COVID-19

Update 12-8-2020

Dear host families,

We would like to inform you about the latest changes regarding the reopening of Dutch representations abroad.

Brazil
At this moment – in addition to the Embassies which previously opened in Thailand, Mexico and Russia – the embassy in Brazil is also fully operational. Brazil, like Mexico and Russia, is not on the list of Corona-safe countries, but with an MVV, au pairs from these countries may travel to the Netherlands. Regular flight traffic between Brazil and the Netherlands is also now possible. This means that – subject to new (EU) restrictions under Corona – we are now considering new applications for au pairs from Brazil under our standard registration and screening procedure. Naturally, we are also working hard to inform all host families, whose procedure for inviting a Brazilian au pair had already started, about these latest developments. In this context, please keep in mind that for au pairs who do not come from “safe countries”, there is – as confirmed during the press conference yesterday evening- an obligation to observe home quarantine for two weeks after arrival in the Netherlands. We would like you to be aware that Au Pair International does not offer any quarantine facilities.

Mexico and Ukrain
Please note: the above regarding Brazil applies simultaneously to Mexico and Ukrain, so if you have a candidate of one of these countries in mind, please let us know.

Other news
We have previously shared information about the EU list of Corona safe countries. The European Commission revises this list every two weeks. Another update was published on July 31st. No new countries have been added to the list. Regarding Australia and Canada, designated as ‘safe’ on this list, we inform you that the governments of these countries discourage citizens from leaving their countries for any non essential travel. In the case of Australia, permission is currently required to leave the country. This means that it is possible that an au pair will not be allowed to leave Australia and / or be delayed from exit/entry (in both countries).

If you wish to welcome a new au pair in the second half of 2020, an au pair with a valid European passport or a valid European residence permit is still the least risky choice, also taking into view of any new restrictions that might be in place this autumn. If you still prefer an au pair from outside Europe and / or the countries mentioned above, please contact our office before you start the search. We can then inform you which embassies are currently issuing visas to au pairs again.

Colombia
Finally, to keep you informed, we are currently hearing positive-sounding developments from Colombia. Of course, we will keep a close eye on these developments. Hopefully there will be more news regarding this shortly.

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Update 1-7-2020

 

Dear host families,

After weeks of meetings, EU Member States have agreed on a list of third (outside EU) countries considered ‘safe’. Persons from countries whose health situation regarding corona virus is comparable or above average to Europe, are expected to be able to travel to Europe in July. The list is non-binding; The European Union intends to review the list of safe countries every two weeks, including the number of new infections in the countries concerned. Please note: the new list has been officially ratified as of July 1, 2020, however countries will still have to implement the subsequent obligations into national regulations before they are legally binding, so that delays still may occur, including the provision of visa for the relevant countries.

Would you rather introduce an au pair candidate from another country to us? In principle that is possible. However, we cannot guarantee that the au pair can actually arrive in the Netherlands within the desired period. In this case, we ask you to make a down payment when starting the registration procedure of the new au pair.

We would also like to point out that we have made our payment terms more flexible. If desired, you may pay the placement costs on a monthly installment basis, via direct debit. More information can be found at our page Fees.

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Update 5-6-2020

 

Dear host families,

Following the press conference by Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge regarding the upgraded travel advisory for the coming summer, we would like to inform you further about the consequences this has on the arrivals of au pairs in to the Netherlands.

 

Au pairs from Europe

In line with the announced expectation in our previous mailing, it will be possible for new au pairs from most European countries to travel to the Netherlands in the upcoming summer months and start their exchange year. (An exception applies to persons from countries where the health situation is worse than in the Netherlands. Currently, this means that au pairs from Great Britain and Sweden cannot travel to the Netherlands this summer. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on the website ‘www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl’ the current travel advisory for individual countries and any modifications.)

Last month we already started preparing for the arrivals of various European au pairs. It is indeed good news for host families and European au pairs that it is possible to start the cultural exchange program within the foreseeable near future.

