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Matched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ)

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TitleMatched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ)
SummaryCOVID testing requirements before travel, temporary delays obtaining visas and temporary travel delays arriving into the U.S.
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(last updated September 21, 2021)

**** UPDATE ON TRAVEL BANS **** On September 20, 2021 the White House announced intentions to increase travel options for Au Pairs from United Kingdom, Europe Schengen area, China, South Africa and Brazil travelling to the U.S.  We understand the new travel option exists for vaccinated Au Pairs who also test negative within 3 days of departure.  Details will be shared as clarified approaching the November timeframe. 

At this time the exact list of suspended countries impacted is unknown.  We do not know the impacts or expected wait time at embassies for Au Pair visas, if the National Interest Exception will remain in effect for unvaccinated individuals or at all, or if there are any other exemptions.  It is not clear yet which vaccines will be recognized, which tests will be recognized and what rules apply to individuals who were previously infected.

We look forward to returning the Au Pair program to its original global reach!



Temporary Delays Travelling to the U.S.
Five Presidential Proclamations signed by President Trump in 2020 suspended travel to the U.S. from various countries around the world.  In January 2021, President Trump announced lifting some of these travel bans, however, on January 26, 2021 President Biden quickly reinstated them and added an additional ban on South Africa.  Go Au Pair has experienced some success with Au Pairs arriving from travel suspension countries under the National Interest Exception.  Learn more here: Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services (FAQ) 

Country-specific Presidential Proclamation temporary suspensions (travel bans)
Summary of travel suspension proclamations:
  1. China.  Originally effective on February 2, 2020, not lifted by President Trump and still in effect under President Biden.
  2. Schengen Area* (Europe).  Originally effective on March 13, 2020, proposed to be lifted by President Trump but reinstated by President Biden on January 26, 2021. 
  3. United Kingdom and Ireland.  Originally effective on March 16, 2020, not lifted by President Trump and still in effect under President Biden.
  4. Brazil.  Originally effective on May 28, 2020, proposed to be lifted by President Trump but reinstated by President Biden on January 26, 2021.
  5. South Africa.  Announced on and effective on January 26, 2021 by President Biden.
*The Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.     




Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Arriving Au Pairs
Beginning on January 26, 2021 all air passengers entering the United States must test negative for COVID-19, as announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Air passengers are required to get a viral test within 3 days before their flight departure to the U.S. and provide written documentation of their test result (paper or electronic) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.  Airlines are instructed to deny boarding of passengers who fail to provide this documentation.

Go Au Pair has temporarily updated our travel policies and procedures for Au Pair travel to the U.S. as described below.  


Updated Policies & Procedures for travel to the U.S. 
In response to new CDC requirement described above Go Au Pair has temporarily updated our arrival policies and procedures for Au Pairs traveling from their home country to the U.S.  These changes best accommodate Host Family and Au Pair travel preferences, reduce abrupt travel changes, manage expectations for all and help enable Au Pairs to travel to the U.S. as quickly as possible.





What are the steps for Au Pair travel to the U.S.?
  1. Required documentation confirmed with Go Au Pair
    1. Au Pair is approved the J1 visa at the U.S. Embassy.
    2. Au Pair tests negative for COVID-19 or "documentation of recovery" from positive COVID-19 test (English translation may be required)
      1. COVID-19 test must be a viral test (NAAT or antigen)
      2. A negative test or documentation of recovery from a positive test is required before a flight is issued to demonstrate likelihood to travel on the desired departure date 
      3. Documentation is emailed to the Travel Department at flightcoord@goaupair.com  
      4. Tests and "documentation of recovery" are the Au Pair’s financial responsibility
    3. Host Family pays remaining Agency Fees.
  2. Go Au Pair issues the flight 
    1. Departure date of flight will not be less than 11 business days from date of issue.  Eleven business days ensures the Au Pair receives travel documents from the Embassy and allows Go Au Pair enough time to prepare for Au Pair arrival.
    2. Travel is limited to arrivals on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only.  End-of-week arrival days ensure Go Au Pair can respond to last minute cancellations or changes.
    3. Go Au Pair researches flight options and confirms with both Host Family and Au Pair.  We cannot issue final travel tickets until both parties confirm.  Delays in confirmation may delay arrival into the U.S.
    4. After receiving confirmation, Go Au Pair issues the final flight ticket and sends the travel itinerary to Host Family and Au Pair.
    5. For countries under a travel suspension (see below for list of travel suspension countries), Au Pair sends confirmed travel itinerary to the U.S. Embassy and requests a Travel Exemption authorizing travel to the U.S.
  3. Au Pair prepares for departure.
    1. Au Pair tests negative for COVID-19 from a viral test within 3 days of departure date or has positive test within 90 days and "documentation of recovery" prepared
    2. Au Pair prepares documentation to provide to the airline which may be paper or electronic, we encourage Au Pairs bring BOTH and strongly recommend English translations of all documents.
    3. Au Pair researches and understands all airline procedures and policies for travel (i.e. mask requirements, boarding procedures, food and drink options on the plane, etc.).  
    4. Au Pair researches and understands policies for checked and carry-on luggage including fees, weight and size requirements.




