Friday, May 17, 2013
If you’re over 30, and dream of working in another country, your visa options may be limited. However, there is still a chance of success.
Most childcare visa programs are limited to au pairs who are age 30 or below. Every country has different age limits for their designated visa programs which can be found on the GreatAuPair visa page.
There are other work opportunities outside of the au pair visa program that may be an option for you. Some countries have student visa programs without age limits. However, you are required to attend University classes and work just part-time in a family’s home. There are no restrictions to the type of work you do as a student, so look for jobs as a part-time tutor, language instructor, caregiver, housekeeper, or personal assistant. Be sure to check with the Consulate to inquire about the restrictions and make sure you’re not breaking any rules. For example, if you’re an American interested in studying in Italy, contact the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the US for the most up to date student visa information.
There are a number of jobs available in Canada, where there are no age limits as long as you have experience either caring for children or seniors. If you’re interested in immigrating to Canada, the Live-in Caregiver visa will allow you to become a permanent resident after you have worked three years on this visa program.
Greece and New Zealand have programs for candidates up to age 35. You can work as an au pair in Greece until you’re 35. New Zealand accepts 35 year olds into their working holiday programs and into their BUNAC student visa programs. Look for work/study and BUNAC study visas for your home country. Some of these are restricted by age, so, make sure to do some research before setting your sights on working in that special country.
Look into special arrangements between your country and other locations. There is a Japan-Philippine Economic partnership agreement that allows qualified nurses and certified caseworkers to live and work in Japan for 3-4 years after they complete Japanese language training.
Some countries have work permits that allow you to work at any age with family sponsorship. These open work permits are available in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
Look for places where you could go to teach English as a second language. China is looking for English speakers so they’ve recently launched a number of programs. Type “China embassy” in your search engine to find links to programs available in your country. US citizens can click here.
If you want to teach English in a foreign country, you will need to be sponsored by a company, rather than an individual host family. GreatAuPair only works with individual host families. However, we wanted you to know that there are ways to work outside of your home country if you’re willing to get creative and do some research.
Teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and sometimes senior care providers can also find jobs in almost any country as long as they are licensed and submit applications to schools, hospitals and senior care companies. While you may not find these jobs through GreatAuPair, you can take the experience you earned working abroad or at home and expand your search to find these positions.
Start your search by looking into your visa options first. We don’t want you wasting your time looking for jobs in countries where you’re ineligible to work.
We wish you the best of luck on your search!
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
We have a few questions in our registration that ask candidates about their passports and visas. So what’s the difference between a visa and passport? If I’ve been to another country, I have a passport for that country, right? Not exactly. Let me explain the difference between passports and visas.
Passports are the documents issued by the country you’re from which allow you to travel to other countries. For example, as an American citizen, I have an American passport. I’ve been to numerous countries, but I still only have one passport, issued by the USA. In fact, unless you have dual citizenship or are married to someone from another country, it’s pretty much impossible to have a passport issued from another country.
So what should I put down as my passport country? Well, if you have a passport, make sure you put where your passport is from. If you received it in Ireland, you’re going to want to put Ireland down as your passport country when completing your registration. 99 % of the time your passport is issued from the country where you were born. The only exceptions are when you marry someone from another country or apply for citizenship in another country. If you’re an EU citizen, you can look into acquiring a Schengen visa.
A visa is a little bit more complicated than a passport, and even more difficult to obtain. Just because you’ve lived in another country does not mean you necessarily have a visa. A visa can be issued by the government of a specific country for things like work, school, marriage, visiting as a tourist or other special situations. It is extremely rare to have visas for more than one country at the same time. Most visas are only good for a limited period of time from 3 months to 1 year. Normally you will only need to list that you have visa’s for one country (or no visas).
Those of you who are EU nationals do not have visas from EU countries. Your right to travel into all EU countries is based on your passport. EU nationals may have passports for their home country and for Schengen countries, but they will not have visas for any of the EU countries.