As mentioned previously, this relaxation also allows the arrival of visa-required au pairs who follow an au pair year in another European country and are in possession of an official residence permit from this European country, which is still valid at the time they travel to the Netherlands. For example, we are currently registering a South African young lady who is still an au pair in Belgium and is in possession of a valid official Belgian residence permit. She will soon be able to travel to the Netherlands and start her au pair year.

 

Au pairs from outside Europe

As Prime Minister Rutte hinted at the press conference, it is unlikely that the European Commission will lift the closure of Europe’s external borders on 15 June. Of course, we cannot predict what the further developments will be, but we do not consider it realistic that au pairs from outside of Europe will be able to arrive in the Netherlands in June, July or even the first half of August. The reopening of Dutch Consulates abroad is linked to the opening of European external borders. Of course you will hear from us immediately, if there are positive developments to report.

 

Departure from au pairs whose residence permit has expired

With a few exceptions, most au pairs manage to return home before or shortly after the expiry of their residence permit. Now that various airlines have announced that they will increase the number of flights in the summer, including to far away destinations, this will result in fewer flights being cancelled. What is still problematic is that some countries (e.g. Argentina, Colombia) are keeping the borders closed for their own citizens. If an au pair cannot go home on time, we will search for a suitable temporary solution in consultation with all parties involved.

 

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Update 23-4-2020

Dear families and au pairs,

Following the press conference last Tuesday regarding the Corona measures in the Netherlands, we would like to provide you with an update.

As you are probably aware, the measures to combat the Corona virus in the Netherlands have been extended. A relevant change is that primary school education will be partially resumed after the May holidays, the crèches (daycare) will reopen as appropriate and that children under the age of twelve have more opportunities for outdoors sport activities. This is good news for many children of our host families and we hope that in the upcoming weeks, all children will be able to enjoy their daycare or school once again.

For the rest of us, there are no major changes in the au pair program compared to the current situation. Below is a brief explanation for au pairs who are currently participating in our program in the Netherlands, and then for au pairs who still have to travel to the Netherlands.


Au pairs who are currently participating in our exchange program in the Netherlands


Comply with Corona measures

Most measures to limit the Corona virus are still in place and should still be observed. Via the following link you can find information in English, regarding the Corona measures that apply to the Netherlands: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19. We encourage host families and au pairs to keep communicating with each other about how to deal with these measures. If you are unable to reach a mutual agreement, please let us know, so that we can provide support with the communication.


Event program

As you are accustomed to participating in our fun-filled events, we regretfully, at this time are restricted from organizing these up until September of this year. Last week we sent an email to all au pairs about (social) activities that are still possible within the current limitations. We again invite all au pairs to keep in touch with us and each other through our private Facebook group. We are also preparing an online social event for the au pairs. More information on this will follow shortly.


Return home at the end of the exchange year

We notice that many flights for the return trip have been canceled. However, it is not evident that no flights depart at all and it is mostly always possible to book an alternative flight in consultation with the airline. In addition, embassies of the country of origin in the Netherlands can provide a definite answer as to whether repatriation flights may be organized to which the au pair is entitled. Due to some countries having closed their airports, it is not always possible to return home within the period of validity of the residence permit. In that case, most au pairs choose to stay a little longer as a guest with their host family or with friends / family in the Netherlands. In principle, we maintain weekly contact with this group of au pairs regarding their return options and discuss the au pair’s return efforts and the available options. We would like to thank all the host families who offer their au pair the opportunity to stay in their homes.

It is important that au pairs remain well insured throughout the stay. The basic health insurance and the health care allowance continue automatically as long as the au pair does not deregister from the BRP. Host families can renew ISIS insurance through JoHo Insurances.


Relocation

If a placement does not work out satisfactorily and mediation on our part does not resolve the matter, it is still possible for au pairs to request a reassignment and to continue their au pair year with another host family.