How quickly can the Au Pair Arrive to the U.S.?
We understand Host Families are eager to have their Au Pair arrive to their home as quickly as possible.  Go Au Pair is also excited and eager for your Au Pair’s American experience to begin!  

To expedite the steps above or prevent avoidable delays, Host Families and Au Pairs can do the following:

Both Families & Au Pairs
  • Be patient.  As with all things COVID related, international travel is subject to new, abrupt and constantly changing events.  We are doing everything possible to make Au Pair arrival into the U.S. as smooth and quick as possible.  
  • Visa approval is the first step and is entirely dependent on the U.S. Embassy.  The U.S. Embassy is in total control of the appointment date and may cancel or change appointments at any time.  Au Pairs (with help from our International Partners) re-book cancelled appointments as quickly as possible.  We start travel research immediately after visa approval (and additional items in step 1 above), but not any time before.  See below to understand delays in embassy appointments.
  • Confirm flight selection as quickly as possible when the Travel Department sends out options.

Au Pair
  • Prepare for your COVID-19 test(s).  Before we research and issue your flight, you must test negative or document your recovery from COVID-19.  Testing positive requires at least an additional 10 days before a documented recovery and will delay your arrival into the U.S.
  • Schedule your COVID-19 test immediately AFTER your embassy appointment, preferably in the same day.  Approach your embassy appointment with confidence of approval and plan to test for COVID-19 immediately after.  
  • Prepare for your travel day.  If you tested negative when flight research began, test negative for COVID-19 again 3 days before departure and prepare documentation.  If you tested positive when flight research began, ensure you prepare your documents of recovery.  Ensure you understand all airline policies and procedures to avoid problems or delays at the airport.
  • For Au Pairs departing from travel suspension countries, quickly submit your issued flight itinerary to the U.S. Embassy for your Travel Exemption. 

Host Family
  • Pay remaining Agency Fees as possible after visa approval.  We use the same payment method on file from Match Fees so typically this means ensuring your card does not decline the charge



What is required to issue an Au Pair’s flight?
The process to research an Au Pair’s flight options starts when:
  • Au Pair is approved the visa at the U.S. Embassy, and
  • Au Pair tests negative for COVID-19 or "documentation of recovery" from positive COVID-19 test (English translation may be required), and
  • Host Family pays remaining Agency Fees

We issue the ticket after the Au Pair and Host Family confirm the proposed itinerary.




What are the steps if the Au Pair tests positive and what is “documentation of recovery” from a positive COVID-19 test?
Au Pairs who test positive for COVID-19 are still able to travel to the U.S. on a later date if they provide the positive test result and “documentation of recovery”.  

“Documentation of recovery” consists of the positive test result and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states the Au Pair is cleared for travel.  The letter should contain the following:
  • Written on institution letterhead with contact information including address and phone number
  • Date letter created
  • Include personal identifiers for the Au Pair matching the identifiers on the positive test, including at least name and date of birth
  • Confirm the Au Pair is cleared for travel
  • Reference date of positive test
  • Signed and include printed name of individual who confirmed Au Pair is clear for travel
  • English translation strongly encouraged and MAY be required

If the Au Pair experiences symptoms of COVID-19 after testing positive, the CDC recommends waiting 10 days since the symptoms first appeared and/or 24 hours after fever ceases without medication.  If the Au Pair does not experience symptoms, the CDC recommends waiting 10 days from the date of the positive test.  After the recommended waiting period, the Au Pair may visit a healthcare provider or public health official to request the letter which clears the Au Pair for travel.  

