How to become an au pair in America

Have you already done the Quick Check? Find out here how to become an au pair in the USA.

Young people from most countries in the world are able to become au pairs in the USA. However, citizens from countries, which do not maintain a diplomatic relationship with the USA, are an exception.
Please note, you need to apply through one of the 16 designated US au pair agencies if you wish to become an au pair in the USA! Furthermore, you need to be prepared to stay with your host family for at least 12 months. This minimum stay is defined by the J-1 VISA Exchange Visitor Programme for au pairs.

In order to legally work as an au pair in the USA, you will need this J-1 visa. You can only apply for this visa through one of the designated agencies mentioned above. These agencies (sometimes also called sponsors) charge au pairs varying amounts of money for their services in obtaining the visa and meeting the other official requirements of the US au pair program. 

When you use AuPairWorld to find a family in the USA, the process works as follows: 

Step 1: Find a family

Use AuPairWorld to find a suitable family.

Step 2: Choose an agency

Agree on one of the 16 officially authorized US au pair agencies with your host family.

Step 3: Contact your agency

Together with your host family, contact the agency which you have selected together and present yourselves as a so-called "pre-match". The agency will then be responsible for the subsequent legal and official matters of the au pair placement.

Step 4: Work with your agency to fulfil the visa requirements and prepare for your placement

This typically involves a number of steps that are mandated by the J-1 visa requirements for au pairs. The designated agency conducts a personal interview and checks at least three written references from non-family sources which you will have to provide. You will also be asked to submit a medical report showing that you can successfully participate in the au pair program. Furthermore, the agency will check if you have any sort of criminal record and also will have you take a psychometric test to determine your psychological fitness to be an au pair in the USA. 

Step 5: Obtain your visa

You or the agency you and your host family are working with will send your visa application to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Before your visa is granted you will need to have an interview at the embassy or consulate. Your visa will only be granted once you have a definite au pair placement through your agency. 

Step 6: Participate in the orientation program conducted by your agency

Your au pair stay in the U.S. will begin with a five-day orientation program conducted by the agency that is sponsoring you. At the end of the orientation you will meet your host family.

Useful links and sources

All regulations defined by the U.S. Department of State on the au pair programme in the USA

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

Log in to AuPairWorld


Security question

If you forget your password, you must answer a security question correctly. Only then will it be possible to reset your password and regain access to your profile. Please select a question now and enter an answer for it.