The Au Pair Alternative

Hiring a Nanny for Your Family on a Temporary or Permanent Visa

Balancing quality childcare and a career has become a real dilemma in the United States.  Juggling activities, sports and taking care of our kids’ intermittent medical needs, has become unsustainable for even 2 parent homes.

In this article, we discuss how proper planning can help families succeed in hiring a nanny from abroad, and/or keep their Au Pair after the maximum time allowance through a cultural exchange program.  The Au Pair J-1 cultural exchange program provides temporary nannies for a one-to-two-year period. Au Pairs are limited by age and visa. After age 26, they are no longer eligible for the program.

However, families may begin the process of permanently hiring them through permanent sponsorship.  The process takes time, and early planning is essential.  First, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) must do a market test and certify the nanny position. Our lawyers work step by step with our parents to get the required labor certification for a nanny. The next step is filing the I-140 petition through USCIS and completing an application for permanent resident status on behalf of foreign nanny.

We also, help Consular process nannies.  If parents seek to hire a Nanny while the potential nanny is living overseas, we work with the National Visa Center (NVC). The first step is still certification through DOL. However, the application would be processed through the Department of State (DOS) NVC.

This is a great option, where future parents can plan for childcare before having children, or where the need is not immediate for a nanny. Processing times vary for Nannies depending on the DOS visa bulletin which our attorneys monitor regularly to keep our clients aware of wait times.

A final option available to hire a foreign nanny is through the H-2B visa worker program. We invite you to inquire about this limited option for nannies, which temporarily would allow a nanny to work in the United States for up to 3 years.

To schedule a consultation, you may email us at or call / text (703)966-0907. B&E Capital – Vassell Law Group,PC | | | Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for over 20 years.

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