Antonella Mendoza is a dancer who will be living in Nashville, Tennessee for the next eleven months as part of an exchange visitor program.
Several years ago, Antonella Mendoza began to consider the idea of doing an exchange in the United States. Mendoza is a dancer by profession and her interest in the United States was not only in response to tourism, but also to learn more about dance, and take classes with international teachers.
Due to difficulties in obtaining a tourist visa, Mendoza opted for the option of obtaining an exchange visitor visa. That is, a J-1 visa. “This program makes it easier with the visa, with the cost because it is quite accessible, so I saw it as one of the strongest possibilities to be able to come. The program is exchange, work and study, that is, I am working here and I also have to study something (the visa requires it)”.
As explained by the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the J-1 classification is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting , demonstrate special abilities, receive training, or receive postgraduate medical education or training.
Exchange visitors include professors or academics, research assistants, trainees, teachers, specialists, Au Pairs or nannies, camp counselors, among others. In her case, Antonella, she was accepted into an Au Pairs program.
To be part of an Au Pair program, the participant must meet the conditions of the J-1 visa, which are the following:
- Not accept gainful employment beyond the hours and duties specified by the program and return home at the end of your 12-month program participation.
- Failing to meet the 12-month deadline and continuing to provide child care support services to a US family, which is illegal.
The Au Pair program promotes mutual cultural exchanges, both for the host family and for the participants from abroad. Through this program, participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and the family receives reliable and responsible foreign child care.
“In order to come you have to do a series of interviews with families that need a nanny, and after you coincide with a family (you have to like that family and you have to like that family), it's like they pay the ticket and you you stay at his house. They have to give you your own room with your own bathroom, and also a weekly schedule that is established with them, because there is a maximum number of hours you can work and they pay you in the week, ”he explained.
The requirements for the Au Pair program are as follows: Speak English; have high school or equivalent; be between the ages of 18 and 26, able to participate in a program (physical evidence required); complete an interview; and pass background screening, such as family ties, education, personal and professional references, among others.
At the end of the program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), allows people with a J-1 visa, regardless of the activities they have carried out during their stay in the country, to take an additional month to travel through the United States and carry out independent activities.
Learn more about Au Pair programs at the following link: https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/au-pair/
DIARIO SAN RAFAEL
AU PAIR IN AMERICA