Au Pair arrival is delayed at least 25 days in the event of positive COVID-19 test.
  • At fastest, Au Pair has no symptoms and waits 10 days from test, per CDC recommendation, and
  • Letter to clear travel is provided and same day Go Au Pair begins flight research and confirmation process and ticket is issued
  • Au Pair departure date is no less than 11 business days from date ticket is issued
  • Total days delayed = 25 (10 + 11 business days which implies two weekends + 4 = 25)
An additional Form DS-2019 may be required for Au Pairs delayed more than 30 days from arrival date indicated on the original Form DS-2019.  




What happens if the Au Pair tests positive at the time of researching and issuing the flight? 
Au Pairs test for COVID-19 after visa approval and before Go Au Pair begins researching options for the flight to the U.S.  A positive test result delays arrival to the U.S. by at least 25 days.  Au Pairs must provide Go Au Pair the positive test result and “documentation of recovery” before flight research begins.  The process starts again at step 2, detailed above.      

Au Pairs who test positive for COVID-19 at the time of researching the flight and are able to schedule a departure date within 90 days of the positive test do NOT test again 3 days before departure.  On the departure date, Au Pairs may provide to the airline the same positive test result and “documentation of recovery” provided to Go Au Pair when the flight was issued so long as the test result is dated within 90 days of the departure date.  

If an Au Pair requires more than 90 days from the date of the positive test result to obtain the “documentation of recovery” a new test is required for the entire process to begin again at step 2, detailed above.




What happens if the Au Pair tests positive 3 days before departure?
Au Pairs who test negative at the time of researching and issuing the flight take another COVID-19 test three (3) days before departure.  If an Au Pair tests positive within 3 days of departure:
  1. The Au Pair must notify Go Au Pair’s Travel Department (email flightcoord@goaupair.com), and
  2. Go Au Pair cancels the flight, and 
  3. The Au Pair’s Arrival to the U.S. is delayed by at least 25 days.

Au Pairs who test positive within 3 days of the scheduled departure date cannot fly and MUST report the positive test result to Go Au Pair immediately for flight cancellation.  Au Pairs who are unable to fly on their scheduled departure date due to a positive COVID test (or any other reason) MUST report to the Travel Department (flightcoord@goaupair.com) at least 24-hours prior to scheduled departure.  Au Pairs who fail to notify Go Au Pair of the inability to travel at least 24-hours prior to departure are subject to a fine of $500 or the cost of the ticket, whichever is greater.

Au Pairs must provide Go Au Pair the positive test result and “documentation of recovery” before flight research begins for the re-booked flight.  The process starts again at step 2, detailed above.  




When is an additional Form DS-2019 required? 
In unlikely situations, an additional Form DS-2019 is required for Au Pairs with delayed or planned arrival to the U.S. greater than 30 days from the arrival date printed on the original Form DS-2019.  If this happens:
  1. Go Au Pair updates, creates and mails another Form DS-2019 to the Au Pair.  The Au Pair must receive the updated Form before departing for the U.S.  
  2. The Au Pair brings BOTH copies of Form DS-2019 (1. original approved form and 2. form with updated dates) to the airport and to the U.S.
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Why are arrivals temporarily limited to Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?
Limiting Au Pair arrivals into the U.S. to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday enables Go Au Pair to respond promptly and effectively to possible cancellations or changes which might occur within 3 days of departure.  The limitation is temporary.  The typical fee for Friday arrivals is waived during this temporary limitation to best accommodate everyone.  Additionally, we temporarily suspended the expedited travel option and no discretionary alterations to issued flight tickets are permitted. 




