(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:
*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
- China. Originally effective on February 2, 2020, not lifted by President Trump and still in effect under President Biden.
- 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.
- United Kingdom and Ireland. Originally effective on March 16, 2020, not lifted by President Trump and still in effect under President Biden.
- Brazil. Originally effective on May 28, 2020, proposed to be lifted by President Trump but reinstated by President Biden on January 26, 2021.
- South Africa. Announced on and effective on January 26, 2021 by President Biden.
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.?
How quickly can the Au Pair Arrive to the U.S.?
- Required documentation confirmed with Go Au Pair
- Au Pair is approved the J1 visa at the U.S. Embassy.
- Au Pair tests negative for COVID-19 or "documentation of recovery" from positive COVID-19 test (English translation may be required)
- COVID-19 test must be a viral test (NAAT or antigen)
- 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
- Documentation is emailed to the Travel Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tests and "documentation of recovery" are the Au Pair’s financial responsibility
- Host Family pays remaining Agency Fees.
- Go Au Pair issues the flight
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After receiving confirmation, Go Au Pair issues the final flight ticket and sends the travel itinerary to Host Family and Au Pair.
- 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.
- Au Pair prepares for departure.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.).
- Au Pair researches and understands policies for checked and carry-on luggage including fees, weight and size requirements.
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.
- 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.
What is required to issue an Au Pair’s flight?
- 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
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:
- The Au Pair must notify Go Au Pair’s Travel Department (email email@example.com), and
- Go Au Pair cancels the flight, and
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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:
- 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.
- 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.