Obtaining a J-1 visa to become a nanny or au pair in Colorado or elsewhere in the United States is a great way to experience the United States and earn an income. Nannies or au pairs must be between 18 and 26 years of age to participate.
To be eligible, nannies or au pairs must be proficient in spoken English and must be a secondary school graduate or equivalent. They must also complete at least six hours of academic credit or its equivalent at an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution unless in the EduCare program.
Childcare cannot exceed 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 45 hours per week. Au pairs are paid for their work according to the Fair Labor Standards Act as interpreted and implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor. Host families are required pay up to $500 toward the cost of the au pair’s required academic course work. Host families and au pairs must sign Host Family-Au Pair Agreements prior to the au pair’s placement in the host family’s home. In the event of questions regarding refunds or other adjustments, host families and au pairs should refer to their agreements. The Department of State does not have jurisdiction over contractual obligations.
Au pairs may not be placed:
• With a family that has an infant less than three months old unless a parent or other responsible adult is at home;
• In homes with children under two years of age unless the au pair has at least 200 hours of documented infant childcare experience;
• In families with a special needs child, as identified by the family. The au pair can work with a special needs child if s/he has identified prior experience, skill, or training in caring for special needs children. In this case, the host family must review and acknowledge the prior experience, skills, or training in writing; and
• In the homes of relatives.
The EduCare component of the au pair program is for foreign nationals providing childcare for school-aged children. The EduCare participant must complete an educational component of at least 12 semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent. EduCare is only for families that require childcare before and after school. EduCare au pairs may not be placed with families that have preschool children except if other full-time childcare plans have been made.
The EduCare au pair may work no more than 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 30 hours per week. Au pairs participating in the EduCare component receive 75 percent of the weekly rate paid to non-EduCare participants. EduCare au pairs must complete a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the program year. The host family is required to provide (up to) the first $1,000 toward the cost of the au pair’s required academic course work. Please refer to the regulations for details.
Duration: 12 months. An extension of 6, 9, or 12 months may be granted in certain cases, but contact your sponsor organization or an immigration attorney about program extensions.