Au Pair in America is discouraging international travel during the pandemic for multiple reasons. Here are some resources to help you understand the process and risks, so you can make an informed decision.
10 Things to Know Before You Go
- Read APIA Travel Advisory due to COVID-19
- If an au pair decides to travel outside of the U.S., she and her host family need to understand and accept the possible risks.
- The following au pairs should NOT travel outside of the U.S.:
- Au pairs who arrived on National Interest Exception (NIE) visas. (Those are single entry visas.)
- Au pairs in their travel month
- Au pairs on a special 6 month extension
- As you make your travel plans, please review the appropriate checklist(s) from APIA:
- 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.
- Year 1 au pairs should plan international travel to return to the U.S. prior to the date their visa says it expires. This can be different from your actual program end date.
- Au pairs must find out if they will need a visa to visit another country. This can be different for au pairs than for host parents. You must check with the consulate of the country you are planning to visit, find more information HERE.
- The CDC requires a negative PCR test to fly into the U.S. Investigate where you can get this test and how much it will cost before you travel.
- When you return to the U.S. you should follow CDC and local guidelines regarding quarantine and testing.
- There is always some risk with traveling outside the US, as re-entry is at the discretion of the port of entry agent. Au Pair in America is not responsible for additional costs or travel arrangements should a delay in returning to the US occur.
Photo: Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels
Holidays and vacations are a great opportunity to rest, recharge and explore the U.S.
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer travel season. Here are some reminders about program rules regarding holidays and vacations.
- Host families are not required to give au pairs any specific holidays.
- Each host family will make different arrangements on holidays, some au pairs will be off and others will be required to work.
- As holidays approach, it is helpful for host parents to let their au pair know if they will be off or not, so plans may be made.
- Au pairs should not make plans for holidays without checking with their host family first.
- Au pairs earns 2 weeks of paid vacation during the course of their year.
- Vacation time should be mutually agreed upon.
- All vacations should be preplanned (at least 4 weeks in advance).
- All au pair’s friends and/or family visits/vacations should be pre-approved prior to purchasing tickets.
- If au pairs travel with their host family, it should be discussed in advance whether this is the au pair’s vacation or if they’re working.
- If au pairs travel with their host family to work, the host family is required to pay for the au pair’s transportation, lodging and meals.
Travel Outside the U.S.
- Au pairs in year one, are allowed to travel outside of the U.S. and return, however there are some important steps to take.
- Au pairs must have their DS2019 signed (travel validation) PRIOR to their departure from the US.
- More information and the travel validation request form may be found here on the Au Pair in America website.
- It is essential that au pairs make their travel plans to return to the U.S. prior to the expiration date listed on their visa. This date can sometimes be earlier than their actual year end date.
- There are limitations on travel outside of the U.S. for au pairs in year two. Please speak with Christine or Lisa, prior to making travel plans.
If you are planning to travel outside the U.S. during your first year, your DS 2019 will need a travel validation signature. See “Travel Links for Au Pairs” on the side of this page for link to the Travel Validation Request Form. At least 3 weeks before you travel, you should print this form and send it along with your original DS-2019 form and a self-addressed stamped envelope (so your signed DS 2019 may be returned to you) to the following address.
Au Pair in America
9 West Broad Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Attn.: Evelyn Blum
You will also need to check whether you need a visa to enter the country you intend to visit. I have a link for Visiting Canada. Other countries requirements can be found by doing a Google search such as “visitor requirement Mexico.” Obtaining a tourist visa is solely the responsibility of the au pair.
Extension Au Pairs: In your extension year, travel outside the U.S. is restricted. Please contact me before making any plans to travel outside the U.S. in your extension year.
Have a great trip!