Advice for Au Pairs

Wrapping Up Your Au Pair Program

As you approach the end of your au pair program, there are several things to consider. The process for wrapping up your au pair program should be as thoughtful as the pre-arrival process.


If you decide to extend for another 6, 9 or 12 months, you must apply for an extension within Passport at least 45 days before the end of your program year.

Instructions and requirements can be found under the “Extension” tab within Passport. If you are extending your current placement, both au pairs and host parents must take action within Passport to submit the application. You will need to upload proof of completing the educational component, so gather up those documents first.

Going Home

  • If you are an au pair and are preparing to go home, you will need to request your return flight at least 45 days before the end of your year or before your preferred flight date, whichever is soonest.
  • If you are staying to travel in the US for your 13th month, you also must apply for travel insurance. You will not receive a confirmation, but you can assume you are covered if you’ve applied.
  • Remember to upload a photo of your boarding pass to Passport once you return home to prove you’ve left the country. Once received, your completion certificate will be sent to you.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • Discuss your end of year plans & dates with your host family before confirming flights
  • Plan to have an end-of-year meeting to discuss “handing off” to the new au pair or childcare provider
  • Consider closing your bank account – this is quite difficult to do once you have left the country
  • Update your resume and put out feelers for work/school ahead of your return. Have a plan to minimize reverse culture shock
  • Ask your host parents and/or local coordinator for a reference letter

What to Keep

As an au pairs, you will collect a lot of paperwork during the year. It may seem like you will never need these things again, but we never know where life will take us. Here is what you should always keep in a safe place:

  • Social Security card
  • State Drivers License
  • DS-2019 forms
  • Class certificates
  • Expired passport with visa
  • Copies of submitted tax returns

Mary Beth Grealey

Mary Beth was the InterExchange Au Pair USA Local Coordinator for the Chapel Hill area from 2010 to 2021. During that time, she contributed to many Au Pair USA blog posts.