Deciding to extend is an awesome idea! Renewing your visa may not be the right decision for you. The office can be helpful in providing how-to instructions. If you are going home, please request the instructions from your community counselor.
Here are some things to consider:
- Renewing the visa is risky and not necessary to extend your term as an Au pair.
- The Au pair will be granted an updated DS2019, which gives a legal purpose for being within the USA. Au Pairs do not need a new visa to have a second extension term.
- It does mean that you can only travel to certain places in the second term. Canada, Mexico, and some adjacent islands are allowed.
- The decision to give the new visa is entirely left to the embassy official. They do sometimes deny the renewal. When this happens, the Au Pair cannot return to the USA to finish out her first term. There is nothing that APIA can do to change this.
- The age of the Au pair matters. if you are almost or over the age of 26, this is a high risk.
- The timing of renewing the visa is also difficult. Au Pairs should plan to spend at least two weeks to obtain the new visa.
- The visit home has to be taken as vacation days or The host family has to agree to allow days off from work that are paid.
- The weekly stipend should be paid regardless of using vacation time or being granted additional time off.
- Your request to extend must be already processed.
- You will need the new DS-2019 in order to renew your visa.
- The extension request is made in your 8th month, after your 72 hours of education are submitted to the Community Counselor.
- Travel flights home should be made after the new DS-2019 is obtained. The home office is not able to work around your travel plans.
***Several times last year, Brazilian Au pairs were caught waiting for the visa to be returned to them after it was granted. They missed their flights home and had to go into rematch because the host family could not wait for them not knowing how much longer it could take. And, in other countries, the visa was denied due to the risk that the Au pair would not return back to her country. These families had to go into rematch because the Au pair could not return to finish her first term.
IMPORTANT NOTE – You cannot apply to renew your J-1 visa while in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean if your current J-1 visa is expired. If you apply for the J-1 visa during your visit to one of these destinations, you must wait for it to be issued before you return. If your visa application is denied by the American consulate, you are not allowed to use automatic revalidation to return to the U.S. You will be required to travel to your country of citizenship to apply for a new visa in order to reenter the US