Extending Your Program
Au Pairs and Host Families have the option to extend their program beyond the Au Pair’s first year for an additional six, nine or twelve months. Au Pairs can choose to stay with the same host family or extend with a new one. Au Pairs and Host Families will receive information on the extension process about 4 months prior to the Au Pair’s program end date. Please wait for this information and make sure you think carefully about what you plan to do before submitting the paperwork.
***The deadline for sending in the extension documents is 60 days prior to the Au Pair’s program end date. A later submission of the documents will result in extensions being denied by the Department of State and the Au Pair will need to return home after the first year.***
Every extension requires approval from the Department of State. Therefore only au pairs and host families who are in good standing with the Au Pair Program are eligible to extend. Au Pairs need to have fulfilled their educational component before their first program year ends. They will also need to have attended all of their monthly meetings. Once an au pair’s extension is approved by the Department of State, Agent Au Pair will issue a new Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Visa Status (DS-2019 form) which should be kept together with the original form.
Please remember that international travel during the extension is not recommended. For more information on travel, please click here.
Extending with the same host family:
Most extending au pairs stay with their first-year family. The children and host families benefit from a more stable childcare environment, while the au pairs can spend more time with their new found friends, continue their classes and continue to experience the local U.S. culture.
Au Pairs and Host Families should discuss whether they would like to continue the placement for an additional 6, 9 or 12 months and inform the agency as soon as their final decision has been made (but no later than 60d prior to the 1st year ending).
Extending with a new host family:
Some Au Pairs decide to extend with a new host family as they, for example, wish to get to know another area of the US or work with different ages of children. Au pairs should cosider to extend with a new family for 12 months .
If an Au Pair decides to extend with a new host family, they should let the current host family know of their decision as soon as possible after the extension information email was received. They should also send the extension documents to Agent Au Pair as soon as possible so they will have enough time to interview and match with a new host family.
The extension fee of $367 is due upon match with a new family. Au Pairs must have matched 60d prior to the program end date. Should they not have found a new family by this deadline they can decide to return home at the end of the first year or pay the extension fee of $367 so we can file for the extension. This will allow the Au Pair to have 30 more days (until 30d before the program end date) to find a new host family. Should the Au Pair not find a new family within this time, Agent Au Pair will need to start planning the return home. Please note that the extension fee paid to the Department of State is non-refundable .
Is there an educational requirement during the extension period?
Yes. The educational component for a 6-month extension is 3 semester units (36 hours of instruction) and the host family contributes up to $250 toward this requirement. The educational component for a 9 or 12-month extension is 6 semester units (72 hours). The host family contributes up to $500 toward this requirement (Standard Au Pair Program).
When does Agent Au Pair need the extension documents?
All documents need to be sent to the Agent Au Pair office no later than 60 days before the au pair’s program end date in order to be considered for an extension.
PLEASE NOTE: If the required documentation is not received in a timely manner, the Department of State WILL NOT ACCEPT THE EXTENSION REQUEST. The sponsor has no ability to appeal or request a later date.
What are the costs associated with an extension?
Au pairs are responsible for paying a non-refundable amount of $367 in order to begin the extension process with the Department of State. The cost for host families will depend on the extension length. Information on cost for the host family can be found in the extension email that is being sent about 4 months prior to the Au Pair’s program end date.
What about health insurance during the extension period?
The health insurance will be extended to coincide with the new program end date. Please note that a new policy period starts at the time of extension.
Will an au pair who participates in the extension program still be granted a 30-day grace period for travel, and if so, when is it granted?
An au pair who is extended beyond the one-year program is granted a 30-day grace period at the end of the extension period. The Au Pair is only eligible for the 30-day grace period if the extension was completed successfully. During the extension period, au pairs can ONLY travel within the United States.
If the extension is completed successfully, departure tickets are purchased by the agency from the major airport closest to the au pair’s host family home. If an au pair would like to depart from a different airport, please contact the agency to confirm before finalizing travel plans.
Must an au pair renew the visa if s/he has an extended Form DS-2019?
Au pairs who extend and have a valid DS-2019 Form with the new Program End Date are legally
in the USA as long as they remain in good standing with the sponsoring organization. The visa the au pair originally obtained in the home country (in the passport) may be expired. This is OK as long as the DS-2019 Form is valid and the au pair does not leave the USA. Agent Au Pair strongly recommends that an au pair does not travel internationally during the extension year. In order to travel internationally, s/he will have to return to THE HOME COUNTRY to obtain another visa stamp and there is always the chance of denial. Please contact Agent Au Pair before attempting to return to your home country to apply for a new visa.The Department of State suggests that the Embassy be contacted to confirm the process and procedures.
For more information visit: www.travel.state.gov.
Can an extension period be changed?
No. For example, if a 9 month extension is requested and the host family and au pair change their
minds and decide to make it a 12 months extension- IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. Once the new Program End Date is determined by the Department of State it is final and cannot be changed.