Update from AuPairCare on Au Pair Arrivals and Executive Orders

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Au Pair COVID-19 Travel Information

We hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy, and we thank you for your commitment to the program. We value your support and partnership, especially during such challenging and uncertain times. We’d also like to share a brief update.

  • President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation on January 25th, 2021 to continue the U.S. entry restrictions already in place and has added South Africa, which will go into effect Saturday, January 30th. At the moment, there is no sign that this will impact visa appointment scheduling, and we recommend continuing the visa application process as outlined by your local overseas representative and subject to Embassay guidance. There is no action needed on your part at this time, but please be aware that program arrival dates may need to be rescheduled as needed, and we will contact you if that is the case. Please rest assured that we are staying up to date on travel restrictions and will be updating this page regularly.
  • The CDC will now require all international arrivals to show proof of COVID-19 negative test or recovery before departing for the US. That means any au pairs arriving after January 25, 2021 will need to get tested for COVID-19 no more than three days before their flight departs and provide negative results to the airline in order to travel to the U.S. It is extremely important that au pairs follow these guidelines in order to ensure a safe and on time arrival. Au pairs are responsible for their own tests and for any flight fees incurred if they do not get tested within the given window. This order affects all international arrivals into the U.S. regardless of visa status. Please review our FAQ document covering Questions & Answers from the CDC website with added and highlighted au pair related details.

We are also very happy to see some embassies have resumed the scheduling of regular J1 visa appointments, in addition to the processing of National Interest Exceptions.

  • While this is encouraging progress, unfortunately, some embassies have had to slow down their visa scheduling process due to COVID-19 and reduced staffing. Additionally, travel restrictions still remain in place for some regions.
  • It is possible that we may need to reschedule your program arrival date. This will depend on the timing and outcome of visa interviews and that is dependent on the local embassy. We understand that this is incredibly frustrating but know that we continue to work diligently with our local overseas representatives to monitor and advocate for a resumption of visa services across the board.
  • We ask that au pairs should update their portal with visa scheduling information when they have it and reach out to their local representative with any questions. 

Thank you again for your continued support of the au pair program during these difficult times. We witness daily the benefits that international cultural exchange brings to all participants and we look forward to joining au pairs and host families together very soon.

* * * * * * 

We understand that you may have questions about travel restrictions and visa scheduling in embassies around the world. Please see below for a short summary of some of the current restrictions in place around the world that may impact your arrival, as well as information about embassies that are currently open and scheduling appointments. Please note that this not an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to confirm an individual country's embassy openings. Further country-specific details are provided by the Department of State. Click for visa wait-time information or country-specific travel advisories.

Current travel restrictions by country:
Entry to the US is not currently permitted from the following countries, with no current end date. National Interest Exception travel waivers may be available for eligible applicants at Embassy discretion.

  • Brazil
  • Schengen Region (Europe)
  • China
  • South Africa
*Information last updated 2/23/2021

Embassies scheduling appointments:

  • Chile
  • Japan
  • Colombia*
  • Mexico
  • Denmark**
  • South Africa**
  • Ecuador
  • Spain**
  • El Salvador
  • Sweden**
  • Germany**
  • Thailand
  • Iceland**
  • Turkey*

*Information last updated 2/23/2021

*Please note that while these Embassies are scheduling some appointments, there may be a wait for an appointment or appointments may be re-scheduled.
**Please also note that there are still travel restrictions for countries in the Schengen Region and South Africa.


We announced recently that a preliminary injunction lifts the Presidential Proclamation (J1 visa suspension) for plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Presidential Proclamation 10052. The plaintiffs in the case are: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Retail Federation, TechNet, and Intrax. Intrax is AuPairCare’s parent company.

US consulates have now received updated guidance regarding this court order from the Department of State and it is our understanding that AuPairCare participants will be evaluated for a visa as per normal processing, as AuPairCare’s parent company, Intrax, is a named plaintiff in the case. Please visit the Department of State's guidance to Embassies here.

* * * * * * 

Host families with scheduled arrival dates do not need to take any action at this point. We are working with our overseas partner offices to schedule emergency visa appointments for matched au pairs according to the Department of State guidance. We will keep host families informed as we learn more about the process at each embassy. While the Department of State guidance is very encouraging, we have to bear in mind that many embassies and consulates are still operating reduced hours, with reduced staffing due to COVID. AuPairCare does not have any control over visa appointment scheduling. There are also travel restrictions still in place for some countries which we still need to take into account. For more information about what this means for you and your au pair, please contact your Matching Expert or see our FAQs

We are excited about this forward momentum and path to future arrivals and will continue to vigorously advocate for the au pair program.


AuPairCare and its parent company, Intrax, have continued to advocate with the U.S. Department of State and key U.S. Congressional leaders to champion the J1 cultural exchange program during these very challenging times. We are pleased to share a further positive update regarding the Proclamation.

