J Exchange Program

Sec. 514.31  Au pairs.

 (a) Introduction. These regulations govern Agency-designated
 exchange visitor programs under which foreign nationals are
 afforded the opportunity to live with an American host family and
 participate directly in the home life of the host family while
 providing limited child care services and attending a U.S.
 post-secondary educational institution.

 (b) Program designation. The Agency may, in its sole discretion,
 designate bona fide programs satisfying the objectives set forth
 in paragraph (a) of this section. Such designation shall be for a
 period of two years and may be revoked by the Agency for good
 cause.

 (c) Program eligibility. Sponsors designated by the Agency to
     conduct an au pair exchange program shall;
 (1) Limit the participation of foreign nationals in such programs to
     not more than one year;
 (2) Limit the number of hours an au pair participant is obligated to
     provide child care services to not more than 45 hours per week;
 (3) Require that the au pair participant register and attend classes
     offered by an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution for not
     less than six semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent;
 (4) Require that all officers, employees, agents, and volunteers
     acting on their behalf are adequately trained and supervised;
 (5) Require that the au pair participant is placed with a host family
     within one hour's driving time of the home of the local
     organizational representative authorized to act on the sponsor's
     behalf in both routine and emergency matters arising from the au
     pair's participation in their exchange program;
 (6) Require that each local organizational representative maintain a
     record of all personal monthly contacts (or more frequently as
     required) with each au pair and host family for which he or she is
     responsible and issues or problems discussed;
 (7) Require that all local organizational representatives contact au
     pair participants and host families twice monthly for the first two
     months following a placement other than the initial placement for
     which the au pair entered the United States.
 (8) Require that local organizational representatives not devoting
     their full time and attention to their program obligations are
     responsible for no more than fifteen au pairs and host families;
     and
 (9) Require that each local organizational representative is provided
     adequate support services by a regional organizational
     representative.

 (d) Au pair selection. In addition to satisfying the requirements of Sec.
     514.10(a), sponsors shall ensure that all participants in a designated
     au pair exchange program:
 (1) Are between the ages of 18 and 26;
 (2) Are a secondary school graduate, or equivalent;
 (3) Are proficient in spoken English;
 (4) Are capable of fully participating in the program as evidenced by
     the satisfactory completion of a physical;
 (5) Have been personally interviewed, in English, by an organizational
     representative who shall prepare a report of the interview which
     shall be provided to the host family; and
 (6) Have successfully passed a background investigation that includes
     verification of school, three, non-family related personal and
     employment references, a criminal background check or its
     recognized equivalent and a personality profile. Such personality
     profile will be based upon a psychometric test designed to measure
     differences in characteristics among applicants against those
     characteristics considered most important to successfully
     participate in the au pair program.

 (e) Au pair placement. Sponsors shall secure, prior to the au pair's
     departure from the home country, a host family placement for each
     participant. Sponsors shall not:
 (1) Place an au pair with a family unless the family has specifically
     agreed that a parent or other responsible adult will remain in the
     home for the first three days following the au pair's arrival;
 (2) Place an au pair with a family having a child aged less than three
     months unless a parent or other responsible adult is present in the
     home;
 (3) Place an au pair with a host family having children under the age
     of two, unless the au pair has at least 200 hours of documented
     infant child care experience;
 (4) Place the au pair with a family unless a written agreement between
     the au pair and host family outlining the au pair's obligation to
     provide not more than 45 hours of child care services per week has
     been signed by both; and
 (5) Place the au pair with a family who cannot provide the au pair with
     a suitable private bedroom.

 (f) Au pair orientation. In addition to the orientation requirements set
     forth herein at Sec. 514.10 all sponsors shall provide au pairs, prior
     to their departure from the home country, with the following
     information:
 (1) A copy of all operating procedures, rules, and regulations,
     grievance procedures, and the Agency's written statement
     regarding the au pair program which govern the au pair's
     participation in the exchange program;
 (2) Detailed profile of the family and community in which the au pair
     will be placed;
 (3) A detailed profile of the educational institutions in the community
     where the au pair will be placed, including the financial cost of
     attendance at these institutions;
 (4) A detailed summary of travel arrangements; and
 (5) A complete and thorough pre-departure package clearly describing
     child care responsibilities and expectations and enumerating
     behavior that is unacceptable.

 (g) Au pair training. Sponsors shall provide the au pair participant with
     child development and child safety instruction, as follows:
 (1) Prior to placement with the host family, the au pair participant
     shall receive not less than eight hours of child safety instruction no
     less than 4 of which shall be infant-related; and
 (2) Prior to placement with the American host family, the au pair
     participant shall receive not less than twenty-four hours of child
     development instruction of which no less than 4 shall be devoted to
     specific training for children under the age of two.

