1- What are the requirements to be an Horizon au pair?
To become a Horizon au pair, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26, and reside in a country where Horizon has a representative. When you apply, you’ll need to provide two child care references, one character reference, a medical report and a police clearance report. In addition, you must be interviewed in English, complete a personality profile test and show proof of secondary school education.
2- How do I apply to be an au pair?
Fill out the Horizon application form. Once you have submitted this form, a Horizon office representative in your home country will provide you with a full application form and get you started in the process.
3- How long is the Horizon Au Pair USA program?
The program lasts for 12 months. If both you and your host family want to continue your placement, an extension option is available. Under this option, you may stay with you host family an additional 6, 9, or 12 months. Extensions must also be approved by the U.S. Department of State.
4- How long will I be able to stay in the United States after I complete my time with my host family?
Once you successfully complete your time with your host family, you may stay in the United States on the J-1 visa for an additional 30 days. You can use this time to travel around the U.S.; however, you are not permitted to work.
5- What will my responsibilities be as an au pair?
You’ll be required to provide up to 45 hours per week of child care. Part of your duties might include getting the children ready for school, preparing meals and packing lunches, bathing the children, cleaning play areas, doing the children’s laundry and making their beds. Because you’ll be living as an extended member of the host family, you should also be sure to clean up after yourself and care for your living space.
6- How much will I be paid?
Currently au pairs are paid about $195 per week. You’ll also receive room, board and a stipend of up to $500 to pay for 6 credit hours of classes at an accredited educational institution.
7- Do au pairs clean the house or do other domestic duties?
No. Au pairs are treated as an extended member of the host family. Your duties as an au pair will all relate to taking care of the children. These responsibilities may include picking up after the children, preparing some meals, doing the children’s laundry and performing certain regular chores. However, you will not be expected to clean the entire house, do the family laundry or to regularly prepare meals for the entire family.
8- Will I be able to take classes?
Yes. All au pairs on J-1 Exchange Visitor visas must complete 6 credit hours at an accredited educational institution. You will not be able to extend your stay without first completing the educational requirement.
9- Do I need to be able to drive a car?
Horizon doesn’t require you to be able to drive, but almost all host families need an au pair who is a safe and experienced driver. If you are a good driver, it will be easier for you to find a host family. In most American cities it is necessary to drive.
10- Will I have my own bedroom?
11- Can I do extra work for extra money while I’m an au pair?
No. This would be a violation of the terms of the J-1 visa.
12- Will I be able to travel?
Yes. Au pairs may travel freely within the United States. Under your J-1 visa, you’ll also be able to travel for one month after you complete your time with your host family. If you plan to travel outside of the United States with your host family, you must comply with the specific visa rules and regulations of the destination country. Be sure to research those regulations prior to departure. Also, you must be sure to carry your DS-2019 form at all times.
13- Will I have to pay any program fees?
To participate in the program, you will need to pay a Program Share Fee. The amount of the fee differs from country to country. The representative in your area will be able to provide you with specific details.
14- Will I have to purchase medical insurance while I’m in the United States?
Horizon Au Pair USA will provide you with accident and sickness insurance for the duration of your au pair program dates at no additional cost to you.