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Au Pair help!

Hello! I'm a U.S. citizen looking at becoming an Au Pair in Spain, but I'm running into some trouble trying to jump through the hoops required to get a visa. 

With the Au Pair visa, it says I need to have proof of enrollment in a Spanish University and that I'm working towards a degree.  But I just finished a degree program here in the States.  Would I still need to enroll in a class?  If so, would they let me take an online class? (I don't want to have to spend time away from my family every day)  My family also told me that they have a community center in their town that offers free Spanish classes.  Would the consulate accept an enrollment there?  Or is it possible to show a certificate of enrollment--and then once I get my visa approved and arrive in Spain--cancel my enrollment in the course?  I have no idea if Spanish universities do refunds on enrollment.

I also looked at the non-profit visa as another option.  But the financial requirements are huge!  They want proof that I will have 2,130 Euros per month that I am staying.  (and for a nine month stay, that's roughly $25,000!!)  I'm sure the consulate puts that Euro requirement in place to make sure someone staying in Spain has enough for rent, utilities, and food--but my host family will be providing for my lodging, meals, and transportation so I definitely will not be needing to spend that much money while I'm over there. My pocket money from my family obviously would not add up to that much, and my parents don't have that much that they can transfer to me for my application and then I can transfer it back to them once I get over to Spain.

I've also seen that U.S. citizens can stay in Spain for 3 months without a visa.  If I want to stay longer, is it possible to stay in Spain for 3 months with my host family, take some vacation days and visit another country, and then come back again for 3 more months?

If there's anyone from the U.S. that has stayed as a long term au pair in Spain that has any tips on how they did it, please let me know!! I need all the help I can get, and I really want to make this work!

I hope I'm not too late to help! I ran into the same problems and questions you are going through.

I just finished writing a blog post that may help out with the process: https://themeganlife.wordpress.com/2017 … ng-a-visa/

To answer your questions super quick:
"But I just finished a degree program here in the States.  Would I still need to enroll in a class?  If so, would they let me take an online class? (I don't want to have to spend time away from my family every day)"

-Yes you have to enroll in a class. They want you to do so to prevent you from getting a job and making money. The unemployment rate here is super high. It's also super helpful to go to a place where there's other au pairs and make friends.

"My family also told me that they have a community center in their town that offers free Spanish classes.  Would the consulate accept an enrollment there?  Or is it possible to show a certificate of enrollment--and then once I get my visa approved and arrive in Spain--cancel my enrollment in the course?  I have no idea if Spanish universities do refunds on enrollment."

-I called and talked to the consulate in NYC a lot about this. They want you to get a certificate because most places that offer the certificate that they want make you pay up front for the entire tuition with no refunds. This is to ensure that you're not going there to get a job in your free time and make money off of their economy without putting a bunch in first. You can always contact a school and ask if they will give you a certificate, but if it isn't as established course with 20 hours per week then it's not going to count. :(

"I've also seen that U.S. citizens can stay in Spain for 3 months without a visa.  If I want to stay longer, is it possible to stay in Spain for 3 months with my host family, take some vacation days and visit another country, and then come back again for 3 more months?"

-Legally you need to leave for 3 months for every 3 months you spend in Spain. However I read a bunch of reports of people hopping over to Morocco, coming back into Spain and getting another 3 month stamp because no one looked at their passport that carefully. However I decided not to do this as all it takes is one meticulous agent to declare you an illegal immigrant. Then I think you can't return to Spain for a significant amount of time and they charge you a fee.

I've been in Spain for a month so I'm still going through the process... it's frustrating and long and expensive but I think it's worth it in the end! If you have any more questions leave a comment on my new blog or use the contact form that may or may not be set up yet haha.

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