Tag Archives: regulations

Travel Outside of the U.S.

10 Things to Know Before You Go

  1. There is always some risk with traveling outside of the U.S., as re-entry is at the discretion of the port of entry agent. APIA recommends that au pairs and host families discuss the risks and decide whether they are comfortable.
  2. Please review the appropriate checklist(s) from APIA, as you make your travel plans.
  3. All Au Pairs must mail their original DS-2019 along with a Travel Validation Request Form to APIA, at least 3-4 weeks prior to international travel. Not sure how to mail this? Check out this blog post with step-by-step instructions. Note: The travel validation ensures that you are in good standing with the program, it is not formal permission to travel.
  4. Year 1 Au Pairs must have a valid visa to travel internationally and plan to return to the U.S. prior to the date their visa says it expires. This can be different from the actual program end date.
  5. Year 2 Au Pairs may visit Canada, Mexico, and the adjacent islands due to the Automatic Revalidation Policy. No other international travel is allowed in Year 2.
  6. Year 3 Au Pairs (special extension) are not permitted to travel internationally.
  7. All Au Pairs must independently research whether they will need an additional visitor’s visa for their destination. This will depend on their nationality and travel destination.
  8. Only fully vaccinated travelers will be admitted into the U.S. This means that all foreign visitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must show proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline.
  9. All Au Pairs will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before they travel by air into the United States. They must show the negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. This test is not for a medical reason, so it will not be covered by insurance and you will need to cover the cost yourself.
  10. When you return to the U.S. you should follow CDC and local guidelines regarding quarantine and testing.

Photo: Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

How to Handle Transportation Costs

Program rules dictate several situations when the host parents are required to cover an au pair’s transportation costs. Aside from those specific requirements there are some things to consider when deciding how to handle an au pair’s personal transportation.

Situations when host parents are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs:

  • To/from cluster meetings
  • To/from classes (for the education requirement)
  • When they are transporting the host children

What are some ways host parents can pay for those required transportation costs?

  • By providing car use and paying for the cost of gas in those situations
  • By giving an allowance for Metro or bus fare
  • By giving an allowance toward Uber/Lyft

Who is responsible for an au pair’s transportation in her free time? 

  • If an au pair has car use, it would be reasonable for the host parents to ask her to pay for the gas used for personal car use. 
  • If no car use is provided and an au pair must rely solely on public transportation, many host parents will give a transportation allowance to help with those costs.

What factors should you consider when deciding how to handle personal transportation costs?

  • Where do you live?
    • If you live in the city, you may be within easy walking and/or bike-riding distance to shopping and activities.
    • If you live in the farther out suburbs, there isn’t normally much an au pair can walk or bike to.
  • Is car use provided?
    • When host parents provide car use, that includes them covering the cost of car insurance and maintenance. So, it is fair to ask the au pair to pay for her own gas for personal use.
    • If host parents are not providing car use, many will figure out how much they are saving by not paying for insurance and maintenance costs and offer that to their au pair as an allowance for public transportation (metro, bus, Uber/Lyft).

Other Things to Consider

  • Au pairs are happiest when they are able to explore the area and make friends. This goes a long way to reduce homesickness and ensure a great cultural exchange experience. The more host parents can do to support this, the more successful their match will typically be.
  • When car use is provided, be clear about any limitations. Is it okay to transport friends, take the car overnight, go on a road trip, drive to Baltimore or Ocean City? In what situations does she have automatic permission and when does she need to ask in advance?
  • Every match is different. Transportation is only one aspect. Whatever works well for a host family and their au pair is what’s best (as long as the minimum program requirements are being met). Things like whether a host family is paying a higher stipend (over the regulation minimum), offering other benefits and driving the au pair to some places all may factor into how personal transportation costs are handled.
  • Please discuss transportation plans for cluster meetings in advance. Participation in cluster meetings is important for an au pair’s overall cultural experience, making friends and getting to know her counselor. Transportation to meetings should not be an impediment to those experiences. Add cluster meetings to your calendar as a reminder to reimburse your au pair if she is attending the meeting.

If you have questions or concerns about how to handle transportation, reach out to your counselor to discuss.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Federal & School Holidays

As you may be aware, the public school children are out of school several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holidays in September (Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Photo: Dafne Cholet

Federal & School Holidays

As you may be aware, the public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Federal & School Holidays

The public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Federal & School Holidays

The public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)

Federal & School Holidays

desenhocsThe public school children will be off several days in September and October. These are regular workdays for an au pair, unless your host parents tell you otherwise. As with any “school holiday” start making plans for activities with the kids now.

In addition to holiday in September (Labor Day & Rosh Hashanah,) many public schools are also out additional days for teacher development and the end of the grading period. As with any holiday, it is up to the host family’s schedule whether you will have the holiday off. Please check with your host families before you assume you have this day off. Do not make any travel plans until you have received confirmation that you will not work on this day.

Host parents, please check your schedule to make sure that you are factoring in these hours and make adjustments as needed to stay within the State Department regulations not exceeding 10 hours per day or 45 hours per week (or 30 hours her week for Educare.)