Archive for the ‘Visa Information’ Category

Honolulu – Tropical Paradise for Au Pairs

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

hawaii2 Do you want to live where most Americans only dream they could live? Islands ranging from a tropical climate, to snow skiing on the Big Islands 14 thousand foot peaks, Hawaii is one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world and seems too good to be true! If steady warm weather and only 90 rainy days per year is what you prefer, Honolulu is for you!


You have six beautiful islands to hawaii12explore. Each inhabited island has a different pace and culture, ranging from the city life of Honolulu on Oahu, to the largely native culture on Molokai. Where else in the United States can you both swim in warm water, snow ski and visit a volcano all in one day?


hawaii snorkeling


Honolulu offers a wide range of land and water based activities including sports, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and even snow skiing or snowboarding.  A popular magazine named Honolulu the “fittest” city in the United States. The city offers year round activities such as Great Aloha Run, Honolulu Marathon, and Honolulu Triathlon.


Although Honolulu has no professional sports teams, it does have three venues for spectator sports such as baseball, basketball and volleyball at: Les Murakami Stadium, Neal Blaisdell Center Arena, Stan Sheriff Center and Aloha Stadium.

Howhawaii beach about a relaxing day at the beach? Waikiki is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, located on the south shore of the island of Oahu. It was once a retreat only for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800’s. Today, the area is filled with large resort hotels and hosts many events each year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.


Help the kids find Nemo at Waikiki Aquarium! Listen for the extremely vocal Common Mynah bird at Foster Botanical garden, Lili’uokalani Botanical Garden, or Walker Estate!



How about a day with your host family visiting the Honolulu Zoo? There are over 1,230 animals to see! Afterward, take a ride on Waikiki Trolley to see the sites throughout Waikiki, Honolulu and East Oahu; or plan to stay for a Snooze at the Zoo. Yes, they schedule overnight camping with activities – imagine the sounds of the animals during the night!


hawaii trees2

Do you like natural history? The Bishop Museum displays the state’s largest collection of natural history specimens and the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific culture artifacts.


Head to the Ke’anae Arboretum and botanical garden, to see the most colorful and unique trees on the planet. The bark of the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree changes color as it sheds, so no two are ever alike and each is constantly changing. You can drive along the Hana Highway west of Maui to see them or visit the arboretum for free.


Hawaii Mall

If shopping is your passion then you are in for a treat! Ala Moana in Honolulu is the largest mall in Hawaii and the 7th largest shopping mall in the United States with a total area of 2,100,000 square feet! Make sure you wear your walking shoes!


Diamond Head Theater is dubbed the “Broadway of the Pacific” and is the oldest performing arts center where music lovers go to enjoy live theater.


hawaii8Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest of its kind in the state, with over 50,000 works of art and is housed in First Hawaiian Center, the tallest building in Hawaii. You can enjoy two cafés, gardens, films and concerts at the theater as well as take a studio art class or workshop. Some events and certain days offer free admission to all.


Want to work on a language? The Hawaii Japanese School – Rainbow Gakuen holds its classes in Kaimuki Middle School in Honolulu, serving overseas Japanese nationals. In addition, Honolulu has other weekend programs for the Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish languages.



No matter what you love to do, it’s impossible not to have fun here and create life long memories with your new host family! Come see what Honolulu has to offer!


For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-512-360-0499, or contact us on skype at

GreatAuPair J-1 Au Pairs Volunteer at the New York City Marathon

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Au Pair in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dallas (or DFW – Dallas/Fort Worth as its most commonly known) is actually a group of several large & small cities and towns that make up one of the most diverse areas of Texas.

Fort Worth started out as a railroad and cattle town and still retains much of the ‘cowboy’ culture today.  In addition to its zoo and arboretum, the Fort Worth Stockyards and rodeo are major tourism draws and a great way to spend a day or weekend. This is where you will find the “wild west”.


Dallas, or the “Big D” is home to some of the best shopping, dining, arts, culture and history in the state. You can spend an afternoon with your host family at the Perot Museum where they feature activities for children, teens and families or enjoy a weekend at the Dallas Zoo.  The Dallas Arboretum is a dream in the spring where you can take a picnic and enjoy live music amongst the thousands of tulips. Dallas also has several farmers markets, museums, and sculpture gardens so there is never a shortage of things to do!


If shopping is your thing, there are several malls and outlet malls as well as vintage shops and craft festivals.


Weekends in and around DFW are always filled with options.  In the spring, there are farmers markets, baseball (both professional and minor league), art festivals, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Greenville Ave, food and wine festivals (Greek Fest, Taste of Addison, Chocolate Festival, and much more).  In the summer there are several water parks, lakes, Six Flags of Texas, and tons of shopping.  4th of July offers KaBoomtown in Addison, and fireworks in almost every town!


In the fall and winter, you can’t miss Oktoberfest in Addison, the Balloon Festival in Plano, train rides in Grapevine, Texas football games, or countless other activities.


Dallas is a 4 hour drive from Austin or San Antonio, and 6-7 hours to Houston, so weekend trips are a must!  Austin has a great music and art scene and is our state capital.  San Antonio is home of the Alamo, and the world famous Riverwalk, and Houston is close to Galveston, the beach, NASA and  Moody Gardens nature museum.

Complete your application today, so we can match you with our friendly Dallas/Ft Worth host families!

Can I still work in other countries if I’m over 30?

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!

How to Sponsor an International Au Pair to the US

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.