 

Au pairs that are not yet in the Netherlands

 

Visa-required au pairs abroad for whom we have received the IND decision but who do not yet have a visa sticker in their passport

In any case, no visas for the purpose of residence of ‘au pair’ will be issued by the Dutch consulates abroad up until 28 April. We expect this restriction to continue at least in the coming weeks. If visas are to be issued again, we will inform you.


Visa-required au pairs abroad for whom we have received the IND decision and who have a visa sticker in their passport

In theory, this group of au pairs can travel to the Netherlands, if a flight is available. However, we do not recommend that au pairs start their exchange year in April or May, due to, public life in the Netherlands is still so disrupted, that a normal or acceptable experience of a cultural program is not possible.


Visa-required or residence permit au pairs abroad for whom no application for a visa and / or residence permit has yet been submitted to the IND

In view of the current uncertain circumstances in the Netherlands and in the world, we will in any case not submit any applications to the IND for visas and / or residence permits up until 20 May. We are also advised against this by the IND. We can, however, start the registration phase of new au pairs and in any case prepare the IND applications to be ready for submission at a later date.


European au pairs

For European au pairs, insofar, as the travel restrictions in their own country permit, it is theoretically possible to travel to the Netherlands. However, we do not recommend that au pairs start their exchange year in April or May, due to, public life in the Netherlands is still so disrupted that a normal or acceptable experience of a cultural program is not possible.

We hope, along with you, that the situation in the Netherlands will improve in the coming weeks and that the measures can be further relaxed after 20 May.

 

We hope to stay in touch with future updates as appropriate.

Sincerely,

The Au Pair International team

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Update 27-3-2020

Dear au pairs and families,

Following a new information e-mail we recently received from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, we would like to notify you as follows.

 

Entry restrictions for non-EU citizens

On March 17, 2020, the EU, including the Netherlands, decided to close its borders to all travelers from outside the European Union. This drastic measure is intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The ban will apply for thirty days for the time being and will cover all “non-essential travel” by persons to the Schengen area. For au pairs this means the following:

Au pairs who are in possession of a valid visa (MVV) can formally travel to the Netherlands provided that:

• no additional travel restrictions apply from the Netherlands or  from the au pair’s country of origin;
• flights are available.

Nevertheless, we remain committed to our policy of delaying the au pair’s arrival where possible. This is due to the current limitations in Dutch society, where there can be no full-fledged and pleasant cultural exchange. This argument is also explicitly included by the IND in their considerations.

Au pairs who do not need a visa but do need a residence permit (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea) cannot currently travel to the Netherlands, even with a decision of the IND.

In principle, au pairs from the European Union can travel to the Netherlands. However, here also, our policy applies to postpone the arrival of the au pair if possible.

 

Services of foreign posts (consulates and embassies)

In connection with COVID-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to significantly reduce consular services worldwide, in order to continue to focus as much as possible on urgent consular services for Dutch nationals abroad. Processes such as issuing visas will be suspended until at least 6 April 2020. The posts will therefore not issue visas during this period and will not process new visa applications.

If an au pair cannot collect a visa due to the closure of the foreign posts, the collection period can be extended by 90 days.

If a visa has already been collected, but the au pair cannot enter due to, for example, there are no flights, the visa can be issued again if necessary. As a result, the commencement date of the au pair’s residence permit can be adjusted.

 

IND Services

As previously announced, the IND’s desk function will be limited to urgent matters until 6 April 2020. It is now clear that it is possible to collect a residence document after scheduling a telephone appointment. We will schedule an appointment for au pairs for whom this applies. The IND is currently not collecting any biometrics data. From a formal point of view, it is still possible to submit applications for visas and residence permits to the IND. However, the IND considers it advisable not to submit applications as long as government measures are in effect. We will therefore prepare applications for visas and residence permits as necessary, but remain cautious when submitting them. We will discuss on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the au pair and host family, which action taken will be appropriate.

