One of the most popular reasons for applying for a J1 visa to live and work temporarily in the United States is to become an au pair. There is a special J1 visa category for au pairs, with a range of conditions and benefits attached. If you want to work as an au pair in the States then a J1 visa is essential. Find out all about the J1 visa for au pairs below and what the visa entitles you to once you are in America.

Through the au pair program you are entitled to provide paid child care services to a family in the United States for a set period of time. You are allowed to work for up to 10 hours a day, for no more than 45 hours a week. During this period of working you are entitled to be paid for your child care work in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which means you are paid a living wage that corresponds to the wage of a US citizen doing the same job.

There are some conditions you need to be aware of if you want to work as an au pair in the United States. First of all, you need to have a good level of spoken English. Secondly, you must participate in an academic course of study for at least six hours while you are in America, and this must take place at a recognized educational institute. Don’t worry if you cannot afford to do this, your host family is required by law to pay up to $500 towards your course work.

You cannot be placed with a family where the child or children are less than three months old, unless you are working with a parent or another responsible adult to look after the child. If you have less than 200 hours of child care experience you cannot be placed in a family where the child is under two years of age.