Au Pair in the USA

Au Pair USA

Being an Au Pair in the United States is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Enjoy “The American way of life” with a Host Family! Discover cities such as New York, LA, Chicago or San Francisco through the Au Pair Experience.

Au Pair in the USA

  • Age: 18 – 26 years
  • Duration: 12 months. It is possible to extend the stay for 6, 9 or even 12 months.
  • Working hours: 45 hours per week (not more than 10 hours / day)
  • Holidays: 2 weeks of holiday for a 12 month stay. Au Pairs will also have at least 1,5 free and a free weekend each month.
  • Insurance: Paid by the Host Family
  • Pocket money: U.S. $ 780 per month (U.S.$ 195 / week)
  • Visa: All Au Pairs in the USA require a J-1 visa. You need to apply for this visa through one of the American Au Pair agencies, also know as Sponsors.


  • Be between 18 – 26 years of age
  • Have experience in childcare of at least 200 hours outside your family
  • Speak conversational English
  • Have at least a  secondary school certificate or higher
  • You have never had problems with the law
  • Have a driver’s license
  • Not being married or having children of your own
  • Non smoker and with good health


You can start your application to take part on the Au Pair program a year before you wish to start your stay! You will only need to follow these steps:

Complete the agency’s application form. This will help them to get to know you better and evaluate if they can find a family for you.  

2. Call
As soon as the Agency has all the documents they need, the program coordinator will call you to tell you if its possible to take part in the Program or offer you other options.

If everything is in order, you will get a date for a personal interview. This will be done in English and takes about two hours.

4. Forward to the partners
Afterwards, your application will be forwarded to the partner agency in the United States. They will send your documents to their Host Families.

5. Telephone interview and Placement
After exchanging a couple of E-Mails and some video calls, you can agree on a placement with a family. The agency will send the information about the family and the application forms to the visa service.

6. Visa
You have to make an appointment at the Embassy to get your visa.

7. Book the flight
You will get your flight ticket 1-2 weeks before the departure date.

8. Workshop in New York
During the 3 day workshop in New York you will learn all the most important information regarding education, first aids, and children’s security. Besides, you will have the chance to discover New York with other participants.

9. Meet with your Local Coordinator
After the arrival with your host family, you will meet your local coordinator who will help you in the USA and organize the „Au Pair Cluster Meetings“.

10. Extend your stay
You have the chance to extend your stay for 3, 6 or 12 months. The partner agency in the USA will take care of the ticket.


To be an Au Pair in the USA you need to apply for a J-1 Visa with the help of a local agency. Here are some important things you need to know about the application process:

The J-1 exchange-visitor visa can only be issued if you have applied through one of the National American Au Pair agencies. This visa is only valid if the stay is for an academic exchange / cultural program.

If you are a citizen of the EU, you must apply for the visa using the DS-2019 Form. This is provided by the sponsor agency.

When applying for the visa, you need to submit a background check, including your criminal record. You must also make an appointment and present your documents at the U.S Embassy in your country.

You also need: a valid passport, the electronic application form (DS-156), a biometric passport photo, and a stamped envelope (which sufficient stamps for your passport, payment confirmation of the Au Pair visa application, and proof of permanent residence in your home country).

Do not forget to contact a local agency and the United States Embassy in your residence country.



“Since I arrived to the orientation week in New York I was amused and excited to be in the USA” – Maria, Au Pair in the USA

“You can find the best education by traveling, and so began my adventure” – Hermann, Au Pair in the USA

Freetime and Travel

As an Au Pair in the USA you have the chance to attend a College course during the 12 months of your stay. This is actually a requirement of the J-1 visa and therefore, the courses need to meet the regulations set by the permit.  After the arrival, you can contact your coordinator to get more information about your options. Of course, you can also attend a language course.

Once you have supported your American Host Family during 12 months, you can use the 13th month to travel around the USA.

Au Pair Workshops

Au Pair agencies organize free information meetings for all those who wish to discover more about the program in the USA!

Agencies also offer Workshops in which you will learn more about the daily life of an Au Pair in the USA, your chores,  get ideas for children games and activities and advice on how to deal with homesickness and adapt to the American lifestyle.  You can also share your concerns and doubts with your advisors.