It’s important to list your visas accurately. Don’t list expired visas in your profile. Normally when you leave a country you have been visiting, you are not free to return on that same visa. Listing that you have a visa when it is no longer valid, is extremely frustrating and confusing to families when they are searching for a candidate that can legally work in their country.
What if you don’t have a visa right now, but are eligible or will have one soon? This would be great to mention in the “Introduction” section of your profile, but you might want to wait to officially list it in your profile once you have it.
Let’s say you’re a student studying abroad in France. You would then have a student visa for France, which you would definitely want to list in your profile.
Did you just realize that you accidentally listed that you have a passport for every country you’ve ever visited? Maybe you did this with your visas too? It’s an easy fix! Just log in to your account, and click on the “My Account” tab. From here, click on the “Edit Profile” link and find the passport and visa information on the third and final page of your profile information, on the “Experience” link. Make sure to click Save when you’re finished, to save the changes you’ve made!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
If you’re a US family looking to sponsor an international au pair for the J-1 au pair visa program, you can find information on requirements for sponsoring families and costs on our FAQ pages.
In order to qualify for the au pair program, candidates need to be between the ages of 18 and 26. You can review the au pair requirements here.
When you’ve found the perfect au pair, contact the GreatAuPair support staff to match you to the J-1 agencies who service your candidate’s country. All J-1 agencies give our families a “pre-match” discount that more than covers our subscription costs. There are fourteen agencies and their fees range between six and nine thousand dollars. Most are in the seven to eight thousand dollar range. Keep in mind that up to $6000 of your agency fee can be deducted from your taxes because this is a US Department of State sponsored visa program.
Agency fees include a background check and screening, the au pair’s round trip airfare to and from the US, a training course, and all visa and contract costs. The agency provides year round support to the family and au pair, and most agencies guarantee an additional placement if the original match doesn’t work out for some reason. The weekly stipend that the family is required to pay the au pair is $195.75 for 40-45 hours of childcare and help with light housekeeping.
If the cost of hiring an international au pair is overwhelming, consider restricting your search to American candidates and negotiate the salary, job duties, and benefits directly with the candidates. There are no age limits or job restrictions associated with hiring US citizens. You can also search locally for live-out positions, or across the country for live-in jobs. If you want to hire a more mature nanny, have an irregular work schedule, or require overnight care when you travel, a US candidate would be a better fit for your needs.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013
All of your hard work has finally paid off; you’ve been offered a great job and you can hardly contain your excitement! Before you start packing your bags and booking your tickets, take a look at these tips to ensure a successful match:
Does the job sound too good to be true? Hopefully it’s not, but send an email just in case to or click the Give Feedback link to ask us a question. This way we can check the family’s account history to see if there have ever been any complaints. If you know how to send their email as an attachment or can forward it with the full header information, that will allow us to double-check their IP location.
The family will want a reference or two from you, so why not ask them for some as well? It can’t hurt to ask for contact information for some of their past au pairs, housekeepers or personal assistants. You can call their previous employees and ask them some basic questions to help ease your mind. We have a great interview questionnaire available to subscribed job seekers on the site that might assist you in the interview process. If you are not a paid member, you can create your own list of questions asking how the family treated their previous candidate, why she left the family, if she’d work for them again, how the family was to work for and anything else you are concerned about prior to your arrival.
The last thing you want to happen is to show up in a new city and absolutely hate it! If you’re moving to a new place, make sure you research the city you’ll be moving to and find out if there are clubs in the area where you can continue your interests and hobbies. You’ll also want to double check and make sure you can handle any changes in weather! You can find unlimited information searching city names on any search engine. Don’t forget to search for networks of other au pairs to connect with ahead of time, and ask them questions about the area.
Ask for the family’s address and phone number and do some research on Google to see what comes up. You can also search their name in quotes “like this” to see if anything suspicious is found in your search. There’s no harm in a little detective work!
You may want to purchase a background check on one or both of the parents, just to be safe. There’s nothing wrong with asking, especially if you’re going to live in their home or fly across the continent to meet them! Background checks can be ordered when viewing the family profile by clicking on the “Report” tab.