 

Problems with departure at the end of the exchange year

If an au pair cannot or does not leave on time when the residence permit expires, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee will not impose an entry ban for the Schengen area. It is important that the au pair returns to the country of origin as soon as possible. After the expiry of the residence permit, the au pair may no longer participate in the au pair program and may no longer perform any tasks. We request that all au pairs who experience problems in the upcoming period in the context of their departure from the Netherlands, contact our agency. We will work out a suitable solution on a case-by-case basis.

 

GGD- Tuberculosis test

Au pairs from certain countries are required to undergo a TB test in the Netherlands. RIVM has advised the various GGDs in the Netherlands to continue tuberculosis screening until further notice. The GGD office will, however, call the concerned individuals in a more spread out manner.

 

Services provided by municipalities with regard to registering an au pair in the BRP

There is no national policy for municipalities on how to deal with registrations in the BRP. Each municipality has its own Corona policy and therefore also has independent measures. Where appropriate, we will obtain information from the au pair’s municipality of residence.

 

We thank you for your attention. Au pairs who currently participate in our exchange program through our agency in the Netherlands will receive another email today about how we can keep in touch with each other in the near future and how we can get through this time in the best possible way.

For now: Take good care of yourself and of each other and we hope to soon be able to enjoy all the beauty that cultural exchange has to offer without any worries.

 

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Update 19-3-2020

Dear au pairs and dear families,

Yesterday we informed you that, in principle, the access conditions for people who want to travel to the Netherlands have been tightened for the next 30 days. It has now been specified in more detail for which categories of individuals these restrictions apply.

MVV-obliged au pairs
We would like to inform you that it has now become clear that this measure does not apply to holders of a long-stay visa, a so-called MVV. In concrete terms, this means that visa-required au pairs who have an MVV sticker in their passport can in principle travel to the Netherlands. They are not refused entry at the border. The condition is of course that the booked flight also takes place. Furthermore, we continue to believe that in general, it is better to postpone the arrival in to the Netherlands (see below for explanation.) As we speak, we are contacting the visa-required au pairs again, who would arrive next week in the Netherlands and are already in possession of an MVV. The case is more complicated for au pairs who have not yet been issued with an MVV. We have been informed that, since yesterday many Dutch consulates abroad cancelled the agreements for submitting MVV applications.

VVR-obliged au pairs (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Korea, Japan)
At the moment it is not clear whether au pairs who do not require a visa, but do require a residence permit, in which IND has already approved their application, may travel to the Netherlands. We have put this question to the IND. So far, we have not received any concrete guidelines from the IND on how to deal with practical and residence law issues that have arisen as a result of the Corona crisis. We have however received a general email from the IND stating that the policy department is in the process of formulating further instructions.

General Au Pair International policy with regard to au pairs who would arrive in the coming weeks: do not travel to the Netherlands now
Our own policy still remains that we advise au pairs against traveling to the Netherlands in the coming weeks, and to postpone their arrival until further notice. This for the following reasons:
– The services provided by Dutch public authorities are either suspended or very limited. The IND desks are closed for non-urgent matters. This means that au pairs cannot now collect a residence permit and that they cannot formally start their exchange year; they can only stay as a guest with their host family.
– Due to the disruption of public life, it is not possible to have a normal and pleasant cultural exchange experience.
– It is currently not clear how public health and the situation in medical care will develop in the coming weeks.
– The aviation sector is seriously disrupted and many flights are canceled. This makes the possibilities regarding arrival and (if applicable and necessary) regarding early departure uncertain.

We thank you for your attention and wish everyone the best during this time.

