On June 22, 2020 the White House issued a proclamation temporarily suspending NEW J nonimmigrant visas for Au Pairs until December 31, 2020. This proclamation is a continuation of proclamation 10014, issued on April 22, 2020.
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. U.S. Embassies worldwide have suspended routine visa services in response to proclamation 10014.
The following Au Pairs are delayed in obtaining a visa:
- Applying and Available Au Pairs
- Au Pairs matched with families still in their home country without visas
The following Au Pairs are NOT impacted by the new suspension:
- Au Pairs matched with families still in their home country with approved visas
- 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’s Perspective
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, here are ways you can make your voice heard:
- 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
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.