(last updated April 6, 2021)
Presidential Proclamation temporarily suspending J visas has expired, Travel Suspensions remain in effect
On March 31, 2021, Presidential Proclamation 10052 which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for Au Pair category and others), and L non-immigrants, expired.
The geographic COVID-19-related Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 10142, which suspend entry into the United States of foreign nationals who have been physically present in China, Iran, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil and South Africa remain in effect. Only under National Interest Exceptions are visas granted for Au Pairs from these countries.
The State Department continues a phased resumption of routine visa services.
Return to main articleWhat is Go Au Pair doing about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? (FAQ)============== the following information is archived as of April 6, 2021 and is no longer relevant =============================
Update to Presidential Proclamations extending J visa suspension
On December 31, 2020 the White House issued updates to Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 extending both Proclamations until March 31, 2021. Visas will continue to be approved under the National Interest Exception (NIE) in countries where travel suspensions exist. Visas will continue to be approved under the Preliminary Injunction in countries where embassies have resumed visa operations and travel to the U.S. is permitted.
Learn more about visa approval and Au Pair arrival by country: Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services (FAQ)Learn more about travel restrictions: Matched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ)On February 24, 2021 President Biden signed a Proclamation titled "A Proclamation on Revoking Proclamation 10014". Unfortunately for Au Pairs, Biden's proclamation only revokes P.10014 and Section 1 of P.10052. Proclamation 10052 suspends J-1 Visas and remains intact. Additionally, travel suspensions remain intact. See the following for details on travel suspensions impacting Au Pairs: Matched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ)Preliminary Injunction Issued
On October 1, 2020 a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the June 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation 10052 suspending J1 Visas. On October 9, 2020 the State Department confirmed the scope of the injunction applies to named plaintiffs only. Go Au Pair is not a named plaintiff, however, we are a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who is a named plaintiff in the Injunction. This means the suspension does not apply to our Au Pairs and our Au Pairs in countries with unrestricted travel can apply for visas and arrive to the U.S.
We have experienced success with Au Pairs applying for visas and arriving to the U.S. under the Injunction.
Learn more about visas and arrivals by country: Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services (FAQ)Learn more about travel restrictions: Matched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ)National Interest Exception (NIE) Waivers
On July 16, 2020 Go Au Pair was provided a copy of a communication from the U.S. Department of State to congressional offices regarding Bureau of Consular Affairs guidance clarifying National Interest Exception waivers to the various Presidential Proclamations. The end of this article contains the full original language relevant to J1 visas. The National Interest Exception to apply to Au Pairs in the following situations:
Go Au Pair continues to refine our processes for applying under the National Interest Exception. We have experienced recent success with Au Pair visa approval and arrival into the U.S. from travel suspension countries under the Exception and encourage families to consider this option and review next steps: Next Steps for National Interest Exception Waiver (FAQ).
- Childcare services provided for a child with medical issues as diagnosed by a qualified medical professional where the Au Pair possess special skills required to care for a child with a particular need (e.g. medical, special education, sign language).
- Childcare services provided for a child whose parents are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19.
- Childcare services provided for a child whose parents are involved with medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19.
Original Proclamation Suspending new J visas
On June 22, 2020 the White House issued Presidential Proclamation 10052 temporarily suspending NEW J nonimmigrant visas for Au Pairs until December 31, 2020 (recently extended). This proclamation is a continuation of proclamation 10014, issued on April 22, 2020.
On July 16, 2020, Go Au Pair received guidance from the U.S. Department of State (via the Alliance for International Exchange) clarifying National Interest Exception waivers to the proclamations. See below for more information or take next steps Next Steps for National Interest Exception Waiver (FAQ).
The temporary suspension means NEW J visas will not be issued to Au Pairs during the suspension period, currently slated to start June 24, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020 (recently extended). U.S. Embassies worldwide have suspended routine visa services in response to proclamation 10014.
The following Au Pairs are delayed in obtaining a visa:
The following Au Pairs are NOT impacted by the new suspension:
Go Au Pair's Perspective on the Suspension
- Au Pairs matched with families still in their home country with approved visas (see options here: Matched Au Pairs Arriving into America (FAQ))
- Au Pairs currently in the U.S. either in their first year, extension period
- Au Pairs currently in the U.S. under a COVID-specific, one-time, exceptional extension period
- 60-day extension
- Second, 6-mo extension
Go Au Pair and the entire cultural exchange community opposes the inclusion of J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs in the proclamation. We firmly believe in the value the Au Pair Program adds, not only to the U.S. economy through participant spending and enabling American Host Parents to work, but also through the invaluable relationships which positively influence Au Pairs, Parents and Children for the rest of their lives.
