And just like that, the Presidential Executive Order (P.P. 10052) expired on March 31, 2021. What does this mean exactly? Simply put, it means that qualifying individuals interested in applying for the J-1 Au Pair visa category will no longer be prohibited from doing so. Cultural exchange programming is back on track, but will require some time before it is fully revived and restored to pre-Covid times.
Navigating the road ahead may still be challenging with pending travel restrictions and the U.S. Department of State’s response to fully resuming visa services. Country specific travel bans are still in effect and will continue to fluctuate restricting visitors from entering the U.S. Likewise, visa services will vary as consulate officials safely return to full capacity around the world.
Although we won’t see an immediate influx of au pairs, the decision to renew Exchange Visitor Programming is certainly a step in the right direction. Did you know that prior to 2020, au pairs took care of and impacted the lives of 50,000 children across 50 states (EurekaFacts) each year? According to a recent EurekaFacts survey, the results highlight significant cultural benefits of this program for all parties.
Au pairs not only provide a valuable and culturally enriching service for hardworking American families, they also contribute to the U.S. economy on a substantial scale each year. According to the same survey, they spend $257 million each year on goods and services.
Outside of their exchange program, au pairs learn more about American culture by getting involved in their communities, engaging in volunteer activities and traveling. As a result, they gain a broader understanding of U.S customs and values. The epitome of strengthening global ties and cultural diplomacy efforts in the most natural form.
Please take a few minutes to view Secretary Blinken’s remarks on how cultural exchanges impact cultural diplomacy efforts.
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