What if I don’t need my Au Pair to arrive immediately?
If your Au Pair arrival timeline is flexible and not immediate, the same three steps above apply but with a slightly altered time frame.  Au Pairs may schedule embassy appointments as early as possible and seek visa approval. The flight reservation process does not begin until about 3 to 4 weeks before desired arrival date.  At the time the flight reservation process begins the same policies and procedures apply as described above.

Most likely Au Pairs who do not require immediate arrival will require an additional Form DS-2019 to reconcile arrival dates.




Will Go Au Pair quarantine my Au Pair after arrival?
No.  Go Au Pair will not quarantine an Au Pair after arrival into the U.S.  Although the U.S. Department of State does not require participants of the Au Pair Program quarantine upon arrival into the U.S. some state or local government may require or recommend a period of time for a traveler to stay home.  The CDC recommends persons newly arriving to the United States be tested 3 to 5 days after arrival and to stay home for 7 days post-travel.  Families and Au Pairs should work together to understand and implement this recommendation as well as other possible requirements.

Families and Au Pairs quarantine or self-isolate at their discretion/responsibility and at their own expense.  Au Pairs must be paid their weekly stipend during quarantine, stay home or self-isolation periods.




Temporary Delays Obtaining J Visa
For most recent status by country please see: Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services (FAQ) 


Presidential Proclamation 10052 extended, new expected expiration date of March 31, 2021
The Presidential Proclamation expanded on June 22, 2020 temporarily suspends J visas for Au Pairs between June 24, 2020 and March 31, 2021.  Au Pairs without visas may experience delays interviewing for a visa until 2021.  Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspending J Visas for Au Pairs (FAQ).  Au Pairs may still apply for visas under the National Interest Exception Next Steps for National Interest Exception Waiver (FAQ) and Preliminary Injunction.


Country-specific U.S. Embassy temporary closures
A phased resumption of routine visa services has been announced by the State Department which will occur on a post-by-post basis.  For information on Embassy status by country: Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services (FAQ)

Issuing visa paperwork as quickly as possible is the fastest way to secure an embassy appointment for your Au Pair.  Embassies may be delayed in returning necessary travel documents (often returned in the mail) and paperwork to the Au Pair after the Visa Interview.  Therefore, all travel will be booked with departure dates about three weeks after the Embassy Visit.  

The suspensions may result in delays on Au Pair arrivals but does not mean an Au Pair will be denied a visa. Speak with your Placement Coordinator directly if you have concerns about your Au Pair getting an embassy appointment.  SEVIS fees for Embassy appointments are valid for one year even if appointments are rescheduled however Embassy Interview fees are paid for each visit.  Appointments scheduled could be cancelled at any time and should be re-booked immediately.

Our International Partners are closely monitoring the situations in their home countries and regularly provide us with updates. 




Decrease in travel demand
Airlines cancel flights when the quantity of travelers is too low to outweigh the expense of the flight.  Only the airlines have information related to travel demand and Go Au Pair becomes aware when an Au Pair flight is cancelled or when a flight no longer exists in the reservation system.  We fly Au Pairs with the largest, global, most popular airlines and codeshares to have access to as many flight options as possible.  Airlines have significantly reduced flight options for travel around the world.  We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with flight departure and arrival times/dates and layover duration.




The following article discusses risks traveling from the U.S. back to home countries.
Au Pairs nearing the end of their Program (FAQ)









Return to main article
What is Go Au Pair doing about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? (FAQ)