Make sure to schedule a few phone calls or Skype chats before committing to a job. This will help you get to know the family better, as well as confirm that there are real people behind the screen! Use this time to ask questions about the job, or even have them take you on a little tour of their home with their laptop! If you need to sign up for a Skype account, you can do it for free here.
Try it Out
If you’re working for a local family, ask for a trial period to see how it goes before committing to anything. You can set up a day, or even a week to try things out with the host family to make sure that there isn’t anything about the job that makes you uncomfortable. This will also help you understand their expectations more completely, a definite plus when at a new job!
Make sure that you have a contract set up between you and the host family to cover all of the logistics. It helps to have this sort of information on paper so that you can easily reference it later rather than wondering about the details. If you’re a paid member, we have a sample contract available from the Support tab Resources column, http://www.greataupair.com/contracts.cfm that can be edited to suit your needs. This contract provides a way to document the verbal agreements made during phone calls and any agreements made via email. You will want to include hours, pay, overtime pay, and a termination clause for both the family and candidate, if things do not work out in the first 30 days of your stay. If you’re not a paid member, make sure to ask the family to download their copy of the contract so that you’ll have a copy of your own.
Have you ever gotten a good vibe when speaking to certain people? Make sure that in addition to all of the nervousness that comes with moving to a new location, that you’re able to determine if you’re compatible with the family. Ask them questions! Take your time getting to know them! Do this before you accept their offer. If you have any concerns, even if there is no good reason, listen to the whispers you receive. If you follow your intuition when accepting jobs, you will have far better experiences, than if you ignore the waving “red flags”. It’s been our experience that when someone calls about a bad experience, they always had small concerns they ignored. Listen to your own intuition and pay attention to what you hear!
Even if you’re experienced, you may want to take the time to review the information on “First time au pairs” and “Tips for a successful relationship” found here. It certainly doesn’t hurt to take another look!
Following these tips will definitely help to ensure you have a successful experience. Taking time to look into the family you’ll be working for and possibly living with will help ease your mind when you find yourself in a new city, state or country. Remember to take your time and trust your judgment. The GreatAuPair Support Team is always here to help!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The holidays are a great time to have extra time for bonding with the children you care for. However, keeping them occupied can be quite stressful, too! Here are GreatAuPair’s ideas on how to keep kids busy, entertained, while maintaining a stress-free attitude this holiday season. Enjoy!
- Make a Wish-List: This is one way to have the kids come up with ideas for you! Make a wish-list together of things you’d like to do together over the holiday break. Be careful that the wishes don’t get too wild—a wish for an “all-day shopping spree” might not come true, so be sure to remind the children to keep their wishes realistic.
- Encourage Reading: Even though school’s out, the learning doesn’t have to stop! Take regular trips to the library, make reading seem fun under a homemade fort in the living room, and perhaps even offer a reward for a certain number of books read over the break. Librarians are also quite happy to help children find books they’d like, so use this resource to your advantage! If the children are too young to read, help them find fun books they’d like you to read aloud to them.
- Go Outside: Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the outdoors. Depending on where you live, there might be cold-weather activities such a skiing or snowman-making to keep the kids occupied. If you’re in a more temperate climate, you may want to check out nearby hiking for older children. If you live in the United States, state parks often have children’s educational programs during the winter—some of these are even held indoors!
- Rock Climb: Rock climbing is a great skill to teach kids because it offers them a chance to problem solve, be active, and boost their self-confidence. There is nothing like getting to the top of a wall, looking down, and seeing what you’ve accomplished. If you’re not an experienced rock climber, check out nearby gyms that offer lessons, kids days/groups, etc.
- Arrange Play-dates: Coordinating play-dates with other neighborhood children can be an inexpensive and easy form of entertainment. It’s a good idea to have some games and snacks on-hand just in case.
- Get Crafty: Visit your local craft shop for ideas on fun projects. Or visit websites such as hwww.enchantedlearning.com/crafts and www.busybeekidscrafts.com/ to get ideas of crafts to make with everyday household items. Ask the kids for their ideas, too. They may have always wanted to try papier-mâché, making a hat, or even something as simple as a paper airplane.
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