Current Information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact
Last update: 01/27/2021
With the information on COVID-19 and its impact changing daily, we would like to provide you with the most current information that affects you as an Apex PROaupair Host Family.
The health, safety and welfare of our Host Families and Care Professionals is our top priority. We are continuing our normal business operations and are offering additional support for both Host Families and Care Professionals.
While we continue to receive J-1 visa ban exemptions to match German professional au pairs with American families, we have expanded our program to now offer American care professional options, as well. For more information, please visit us at www.ApexPROcare.com.
June 22, 2020 Executive Order
On June 22, an Executive Order was issued by the President ordering a temporary pause on entry of J-1 au pair visa holders to the United States through December 31, 2020. The order does not cancel out the visas of au pairs who are currently in the United States on an active program and it does not limit their ability to extend their program while they are in the United States.
For all professional au pair candidates who have not arrived yet, this order will result in a delay of their arrival until on or after January 1, 2021.
Professional au pairs who are currently in the United States with valid J-1 visas are still eligible to extend their programs. If they are in their first year, they can still extend for a 6, 9 or 12 month period. If they are in their second year, with a program end date before December 31, 2020, they are eligible for a special 6-month extension “exception”. If you would like more information about these extension options, please contact your Regional Director, Ariane Deutsch.
Apex PROaupair strongly recommends that professional au pairs should not leave the United States on a temporary basis for the remainder of the year. Re-admittance to the USA is never guaranteed, but under this order, it looks as though they will be denied entry. Their visas and programs will be continued as long as they remain in the United States.
We will be in touch with each matched family and care professional to discuss their options individually and to discuss next steps and alternatives with you.
Presidential Proclamation Visa Waiver
The following criteria qualify as Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations (10014 & 10052):
Travel to provide care for a minor U.S. citizen, LPR, or nonimmigrant in lawful status by an au pair possessing special skills required for a child with particular needs (e.g., medical, special education, or sign language). Childcare services provided for a child with medical issues diagnosed by a qualified medical professional by an individual who possesses skills to care for such child will be considered to be in the national interest.
Travel by an au pair that prevents a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or other nonimmigrant in lawful status from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state of a medical or other public funded institution.
Childcare services provided for a child whose parents are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 or medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19.
Applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification before the relevant P.P.s expire or within two weeks thereafter
Current recommendations by the US Department of State
The US Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Travel Advisory for all countries and recommends for all exchange visitor program providers to follow CDC guidelines for travel. Currently the CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential international travel. In addition there is a current Presidential order barring entry to the US for immigrants and non-immigrants who have visited the Schengen Area, (which includes Germany and Austria) within the lasts 14 days. Apex PROaupair will adhere to the ongoing guidance of the Department of State and the CDC.
We are reaching out to all affected Host Families and Care Professionals about individual circumstances.
Tips on how to support your Care Professional during difficult times
Your role as a Host Parent is crucial when it comes to supporting your Care Professional during difficult times. Here are some tips on how you can best support and guide them:
1. Show your Care Professional your appreciation!
A small “you are doing an amazing job” can go a long way towards making your Care Professional feel appreciated. Tell your Care Professional about how big of an impact he/she is making for your family during this difficult time. The new situation is a big adjustment for your Care Professional as well and it will make a big difference if you acknowledge that to him/her.
2. Be more available for your Care Professional!
Being far away from home and family during such an uncertain time can be stressful for your Care Professional. Practice empathy and understanding by putting yourself in her/his shoes and by being available for your Care Professional’s worries and concerns. Consider connecting to your Care Professional’s natural family back home to reassure them that your Care Professional is safe and cared for with you.
3. Encourage your Care Professional to practice self care!
Make sure your Care Professional is not forgetting about self care while possibly taking on additional tasks to support your family during this time. Encourage her/him to get enough rest, exercise, and to regularly connect with friends. Apex PROaupair is hosting a schedule of weekly online meetups for all our Care Professionals. Encourage your Care Professional to join us!
Information for Host Families currently hosting a Care Professional
Apex PROaupair strongly encourages all Host Families and Care Professionals to follow official guidelines and practice social distancing as much as possible in order to minimize exposure.
Based on the advice to avoid all non-essential travel. we are recommending for our Care Professionals to not make rushed decisions like aborting their stay abroad to fly home. This is only a recommendation and the final decision is up to the Care Professional. We ask you to contact us and coordinate with us in case your Care Professional still decides to go home early.
All Apex Care Professionals are covered by the international health insurance, which also covers all medically necessary treatments in the event of an illness due to the coronavirus. The fact that the coronavirus has now been classified by the WHO as a pandemic does not change this.
Information for Host Families currently in matching or waiting on their Care Professional to arrive
Apex PROaupair will be adhering to the guidance of the US Department of state and the CDC regarding travel. We are reaching out to all affected Host Families and Care Professionals to reschedule arrivals as needed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this might create for you and your family.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly how the situation will develop and how long the current restrictions will be in place. However, we are confident that Care Professional arrivals will be possible again in the near future.
We are committed to supporting all of our Host Families and Care Professionals and together we will navigate through these uncertain times.