============== the following information is archived as of January 26, 2021 and is no longer relevant =============================
Various temporary travel suspensions may delay Au Pair arrival into the U.S.  Go Au Pair’s travel department monitors the items below daily and are best informed on when your Au Pair can arrive.  Paying pre-arrival fees as quickly as possible after embassy appointments are confirmed is the fastest way to have your Au Pair arrive.  Go Au Pair must authorize all Au Pairs arriving into America for participants to maintain sponsorship.  Unauthorized arrivals into America will result in termination of the visa sponsorship.
We recognize access to information on travel and embassies may be difficult, confusing or not generally available to the public.  We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to arrange the best arrival options for you and your Au Pair.  We have cancelled all Success Workshops, virtual or in person, for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 to enable the fastest possible Au Pair arrival.   
Au Pairs Attending the Success Workshop (FAQ)
Country-specific government mandated temporary suspensions
In the United States, Presidential Proclamations
9984, 9992, 9993 and 9994 enacted temporary travel suspensions into the U.S. of persons present in various countries.  Go Au Pair understands these Proclamations as follows:
  1. Original Issued on January 31, 2020 temporarily suspending entry into the U.S. of persons present in the People’s Republic of China, effective on February 2, 2020
  2. Second Proclamation Issued on February 29, 2020 expands temporary suspension into the U.S. of persons present in the Islamic Republic of Iran, effective on March 2, 2020 
  3. Third Proclamation Issued on March 11, 2020 expands temporary suspension into the U.S. of persons present in the Schengen Area*, effective on March 13, 2020 
  4. Fourth proclamation Issued on March 14, 2020 expands temporary suspension into the U.S. of persons present in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, effective on March 16, 2020
  5. Fifth proclamation Issued on May 24, 2020 expands temporary suspension into the U.S. of persons present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S., effective on May 28, 2020.
*The Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.  
All Proclamations remain in effect until terminated by the President.  The Secretary of Health and Human Services is tasked with regular review (every 15 days) and makes recommendations to the President to continue, modify or terminate the proclamations.  As of the last modified date for this article, all temporary suspensions are still in effect.
Go Au Pair regularly monitors the temporary travel suspensions from the countries relevant to our Au Pairs, including countries Au Pairs may fly through in a connecting flight to or from America.      
The following article discusses risks traveling from the U.S. back to home countries.
============== the following information is archived as of December 11, 2020 and is no longer relevant =============================
Matched Au Pairs waiting to arrive into the U.S. experience two major types of delays:
Temporary delays obtaining a J Visa ***New Impacted by Presidential Proclamation 10052***
Temporary delays in travel options to the U.S. (also dependent on obtaining a visa)
Options for Families and Matched Au Pairs with Visas:
Travel to the U.S. as soon as possible.  We understand the suspension from Proclamation 10052 does not impact and is not applicable to Au Pairs with visas.  Au Pairs still in their home country who have visas are able to travel to America as soon as possible.
Delay arrival to the U.S.  Working together you may decide to postpone travel to the U.S. until all suspensions expire.
Break the match.  If you can’t wait or otherwise no longer wish to proceed, you may choose to break the match.  Host Families, contact your Placement Coordinator to understand refund and credit options.  Au Pairs, we can rematch you with a new family if you still want to participate.
Options for Families and Matched Au Pairs without visas:
Delay arrival to the U.S.  Working together you may decide to postpone travel to the U.S. until all suspension expires.
Break the match.  If you can’t wait or otherwise no longer wish to proceed, you may choose to break the match.  Host Families, contact your Placement Coordinator to understand refund and credit options.  Au Pairs, we can rematch you with a new family if you still want to participate.
U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
Travel Advisories from the State Department are designed to help you understand how the State Department classifies the risk of traveling to international destinations.  The levels range from Level 1, the lowest safety and security risk, to Level 4, the highest advisory level due to a greater likelihood of risk.
On
August 6, 2020 the U.S. State Department lifted the Global Level 4 Health Advisory which recommended U.S. citizens avoid all international travel that had been in place since March 19, 2020.  The Department is returning to its previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.  
The CDC issued
Travel Health Notices as recommendations to inform travelers about current health risks around the world.  The levels range from Level 1, practice usual precautions, to Level 3, avoid all non-essential travel.  The WHO also provides travel advice.
U.S Embassies around the world have 
temporarily suspended non-immigrant visa services, including J1 Au Pair visas. 
Temporary Suspensions for all Exchange Visitor participants
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) within the U.S. Department of State announced a
60 day temporary suspension for all Exchange Visitor Programs, including Au Pairs, on travel to the U.S. from any country worldwide.  The temporary suspension started March 11, 2020 and is in effect until U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories decrease.
This temporary suspension was communicated directly to sponsoring agencies, including Go Au Pair, from our contacts in the ECA.  The ECA also adheres to the Travel Advisories issued from the State Department (discussed above).
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