Are You Thinking Of Extending Your Au pair Year?

Extension Year Tips

Choosing to extend is a great choice! It does require some planning and thought before you decide. These facts will be helpful in your decision-making process. Call or email your counselor, if you need help making the right choice.

  • You must have at least 72 hours of education completed at the time of your request to extend.
  • Certificates or documents that show your completed hours must be emailed to your community counselor. Please do not text pictures. Take a picture and email.
  • All education hours must be completed 30 days before the end of your first term.  Your request to extend and all documents will be filed one month before your end of your first year. THIS IS FIRM. THE STATE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY EXTENSION REQUEST, IF THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENT HAS NOT BEEN MET.
  • If you are going to extend with a different family, you need to get your education finished by the 8th month so that you have time to interview and find a new family.
  • You have a choice to extend for 6, 9 or 12 months.
  • The travel month will be moved to the end of your second term. Your second au pair term will begin the day after your first year ends.
  • You cannot extend your second year, once it begins. If you choose for six months, you cannot stay longer.
  • You may change your mind during your second term and still receive your flight back home if you give your host family and CC at least one month’s notice.
  • If you are not able to give at least one month’s notice that you need to leave, you will be required to purchase your own flight home to your country.
  • If you leave early in the second term, you will lose your travel month. You will be expected to return home at the end of your one month notice.
  • There is no guarantee that you will get matched for your second year. Many au pairs do not make a match and return home.
  • Once you are matched with a second term family, you cannot change your mind and choose another family that calls later. You must honor your commitment.
  • Deciding to stay with your current family can work well. Sometimes, there are some things that you will want to change about your second-year experience. Talk with your host family to see if they are willing to make the changes you need to stay a second term!
  • Many au pairs underestimate the difficulty of getting re-adjusted in a new city. You will not have friends. You will not know your way around. Your host family will be new to you. Your host children will be new. All the comfort of your current situation will be gone. You will be starting over!
  • A second term in a new city can be exciting. You will have an opportunity to make new friends, see a new city and learn another way of life here in the USA!
  • The education requirement still applies in the second year. Standard au pairs will have 250.00 education allowance towards a six-month extension. You will need to achieve 40 hours of educating.   500.00 education allowance is given towards a nine and twelve-month extension. You will need to achieve at least 72 hours of education.
  • Your transfer to your new second term family is on the last day of your contract. You may not join them earlier or later than this date. This is very strictly followed. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • If you have the upgraded insurance policy, you must pay the fee to upgrade the policy in your second term. The insurance has to be the same. You must pay the fee to upgrade or you will not be allowed to stay.
  • Your USA driver’s license will need to be renewed once you have a new DS-2019 form with your extended dates on it. If you move, you will need to exchange your license for that State’s license with your new address.
  • Travel outside the country may not be possible in your second term. Some islands around the USA may be allowed. If you plan, to travel outside the USA in your second term (with or without your host family), you will need to 1. Read the travel information about second term travel outside the USA on the APIA website and 2. Email Fiorella at, if you have further questions about travel in the second term.
  • Your actual visa will expire at the end of your one year term. However, the white paper in your passport ( the DS-2019 form) is the document that gives you a legal reason to be in the USA.  A new DS-2019 form will be issued to you from the State Department. It is not necessary for you to go back home to renew your visa.
  • Some Au Pairs want to renew their visa, due to the travel plans of their host family. Renewing the visa is risky because your government may not agree to grant another visa and you would not be allowed to return to the USA to finish your first term. It takes a lot of planning and organization to save your vacation days to the end of your term in a plan to return home to get a new visa. This process may take 2-3 weeks. You would need to return to the USA at least two weeks before your current visa expires.  Your host family is responsible for paying your Au pair stipend each week, even if you go home on vacation. Because of this, they may not agree to have you be absent for 2-3 weeks. The Au Pair must also pay your flight back home.
  • There is a lot to think about! Ask your counselor for advice.

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