Although we cannot predict the future and everything is subject to change, there are a handful of positive possibilities for Au Pairs around the proclamation which will be explored in the upcoming weeks. First, there is a stated expiration date. Unlike the travel suspension proclamations which only accounted for time frames for review and continuation, this proclamation has a hard fast expiration date stated. Secondly, there are set time frames for review and recommendations for modifications (within 30 days of effective date, every 60 days thereafter). Thirdly, an exemption exists for anyone who is “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States” which may be broadly defined and is at the discretion of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Homeland Security. Lastly, there are many opponents to the perspectives in the proclamation and legal actions are possible.
What can Host Families Do?
If you are saddened to see our amazing Au Pair program degraded by perspectives that say Au Pairs are a cheap labor program, below are ways you can make your voice heard.
We encourage our American Host Families to express their opinions on how the Au Pair Program strengthens the U.S. economy and labor market, especially now, following the coronavirus outbreak.
- Sign the Change.org petition to Save J1 Programs
- Share your perspective on social media and use the hashtag #SaveJ1 to unify your voice with others who value the Au Pair Experience.
- Contact the White House.
- You have 2,000 characters to state your opinion
- Contact your Congressman:
- Search by state: https://www.house.gov/representatives
- Search by zip code: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
- Contact your Senator
- Locate by state: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm
Original Communication on National Interest Exception Waivers, specific to J1https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/exceptions-to-p-p-10014-10052-suspending-entry-of-immigrants-non-immigrants-presenting-risk-to-us-labor-market-during-economic-recovery.htmlSent: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Subject: State Department Update on National Interest Exception Waivers to Presidential Proclamations
While the Department is working hard on a phased resumption of routine visa services worldwide, we are providing the below guidance to clarify the process for applying for a National Interest Exception waiver to the various Presidential Proclamations (P.P. 9993, P.P. 9996, and P.P. 10052). Please feel free to share relevant portions of the below guidance with your constituents as needed.
US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The services currently provided by each embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. We are unable to provide details for each location. Please check post websites for post specific updates.
Waivers for certain nonimmigrant categories in P.P. 10052
Travelers who believe they meet a national interest exception may request a visa appointment at the closest Embassy or Consulate and a decision will be made at the time of interview. Travelers are encouraged to refer to the Embassy/Consulate website for detailed instructions on what services are currently available and how to request an appointment.
- For J1 visas, waivers are available in these situations:
- Travel to provide care for a minor U.S. citizen, LPR, or nonimmigrant in lawful status by an au pair possessing special skills required for a child with particular needs (e.g., medical, special education, or sign language). Childcare services provided for a child with medical issues diagnosed by a qualified medical professional by an individual who possesses skills to care for such child will be considered to be in the national interest.
- Travel by an au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or other nonimmigrant in lawful status from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state of a medical or other public funded institution.
- Childcare services provided for a child whose parents are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 or medical research at United States facilities to help the United State combat COVID-19.
- An exchange program conducted pursuant to an MOU, Statement of Intent, or other valid agreement or arrangement between a foreign government and any federal, state, or local government entity in the United States that is designed to promote U.S. national interests if the agreement or arrangement with the foreign government was in effect prior to the effective date of the Presidential Proclamation.
- Interns and Trainees on U.S. government agency-sponsored programs (those with a program number beginning with "G-3" on Form DS-2019): An exchange visitor participating in an exchange visitor program in which he or she will be hosted by a U.S. government agency and the program supports the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.
- Specialized Teachers in Accredited Educational Institutions with a program number beginning with "G-5" on Form DS-2019: An exchange visitor participating in an exchange program in which he or she will teach full-time, including a substantial portion that is in person, in a publicly or privately operated primary or secondary accredited educational institution where the applicant demonstrates ability to make a specialized contribution to the education of students in the United States. A “specialized teacher” applicant must demonstrate native or near-native foreign language proficiency and the ability to teach his/her assigned subject(s) in that language
- Critical foreign policy objectives: This only includes programs where an exchange visitor participating in an exchange program that fulfills critical and time sensitive foreign policy objectives.