Intrax, AuPairCare’s parent company, in a lawsuit together with the US Chamber of Commerce, has successfully challenged the President’s Proclamation. On Thursday, October 1st, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs of the lawsuit, which includes Intrax. The order takes effect immediately and prevents the government from enforcing the President’s ban that temporarily suspended new J1 visas for 2020. A final trial to confirm the judge’s order must also take place, and we are hopeful for a final positive outcome.

While this is encouraging news, there are a lot of outstanding questions that will need to be addressed as we wait for the U.S. State Department to release guidance in response to the ruling. We thank you for your patience and continued support of the program during these challenging times, and upon receiving further guidance from the Department of State, we look forward to providing additional information as quickly as possible. For further details on the injunction, please visit this New York Times article


While AuPairCare is disheartened by President Trump’s Proclamation on Monday, June 22, which announced the suspension of new non-immigrant visas, including au pair, through the end of the year, we are encouraged by the exceptions to this proclamation for some host families who meet specific criteria. National Interest Exception criteria for host families include:  

  • Host families who are members of the medical community who are caring for those who have contracted COVID-19; and/or those involved in research related to COVID-19. 
  • Host families who have children who may require specific care such as: medical, special education, or sign language and who have been diagnosed by a qualified medical individual.
For questions regarding the National Interest Exception, please contact your Matching Expert. Their details can be found in the Contact Us section of your portal. Please also see our Frequently Asked Questions here.

JULY 21, 2020 UPDATE

The Department of State recently announced exceptions to the President's Proclamation that suspended the issuance of new J1 visas in 2020. These National Interest Exceptions apply to host families who meet specific criteria. Host families who meet the exception criteria set by the Department of State may have the option of a 2020 arrival date. You can review our complete list of 2020-2021 Arrival Dates here. Please note that dates may be subject to change. 

National Interest Exception criteria for host families include:  

  • Host families who are members of the medical community who are caring for those who have contracted COVID-19; and/or those involved in research related to COVID-19. 
  • Host families who have children who may require specific care such as: medical, special education, or sign language and who have been diagnosed by a qualified medical individual.

The au pair sponsor community is seeking additional clarification and guidance from the U.S. Department of State regarding the National Interest Exceptions and we anticipate receiving updated information within the next few weeks. The U.S. Department of State has not issued any additional processes or procedures for requesting a National Interest Exception.

The next step for host families is to review the National Interest Exception criteria. If you believe you qualify for an exception, please reach out to your Matching Expert; their contact details can be found in your Host Family Portal. AuPairCare can provide a template letter that host families can personalize and provide to their au pair as the letter explains the unique circumstances and necessity for a National Interest Exception. We will also work with our overseas office and your au pair to obtain the earliest visa appointment possible - please bear in mind when making plans for your au pair's arrival that many embassies mandate a 30 day window of entry to the US upon approval of the NIE visa. AuPairCare is doing its utmost to support host families and au pairs who want to try and request this exception while understanding we do not have control over visa appointments at embassies and consulate offices around the world, nor influence as to which visas are approved or denied.

AuPairCare is disheartened by President Trump’s Proclamation on Monday, June 22, which announced the suspension of new visas for a number of non-immigrant visa categories through the end of the year. This suspension sadly includes the au pair program.

For current au pairs already in the U.S., this will not affect your program participation. Our understanding is that this Executive Order will also not affect au pairs who have an approved visa and are awaiting arrival, or those who want to participate in the extension program. 

As stated in the executive order, within 30 days of June 24, 2020 there will be a review and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications. AuPairCare has been advocating for the Au Pair and J1 programs to be excluded from the President's proclamation and will continue to work with the Alliance for International Exchange to educate policymakers on how important the au pair program is to working families in the U.S. to help get the economy back up and running.

AuPairCare will continue to service the thousands of participants we have on program, and we will continue to strongly advocate for the au pair program. AuPairCare's mission is to connect people and cultures. We witness daily the benefits that international cultural exchange brings to all participants and are saddened by this latest proclamation and its impact on our global community.  We will continue to strongly advocate for the au pair program and will keep you updated regarding additional guidance on exemptions and/or waivers.

We are working with the Alliance for International Exchange and other sponsors on the #SaveJ1 Campaign. Among the first steps in our collective advocacy efforts is to harness the power of social media, share stories about cultural exchange, and spread the word about this important campaign. We urge you to share AuPairCare's upcoming content, use this hashtag in social media posts, or reference this social media toolkit for content ideas. Together, we can #SaveJ1!

Guidance for Host Families and Au Pairs With a Confirmed Match but no Visa

For now, we encourage you to talk with your au pair or host family about a new date for arrival in 2021. You can review our Virtual Academy arrivals scheduled through June 2021 here. There will be no fees associated with changing your arrival date.

For further information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions document.

Thank you for your continued support.

Quality care for every family size

Changing daycare schedules, using vacation days for sick days, and increasing costs as families grow - these are a few reasons that many parents choose the stability that comes with an au pair. Our transparent pricing empowers you to budget your childcare for the entire year:

  • Costs around $1,500 a month or around $8 an hour
  • 45 hours a week on a schedule you choose
  • Choose to host an au pair for as little as 6 months or up to 2 years
  • Program costs remain the same - no matter how many children are in the family

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