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Your Visa

After approving your program application we will provide you with a visa application form, DS-2019, and instructions on how to complete it. You can pay for the visa application at your local post office and you pay all final visa fees directly to the US Consulate.

Your J-1 visa is valid for one year as long as you are an Au Pair exchange program participant in good standing. The visa also allows a thirty-day grace period at the end of the twelve-month program year, so it allows you to be in the US legally for a total of thirteen months.

This 13th month is intended as an opportunity for you to travel, at your own expense, and learn more about America before returning to your home country.

Visa Application Process

What do I need to apply for a U.S. visa?

All applicants must have the following:

Step 1: To complete your online visa application, you need a digital photo. Please read carefully the requirements to upload your photo and the photo specifications here. If you do not have a digital photo or you fail to upload your photo correctly, you may bring a photo meeting these requirements to your interview. Please see our list of photographers in Australia capable of making US style passport/visa photographs.

Step 2: ALL visa applicants are required to fill in the online application form (DS-160).
Once completed, the information in the DS-160 will be electronically transmitted. The applicant must then print the confirmation page that includes some biographical information and a bar code confirmation number. Applicants must bring the DS-160 Confirmation Page to their interview.

Step 3: Pay the non-refundable application fee of US$131. This fee can only be paid at an Australia Post outlet. Please advise the counter assistant that you would like to pay the US non-immigration visa application fee. Bring the original receipt for this payment to your interview. Only the original receipt may be submitted to the Consulate. The fee receipt will be retained by the Consulate, so if you require a personal copy, please request a duplicate copy from Australian Post. The fee receipt is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Applicants must bring the original Australia Post application fee receipt to their interview.

Step 4: Payment of issuance fee: Bank Cheque or Money Order payable to the US Consulate General. Please check the US Consulate’s website for current fee here.

Step 5: Gather the documents you must bring with you on the day of your interview. Use the checklist below to ensure you have met all of the requirements:

Non-immigrant Visa Checklist:

  • DS-160 application confirmation page
  • Original application fee receipt from Australia Post
  • A valid Passport (it must have at least 6 months validity after your intended return date to Australia) If you have held previous passports please bring them on the day of the interview
  • Appointment confirmation page from Visa Point
  • Supporting Documentation. Please visit the US Consulate website to view the review the supporting documents required here
  • Proof of funds. US$975 on arrival is required.
  • Proof of student/or recent graduate status.
  • Original, complete and signed Form DS-2019
  • SEVIS I901 payment (this will be pre paid by CIEE, and invoiced to you by Student Placement Australia New Zealand. You will be provided with the SEVIS receipt with your DS-2019 forms)
  • There are also additional requirements if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
  • A self-addressed Express Post Platinum envelope, Registered Post envelope or courier satchel for the return of your documents. Failure to provide this will cause a delay in the processing of your application.

How do I apply?

All Applicants must appear in person for an interview at the U.S. Consular Office serving your state.

Anyone applying for a non-immigrant visa in Australia must make an appointment by accessing the "Visa Information and Appointment Website Service." To use this service, you must purchase a Personal Identification Number (PIN) online by using a credit card. The PIN will allow you to access visa information and to schedule non-immigrant visa appointments for up to five family members residing at the same address.

To schedule your appointment use the VisaPoint service.

Please note: You will not be able to schedule an appointment until your application had been approved and you have received your SEVIS Identification number from Student Placement Australia New Zealand.

Please choose your area from the menu below to view region specific application details:

Visa Conditions

Your J-1 visa is valid for one year as long as you are an Au Pair exchange program participant in good standing. The visa also allows a thirty-day grace period at the end of the twelve-month program year, so it allows you to be in the U.S. legally for a total of thirteen months.

This 13th month is intended as an opportunity for you to travel, at your own expense, and learn more about America before returning to your home country.

The J-1 visa permits multiple entries to the USA during the twelve month period of validity. If you plan to exit and re-enter the United States during the twelve month program year, send your DS-2019 Form, at least four weeks before departure, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Cultural Homestay International - 104 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo, California 94960, for an authorizing signature. Without this signature you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States. Be sure to include the dates of departure and return to the United States.

If travelling outside the United States, please remember to check with the appropriate Embassy for any visa requirements for the destination country. Reentry to the USA during the 13th month is not permitted (trips to the Bahamas, Cancun and Canada are not possible) so plan to use your 13 month to travel within the USA.