 (h) Host family selection. Sponsors shall adequately screen all
     potential host families and at a minimum shall;
 (1) Require that the host parents are U.S. citizens or legal permanent
     residents;
 (2) Require that host parents are fluent in spoken English;
 (3) Require that all adult family members resident in the home have
     been personally interviewed by an organizational representative;
 (4) Require that host parents have successfully passed a background
     investigation including employment and personal character
     references;
 (5) Require that the host family has adequate financial resources to
     undertake all hosting obligations;
 (6) Provide a written detailed summary of the exchange program and
     the parameters of their and the au pair's duties, participation, and
     obligations; and
 (7) Provide the host family with the prospective au pair participant's
     complete application, including all references.

 (i) Host family orientation. In addition to the requirements set forth at
     Sec. 514.10 sponsors shall:
 (1) Inform all host families of the philosophy, rules, and regulations
     governing the sponsor's exchange program and provide all families
     with a copy of the Agency's written statement regarding the au pair
     program;
 (2) Provide all selected host families with a complete copy of
     Agency-promulgated Exchange Visitor Program regulations
     including the published supplemental information;
 (3) Advise all selected host families of their obligation to attend at
     least one family day conference to be sponsored by the au pair
     organization during the course of the placement year. Host family
     attendance at such a gathering is a condition of program
     participation and failure to attend will be grounds for possible
     termination of their continued or future program participation; and
 (4) Require that the organization's local counselor responsible for the
     au pair placement contacts the host family and au pair within forty
     eight hours of the au pair's arrival and meets, in person, with the
     host family and au pair within two weeks of the au pair's arrival at
     the host family home.

 (j) Wages and hours. Sponsors shall require that au pair participants:
 (1) Are compensated at a weekly rate based upon 45 hours per week
     and paid in conformance with the requirements of the Fair Labor
     Standards Act as interpreted and implemented by the United States
     Department of Labor;
 (2) Do not provide more than 10 hours of child care on any given day,
     nor more than 45 hours of child care in any one week;
 (3) Receive a minimum of one and a half days off per week in addition
     to one complete weekend off each month; and
 (4) Receive two weeks of paid vacation

 (k) Educational component. Sponsors shall require that during the
 period of program participation, all au pair participants are
 enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution for not less
 than six hours of academic credit or its equivalent. As a
 condition of program participation, host family participants must
 agree to facilitate the enrollment and attendance of the au
 pair and to pay the cost of such academic course work in an
 amount not to exceed $500.

 (l) Monitoring. Sponsors shall fully monitor all au pair
 exchanges, and at a minimum shall:
 (1) Require monthly personal contact by the local counselor with
 each au pair and host family for which the counselor is
 responsible.  Counselors shall maintain a record of this contact;
 (2) Require quarterly contact by the regional counselor with each
 au pair and host family for which the counselor is responsible.
 Counselors shall maintain a record of this contact;
 (3) Require that all local and regional counselors are appraised
 of their obligation to report unusual or serious situations or
 incidents involving either the au pair or host family; and
 (4) Promptly report to the Agency any incidents involving or
 alleging a crime of moral turpitude or violence.

 (m) Reporting requirements. Along with the annual report required
 by regulations set forth at Sec. 514.17, sponsors shall file with
 the Agency the following information:
 (1) A summation of the results of an annual survey of all host
 family and au pair participants regarding satisfaction with the
 program, its strengths and weaknesses;
 (2) A summation of all complaints regarding host family or au
 pair participation in the program, specifying the nature of the
 complaint, its resolution, and whether any unresolved complaints
 are outstanding;
 (3) A summation of all situations which resulted in the placement
 of an au pair participant with more than one host family;
 (4) A report by a certified public accountant attesting to the
 sponsor's compliance with the procedures and reporting
 requirements set forth in this subpart;
 (5) A report detailing the name of the au pair, his or her host
 family placement, location, and the names of the local and
 regional organizational representatives; and
 (6) A complete set of all promotional materials, brochures, or
 pamphlets distributed to either host family or au pair
 participants.

 (n) Sanctions. In addition to the sanctions provisions set forth
 at Sec. 514.50, the Agency may undertake immediate program
 revocation procedures upon documented evidence that a sponsor has
 failed to:
 (1) Comply with the au pair placement requirements set forth in
 paragraph (e) of this section;
 (2) Satisfy the selection requirements for each individual au
 pair as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section; and
 (3) Enforce and monitor host family's compliance with the stipend
 and hours requirements set forth in paragraph (j) of this
 section.

[60 FR 8552, Feb. 15, 1995]

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------