Is getting an au pair / nanny when you work for contractor / have security clearance tough?

I am an outsider looking in, so please bear with me : )

Our son-in-law works for a big contractor on design for the military (and commercial?). He has some level of security clearance - he and our daughter talked of investigators talking to neighbors, etc. And he doesn’t say much about work. Although I think he once talked about wearing a pager in a room because he had to leave his phone outside the room. (not sure if there’s different levels of security clearance for contractors?)

Anyway, our daughter (who is a health care provider) is pregnant. My wife threw out the suggestion of maybe looking to get an au pair. Our daughter mentioned it to our son-in-law who kinda dismissed it out of hand. ‘You DO know who I work for?’.

I was talking to them and he’s saying things like a non-citizen can’t live with us’. Being curious, I was asking about a cleaning person - they might not be a US citizen. And him saying he thinks that’s OK? I was joking ‘they let someone in your house for hours at a time, but not overnight?!’

Anyway, I got the impression he might not have accurate info about what he can / can’t do. Reading posts here and elsewhere, I got the feeling that you just have to report the contact / situation. If (when?) they look into the person, if there’s a red flag, they will tell you to not deal with that person?

Ignore my screen name - I really am not. Just very curious.

Anyone care to field these questions? I realize the situation is vague, but from what you know and in general for someone with some sort of security clearance, working as an engineer (with PhD) at a contractor in future designs of military hardware… oh, and we’re only talking about someone who’s a citizen from a friendly country:

  1. is having a non-citizen a big deal to be in your house to clean for hours at a time? Stay overnight on an ongoing basis?
  2. Do you need pre-approval? or report afterwards? Seems if afterwards, and it’s a ‘bad’ person, they were already in your house and took what they wanted before there’s time to investigate?
  3. In general, you deal with who you want (in personal life and home care) and report afterwards? Or lock yourself in a box and only deal with us citizens?
  4. In reading posts… how do you even know when someone you are casual friends with / are neighbors if they are US citizens? Asking seems awkward? And if they are bad, they certainly aren’t going to be truthful.
  5. If it is a big deal, are there nanny / au pair agencies that specialize / deal with placing just us citizens?

Overall, would you say they don’t have to / do have to rule out someone helping with the baby / child and house while both parents are working?


This is why I don’t tell my parents what I do, because they’ll nonchalantly tell a bunch of strangers…



As for the situation, why would you intentionally put his career (and your daughter’s livelihood) on the line?
Inviting a stranger, non-citizen to live with them, taking care of his wife and soon to be child, inserting themselves into their lives…
God forbid that person goes on a walk with the stroller after learning that the husband is involved with sensitive information, and extorts money or state secrets in exchange for the baby…

Just putting that out there…

Do this by the book, legal vetted person…

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I have known a couple of people who got into trouble this way but it wasn’t just from hiring them, it was from other issues. No… not that… I think they were providing additional financial support to get their families over or something and that raised some concerns.

There are some agencies that provide ‘au pair’ services with some degree of vetting and some kind of legal status (supposedly) but again you are putting your trust and confidence into someone else’s hands.

If your son in law is not comfortable with it that is his prerogative and you should respect his household. There are plenty of nannies that are US citizens that can be hired to do the exact same job as an au pair without the issue of foreign citizenship.