Proposed Program Regulations
On October 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of State published proposed new Au Pair Program Regulations in the Federal Register. If enacted, these regulations could drastically alter the federal Au Pair Program by imposing significant new obligations and restrictions on host families and au pairs, which could have a negative impact on the program’s cultural exchange mission. It’s important to understand that at this point, these are only proposed changes. The existing regulations and obligations remain unchanged.
The proposal has entered a 60-day public comment period, which will end on December 29, 2023, and it’s imperative that we make our collective voices heard. After the comment period ends, there will be a lengthy period when the Department of State reviews all of the comments and makes adjustments to their final proposal. That process could go on for months or years. If finalized, the proposed regulations also include a 180-day period before they would take effect and provisions to keep current and newly arrived au pairs “grandfathered” into the current regulations.
InterExchange is advocating for modernization that benefits both au pairs and host families. Unfortunately, the proposed regulations see the program simply as a labor program, which deviates from the original congressional intent and undermines the Department of State’s public diplomacy mission.
We encourage all supporters of the Au Pair Program to add your voice to thousands of others and submit a comment to ensure the Au Pair Program is not harmed and remains an accessible and affordable cultural exchange program! There is a 60-day comment period, with comments due before December 29, 2023.