What happens if your au pair decides to get married– not just engaged, but actually married — during her year with your family?
We have our first au pair. She is from China and she has been with us since July.
She met a man and is planning on getting married in a few days. She wants to stay in the US and in order to do so she has to get married 6 months before her visa expires.
I thought I read somewhere on this site that au pairs need to be single to maintain their J-1 visa. Is that true? She went to see an immigration lawyer and she told me he called the au pair agency and asked if an au pair needed to be single and the agency said no. She does not want me to tell the agency she is getting married.
Do au pairs need to be single?
Dear Host Mom,
We’ve never had that question before! We’ve heard about au pairs looking for husbands, but never one getting married while still being and still wanting to be an au pair- legally- in the US.
If I were you, I’d start looking for a new au pair, regardless of what the rules say. Here’s why:
First, unless you (and your au pair) are willing and able to dramatically reorganize your interpersonal and working relationships, this looks like a situation that will end poorly.
An au pair whose primary concern is either his or her romantic partner or immigration status is not a person who will necessarily be able to care for your kids with the attention and commitment your kids deserve.
Second, I think I might feel like my family and I were being used, or at the very least ‘taken advantage of’, and this would certainly shake my trust in our au pair. It’s such a violation of the psychological contract that I’d have a hard time knowing whether to trust her again.
Of course, you know your au pair, and you may have a relationship with her that’s so great you’re ready to readjust. Let us know how it goes!