Two people on the beach holding a large American flag

Get Au Pair Ready: Eligibility

Our Au Pair in the USA programme is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience that sees you living and working with a host family in America. Of course, as you will be looking after people’s children, there are some very important eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to apply.

The Boring Stuff

In order to work as an au pair in the USA, you must apply for a J-1 visa (don’t worry, we help you apply for this). In order to gain a J-1 visa you must meet certain criteria, which are set out by the US Government. Any Au Pair agency, including Gap 360, must adhere to the legal requirements and are unable to make any exceptions to the criteria provided by the US Government.

The full list of eligibility criteria:

Au Pair applicants must:

  • Be aged between 18-26
  • Hold a full UK driving licence
  • Have at least 200 hours of childcare experience (non-family-related) and provide 2 references. Male applicants should have 500 hours of experience.
  • Have GCSEs or equivalent
  • Commit to 12 months as an au pair in the USA
  • Be fit, well, and without any serious medical conditions
  • Have never been treated for any type of mental health issue (such as anxiety, depressions, eating disorders etc)
  • Have never been convicted or cautioned for a criminal offence
  • Not hold US Citizenship and or have parents with US Citizenship
  • Have not been an au pair in the USA in the last 2 years
  • Not have children or have ever been married
  • Have never been denied a visa to the United States of America

The following things are not legal requirements but are preferred by host families and will dramatically increase your chances of finding an au pair position.

Au Pair applicants should ideally:

  • Not smoke
  • Be able to swim
  • Not have any visible tattoos (This doesn’t mean you can’t be an au pair! Lots of people with tattoos are au pairs in the USA! However, photographs of your tattoos must be uploaded to your application for host families to see. Some families may prefer an au pair without tattoos.

Eligibility and Visa requirements can seem overwhelming and scary. Don’t worry though! If you have any questions or concerns, our lovely Au Pair co-ordinator Nicola can talk you through them and put your mind at rest!

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