Can au pairs currently enter the USA?
According to the current status, Presidential Proclamation 9993 (PP9993) is still in effect and thus an unlimited entry ban for all travelers who have been in a Schengen state in the last 14 days. Thus, only au pairs with a National Interest Exception (NIE) can currently enter the USA.
Do I need a negative COVID test even though I have an NIE visa with travel waiver?
Yes, as of January 25, 2021, all travelers with destinations in the U.S. must present a negative COVID test at the airport prior to check in. This test can be a PCR or an antigen test. As it currently stands, rapid tests are also allowed. The test must not be older than three days on the day of departure and must show a negative result. Airlines are instructed to verify these documents and deny transportation if passengers do not meet the requirements. Many airlines also require a completed and signed health certificate. We recommend all participants to get more detailed information on the websites of the respective airline before departure.
Do I have to go into quarantine in the destination country?
Whether and how long you have to be quarantined after entering the USA depends on many factors and is determined at state, or in some cases, even county level. We therefore recommend that all participants currently entering the U.S. check the CDC (Center of Disease Control) website in advance and determine, in consultation with the host family and the Area Director, whether, where and for how long they will be quarantined after arrival. You can find the respective local regulations in the CDC's Travel Planner.
When will the travel ban end?
According to the current status, the PP9993 and thus an unlimited entry ban for all travelers who have been in a Schengen state in the last 14 days is valid indefinitely until this entry ban is lifted by another Presidential Proclamation. If and when this will happen, nobody can say at the moment.
What is a National Interest Exception (NIE) and how do I qualify?
National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) are exceptions for which host families can qualify if, for example, they work in system-relevant jobs and are involved in fighting COVID-19. Au pairs can therefore only qualify for such a NIE through their host families. For more detailed information, please contact your account manager.
Should an au pair with a valid visa appointment go to this appointment?
Au pairs can still apply for J-1 visa appointments at embassies, if available.
Do au pairs who already have their visa need any special documentation to enter the U.S. after the Presidential Proclamation?
The J1 visa and the DS-2019 form still meet the requirements for entry into the US. However, due to the current indefinite travel ban, only au pairs with a NIE visa can currently enter the US.