ATTN: BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT VISAS
***The visa process for au pairs coming from America has changed this month. The US Consualtes are now outsourcing the process to a company called VFS Global. They ask for the same documents as last time, but the appointment system is a little different. Get Edwina's help and advice to navigate this change by clicking here.***
Hey Au Pairs,
This week's video was all about VISAS! So, as a Brit who has always had the luxury of being able to move abroad without the hassle of a visa, I know nothing about them (Maybe until next year - CRY. I'll write a blog post about wtf Brexit means for au pairs soon!)
If you're still struggling with your visa or need a helping hand through the process, Edwina is now offering help - click here.
If you don't have time to watch, I've summarised just a few of the questions and answers below. But, be sure to watch the entire video to see if your question was answered.
1. Where is the "Au Pair, Oh Paris - How to Get a Visa" Video?
We've moved this video from Youtube and onto our website here. But, don't worry as it's still accessible.
Simply sign up to the Au Pair Starter Kit and you'll receive an email guide with multiple resources that will help you through the trials of becoming an au pair.
(Psst. We'll also have a huge section devoted to breaking down this process in our book which will be coming out in the next couple of months!)
You can also send any questions you have to Edwina, here.
2. How Long Did it Take to Get your Passport/Visa Back in your Hands After your Consulate Appointment?
This question was asked by @luvfromthespkrz on Instagram. Edwina's response (at 4:26 in the video) is:
After you've got all of your documents together, been to your local consulate and they've verified that you've brought everything, they will hold your passport and give it back to you once the visa is stuck into it.
The consulate has to hold onto your passport for a few days or even weeks. After they've given you back your passport with the visa inside, you're FREE TO GO TO FRANCE. WOOHOO!
Edwina explains that this process can sometimes be super quick, taking just five business days before you have the visa and passport in your hand. But, don't chance your luck.
It could take up to FOURTEEN business days for you to receive your visa and passport. So, make sure you schedule enough time between receiving your passport and leaving for your flight in case it takes longer than expected.
If you're having to rely on the mail system in your country, rather than picking up your passport yourself, schedule as much as a month!
3. Can you Visit Other EU Countries with an Au Pair Visa?
This question is from @moi.scarlett on Instagram. Edwina's response (at 6:40 in the video) is:
If you have a valid au pair visa for France then you have free range to travel in the Schengen Zone during this time.
The Schengen Zone is a beautiful system brought in by the European Union which has abolished internal visas for 26 different European nations. (Find out more.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: six countries in the EU have NOT joined the Schengen Zone agreement which means you'll need to check visa requirements before you go there. They include: the UK (typical), Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.
Three countries which aren't in the EU but are in the Schengen Zone are: Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland - (probably all too expensive for an au pair anyway... See Edwina's vlogging channel to see how we struggle through it. We're headed there in September 2018!)
If this is now getting a little to confusing, check the map:
4. What About After Your Visa is EXPIRED?
The honest answer to this question is we have no bloody clue. We've asked multiple in-the-know people and are still yet to have a reliable answer.
Some say you should leave the EU as soon as your au pair visa is up. Others say that once your au pair visa ends, your tourist visa (which as an American is valid for a 90 day period of travel in the EU in every 180 days) begins.
But, WHO KNOWS. You'll need to take this one into your own hands and check visa requirements before you make the call yourself. Please, let us know what you've heard as we're still puzzled.
5. Do You Have to Do Any Paperwork Once You're in France?
This question is from @abrilm00 on Instagram. Edwina's response is:
YES. Absolutely. Once you land in France, you should have a piece of paper given to you by the consulate and you'll need to send this to OFII which will then send you an appointment and time.
You can print this off online if you lost it. OFII will do a lot of checks - from medical to French. Don't worry about this as it's easier than it sounds (yet a little stressful).
After you've been through it, you'll receive a STAMP. We'll do a video about OFII soon.
6. CAN YOU HELP ME GET A VISA?
Edwina is offering one to one guidance to help you through every single visa trouble you have.
Are you struggling with getting the right documents? Understanding the French terms? Getting your high school diploma translated? OR, trying to figure out what LA DIRECCTE is?
7. How Can I Support Au Pair, Oh Paris?
If we've helped you through the process with our videos, blog posts or resources, and you'd like to express your gratitude, we have many ways that you can thank us!
Firstly, we'd be so grateful if you are able to tip us! As au pairs are on a tight budget, we will continue sharing resources and helping you all for free.
But, if you can spare a couple of dollars, we'd be so grateful. Your money goes a long way in helping keep APOP alive.
Secondly, we have a Patreon. On this platform, we're bringing together a tight-knit community of au pairs all around the world and are so grateful for our dozen patrons. We offer a lot of rewards here too!
Thirdly, if you can't afford to help us out then we would be SO grateful if you could share and like and continue to watch our videos. This means so much to us and we really appreciate your support.
Next week's video will be up on MONDAY. See you on YouTube then!
That's all for now,
A note from Au Pair, Oh Paris: If you're looking for a host family in Spain, check out AmazingPairs. (Please mention that you've come from Au Pair, Oh Paris as we'll receive a small commission if it works out for you.)