Posted in Au Pair Process

Simplified guide to be an Au Pair in USA

I like sharing things and I like making things easier, if not for me, at least the others who might be doing the same thing I do. This is a guide on how to make your J-1/Au Pair Visa application easier, cheaper and more efficient. Please note that this is specifically what I did, may vary when you apply sine things may change.

As soon as you decide to be an Au Pair, I suggest you prepare the money you’ll be needing because it happens really fast.

  1. Register in an Au Pair Designated Sponsor Organization.
  2. Make sure to list or register yourself as J-1 (they usually have other option) and complete the Au Pair Training (usually free of charge).
  3. Find a kind and loving host family. You’ll be interviewed by the family then the organization.
  4. At the same time, Authenticate the following Documents: College AND High School TOR including Diploma, Birth Certificate, CENOMAR and a complete medical check-up (the Agency usually provides a medical form to use or as a guide).
  5. Make sure you have a valid Driver’s License (you’re required to have an International Driver’s Permit***Link to how to get AAP**.
  6. Wait for the confirmation e-mail that says you have a Host Family Match.
  7. Follow the instructions in the e-mail. This is the part where they usually refer you to a Philippine-based agency to re-verify your documents. This is also the part where you’ll have to [pay the local agency]**SSAYEI feedback** to be able to move forward with the application.
  8. Schedule an appointment with US Embassy **Link to Visa Application instructions**
  9. As soon as you receive the Visa from Embassy notify your Agency. Trust me, after this, you’ll cram because it happens like a blink of an eye.

 

*Note: Please be sure that your Passport is valid for at least 2 years from the time you applied. Just to play safe.

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Posted in Au Pair Process

How to be an Au Pair in USA

Everyone has a dream country or a place he/she wish to visit. For most Filipinos, USA is a land of dreams… the Visa though. Applying for a tourist visa can be costly and theirs a higher risk of not getting approved, unless you have a really nice asset(s) in our home country. I’m happy to share what I did to get into the United States with no Visa problem and a single question from the Immigration Officer.

Basically an Au pair is a type of domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, Au Pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a monetary allowance for personal use. To make it sound or readable better, The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning “at par” or “equal to”, indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family.

To qualify for the Program here are the requirements:

  • Proficient in spoken English;
  • A secondary school graduate or equivalent; and
  • Between 18-and-26-years-old.
  • Capable of fully participating in the program as evidenced by the satisfactory completion of a physical.
  • Personally interviewed, in English, by an organizational representative who shall prepare a report of the interview which shall be provided to the host family; and
  • Successful in passing a background investigation that includes verification of school, three, non-family related personal and employment references, a criminal background check or its recognized equivalent and a personality profile. Such personality profile will be based upon a psychometric test designed to measure differences in characteristics among applicants against those characteristics considered most important to successfully participate in the au pair program.
  • Disclaimer: This requirement info has directly been copied from the best source: The US J-1 Visa Website. Please be reminded that, this is only the Gov’t requirement, each agency may have additional requirements.
  • Additional Requirement by Agency: Driver’s License

I’ll try to make this elementary as possible. And again, this is how I did it.

  1. Register with GreatAuPair.com then click on the tab J-1 Au Pairs.
  2. Fill out the form, submit scanned copy of docs and complete their online training.
  3. Look for a host family. (This is supposed to be the job of the Local Agency, that is if you want to give them commission — In my case NO)
  4. Start processing required/authenticated docs.
  5. After completing the requirements they will refer you to visit a local agency (in a different post). Please note that the Philippine government encourage us NOT to use any local Agency and apply directly, the thing is GAP referred me to them. I asked them why I have to coordinate with a local agency and I have to pay them –they diverted the topic which means they can’t answer it.
  6. Visit local agency and submit requirements, yes, again.
  7. Pay the fees and schedule a Visa Interview. (Visa application should be done by the Local Agency but I did it instead. Read my other post)
  8. Visa Interview Day at US Embassy. I was only asked one thing: “where are you going?” (Please note that you should respond with the City and State where you’ll be going and NOT ‘USA’. Lol; Other possible questions – What does your Host family do? How many kids? How old? What will you be doing there? For How long? How much is your Salary? Will you be attending school?)
  9. Receive/pick up Visa/Passport after a week.
  10. As soon as you receive your Visa, schedule an appointment with CFO.
  11. Attend CFO orientation.
  12. Get Ready to Fly!

 

TIP: Do not bring anything that might cause you not to be admitted in the Country. I followed all tips the CFO office gave me.

 

Oops. I’m Sleepy now. I’ll add more in the future. Thanks for reading!

*Disclaimer: All information in this blog is solely based on what I have gathered and personally experienced.

Posted in Au Pair Process

The expense of applying for J1/Au Pair Visa

Okay, I know I previously wrote how costly it can be when applying for a tourist visa to USA but I didn’t know it will also be THIS expensive to get the Au Pair visa. Initially, I thought I would only be paying for the fees in having my documents Authenticated (budget php 1000) and the Visa Application fee (php 8000), I was hell wrong. I will try my best to enumerate all the money I spent for the J-1 Visa.

