intact?

Au pairs should continue to update their visa interview date and visa status in their au pair portal. We recommend to also check directly with the US embassy in your home country to stay updated on earliest available visa appointments and embassy re-opening dates. Please pass these important updates to your program advisor.

Applicants that already have their visa and are waiting to travel

Will AuPairCare be booking travel as usual for these au pairs?

Yes! We are also sending special safety and travel emails to these au pairs 1 and 2 weeks prior to their arrivals.

Do au pairs need any special documentation to arrive to the U.S. following the Presidential Proclamation?

No, au pairs have all the documentation they need to travel and arrive to the U.S. The J1 visa and DS-2019 form satisfy the requirements to enter the USA.

Applicants turning 27 in 2020

What happens to the matched or unmatched au pairs still in their home country and without visas that are going to turn 27 years old in 2020?

Unfortunately, as the Presidential Proclamation is written today, these au pairs will not be able to participate on program. We know how disappointing this will be so AuPairCare is checking every option first before we withdraw any matches or cancel any programs for au pairs who will turn 27 before 2021.