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18-3-2020

Dear Au Pairs and Host Families,

Behind the scenes at Au Pair International, we are working diligently to answer the many questions that arise in view of the Coronavirus crisis as quickly and completely as possible. In doing so, we prioritize au pairs who are about to arrive or depart. Of course, we think it is very important to advise and guide all our au pairs and host families as much as possible during this difficult time. As we receive specific questions several times a day, we are providing below an overview of the most frequently asked questions and our responses. We are aware that most countries also inform and advise their citizens themselves and that this information, provision and the associated advice differ per each country. For the time being, we assume the situation as it exists in the Netherlands and insofar as it is foreseeable in the near future. It should be noted that the situation in the Netherlands also currently differs daily.

I am a visa-obliged au pair and will be traveling to the Netherlands shortly to participate in the au pair program. Can my au pair program continue?

As far as it is known currently, visa-required au pairs who travel to the Netherlands in the next 30 days will not be admitted in to our country. This means, among other things, that participation in the au pair program of these au pairs will have to be postponed (within the terms of the MVV issued), which may have consequences for the total duration of their stay. It is as yet unknown when the entry policy for the European Union will be relaxed. It is also unknown whether the IND will extend residence permits already applied for in due course for the duration of the postponement that must now take place. The au pairs in question can, in most cases, change their ticket (by converting it into a voucher) with an open date. Pending the IND guidelines on this matter, we will contact all au pairs and host families who are in this situation as soon as possible.

We are a host family with Au Pair International and we have already registered a new au pair with you. She/He was supposed to start in April or early May. What now?

In this case we will contact you shortly. Should the au pair arrive in the next 30 days, postponement is inevitable (see above). In all other cases, we advise to postpone the arrival of the au pair if possible. The situation in the Netherlands is currently so exceptional that it is not quite possible to follow a cultural exchange program. Residence permits cannot currently be collected from the IND desks, in many municipalities it is not possible to register with the BRP, we cannot carry out our event program and public life in the Netherlands is generally disrupted. During April we will reassess the situation and see if an arrival is desirable and possible. If necessary, we can submit the application for the visa and residence permit to the IND. We will then leave the final arrival date of the au pair open for the visa application.

I am an au pair and I am currently participating in the au pair program in the Netherlands via Au Pair International. Should I go home early because of the Corona crisis?

This question is not easy to answer. At the moment, Dutch airports are not yet completely closed and most countries also allow their own nationals to return. The only problem is that many flights that were planned in the coming months are now being canceled. In addition, there are countries such as Australia that are calling on their citizens to return from abroad. The latter advice is partly due to the fact that it is expected that returning will soon be even more complicated than it currently is. As our Prime Minister indicated yesterday; The Dutch are not advised to travel, not because of health risks, but because of the risk that return is seriously hampered. For au pairs, whose exchange year has not yet ended, and want to stay in the Netherlands to continue their year, we anticipate that at some point the situation will normalize and more flights will be available. However, it seems impossible that this will be a short term case.

I am an au pair and I am currently participating in the au pair program in the Netherlands via Au Pair International. My exchange year will end soon. What happens if I cannot go home within the term of my residence permit, for example because my flight is canceled or the airspace of my country of origin is closed?

We do not know yet, IND has not yet published any guidelines on this. We request that you keep in touch with us and that you also contact the embassy of your country. It is possible that your country, like the Netherlands, assists in travel home of its citizens abroad.

We are a host family at Au Pair International and have a new au pair candidate in mind. How do we do that?

You can already provide us with the name, e-mail address and country of origin of the au pair. We will then start the registration procedure. As soon as the registration procedure has been completed, we will assess the current situation in the Netherlands and in the world regarding Corona and we will see whether it is appropriate to take next steps (book flight, apply for visa and residence permit, etc.).

We are a host family with Au Pair International and we would like to start a new mediation procedure. Is that possible?
 
We can already start with the matching procedure. The possibilities regarding the arrival date of the au pair are currently uncertain, but we naturally follow the reports from the government and in the media and inform host families when possible.

As new developments arise, we will make every effort to keep you informed as soon as possible. We will in the meantime remain available for questions and advice. We wish you all good health.