Things to note:

  • Home: Cubao, Quezon City
  • DFA Office in Ali Mall (**Feedback hyperlink**)
  • NSO in East Ave. (**feedback**)
  • Medical Exam in Sparks Place Cubao
  • Local Agency in Makati (**SSYEI feedback hyperlink**)
  • US Embassy in Manila (**visa application instruction hyperlink)
  • Currency in Philippine Peso and Prices as of 2016, otherwise specified

 

March 15, 2016 – Day 1 : Process Required Docs

– Jeep to NSO (East Ave.): 7.00

– NSO Doc Fee: 335.00 (Birth Cert – 140; Cenomar – 195)

– Jeep going home: 7.00

March 16, 2016 – Day 2 : Process Required Docs

– Jeep to EDSA: 7.00

– Bus to Valenzuela: 28.00

– College TOR: 150.00 (Note: HS TOR is Required but I wanted to bring my College records too)

– Bus back to Cubao: 30.00

– Jeep going home: 7.00

March 17, 2016 – Day 3 : Process Required Docs

– Ask Mom to request for HS TOR and Diploma verified by DFA.

– Note: My HS is back in the province of Leyte which was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

– Mom needs to visit CHED office for Region 8 – she did on this day but Director is not around.

– It took 2 weeks before my mother was able to get a hold of the very “Busy”Regional Director. Got him signed the Docs.

– Once verified by Regional CHED office, it has to be verified by DFA, in Manila.

– Total Cost: 1110.00 (Doc Sent to Province – 180; Sent back to MNL – 180; Stamp/Signature from Ched – 250; Ched Snack – 500 [to get my papers moving])

March 18, 2016 – Day 4 : Process Required Docs

– Medical Check Up – Free (because the company I worked for had an Annual Check up)

– Med Cert – 350.00 (for the results, signature, etc.)

—— Waiting Game …… 2-3 weeks later ——-

April 6, 2016 – Day 5 : Process Required Docs

– Jeep to NSO: 7.00

– Receive NSO and Cenomar

– Jeep to EDSA: 7.00

– Bus to Valenzuela: 23.00

– Collect TOR

April 7, 2016 – Day 6 : Process Required Docs

– Jeep to DFA: 7.00

– DFA CAV fee: 800.00 [TOR, Birth Cert, Cenomar] (200.00/doc for Rush after a day; 100.00/doc for Regular after 1 weeks)

– Bus to Magallanes (Heading to Local Agency): 30.00

– Jeep to City Land, Makati: 7.00

– Submit Photocopy/unauthenticated Docs (Local Agency Feedback in different Post)

– Jeep going back to Cubao: 35.00

– Tricycle going home: 25.00

April 11, 2016 – Day 7 : Process Required Docs

– Jeep to EDSA: 7.00

– Bus to Magallanes: 30.00

– Jeep to Makati: 7.00

– Show the Office your Authenticated Copy of Docs (Note: YOU keep the CAV)

– The Local Agency will now provide you the Banking details and the Fees you have to Pay

– Jeep to EDSA: 7.00

– Bus to Cubao: 35.00

– Tricycle going Home: 25.00

April 12, 2016 – Day 8 : (Real) Application Process Start

– Jeep to Farmer’s Cubao/RCBC: 7.00

– Deposit Local Agency/Program Fee: USD 1,200 (php 58,400 – Tip: Request a copy of deposit slip from the Bank)

– Bus to Magallanes: 30.00

– Jeep to Makati: 7.00

– Submit a copy of Program Fee Deposit Slip; Then they’ll give you another instruction to pay for the VISA Application Fee (you can get this by yourself online)

– Jeep to EDSA: 7.00

– Bus to Cubao: 35.00

– Tric Home: 25.00

April 14, 2016 – Day 8 : (Real) Application Process Start

– Tric to BPI: 25.00 (Note: US Visa Application  can only be paid in BPI, bring the receipt number or the piece of paper the Agency gave you because the bank and you will need it)

– Deposit Visa Application fee: 7,860 (TIP: Pay this before 10am so you can schedule an Appointment 4 hour after. Do not repeat my mistake, I deposited after Lunch and I had to wait until 4pm the following day to schedule an appointment. Every minute counts since a lot of people is applying for a visa).

– Tric going home: 25.00

April 19, 2016 – Day 9 : (Real) Application Process Start

– I was lucky to get the single available spot just a couple of days after I paid.

– Uber going to US Embassy: 280.00 (Don’t stress yourself with traffic, you have to look pleasant in front of the Consular Officer)

– Interview Info in diff post.

– FX going to EDSA: 35.00

– Bus to Cubao: 25.00

– Tric going Home: 25.00

May 13, 2016 – Day 9 : CFO Orientation

– FX to Buendia: 50.00

– Taxi Buendia to CFO Office: 70.00

– CFO Fee: 450.00

– Pedecab Back to Buendia: 50.00

– FX back to Cubao: 50.00

– Tric going Home: 25.00

 

—– After two months of processing and 3 weeks after getting approved —-

May 18, 2016 – Flight Date to USA

– Uber to Airport: 305

– Travel Tax: 1,650

Total: 72,519.00

> Is this cash-out worth it? Follow my future blog on my experience.

Disclaimer: The total does not include the photocopy fees, snacks and waters I purchased. I’m a thrifty person so I bring food/water whenever I can.

**Please note that I am still working with other post/links and I’ll try to update the soonest.