The visa for working in America as an Au Pair

Visas for America

“Au pair” means “on par” or “on equal terms”. Au pairs on our USA Exchange programme are international visitors who travel to the United States on a J-1 Visitor Exchange visa for 12 months to live with an American family and care for their children. AIFS sponsor your visa so that you can work for 12-24 months and then travel for 30 days around USA if you want to.

To qualify for the visa you must;

  • Not have a criminal record
  • be aged 18-26 years
  • have completed three years at high school
  • not intend to stay in USA after your visa expires

In March 2004 – the US Government introduced a visa extension to the 12 month visa – which you can apply for in your 9th month from USA. Visas can currently be extended by 6, 9, or 12 months if the family and nanny are happy to continue the match. 85% of our Kiwi nannies extend.

Getting the visa.

Once you are placed with a family we send you your sponsorship papers and visa application forms. The US Consulate now requires all applicants for J1 visas to attend interview in Auckland. The Consulate advises that visas will be issued on the same day of your interview where possible.

There is no working holiday visa available to USA for New Zealand nannies and au pairs.

Do I need a visa?

Yes – you cannot live and work in America like you can on a working holiday visa for the UK for example. The only visa that allows you to be an au pair or nanny is the J1 Au Pair Cultural Exchange Visa.