What is the Q cultural exchange visa?


The Q-1 visa permits individuals to enter the United States to participate in an international cultural exchange program approved by USCIS. The purpose of this program is to provide employment, practical training, as well as the exchange of the history, tradition, and culture of the participant’s home country.  Individual employers in the NYC area who seek to file a petition on behalf of a non-immigrant are encouraged to hire an immigration lawyer in making such an application.

Who May Apply ?

The Q visa petition places obligations on both the employer and the individual seeking to participate in the program.

The individual applicant must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be accepted into an international cultural exchange program
  • have the training and education needed to fulfill the duties he or she will be responsible for, and
  • have the capacity to transmit one’s native culture to the general public of the US.

 The employer must demonstrate that it:

  •  engages in business within the US
  • conducts a program that serves the purpose of international cultural exchange
  • has designated an individual to act as a liaison with USCIS
  • will give access to the general public to the culture-sharing component of the program
  • intends to employ the applicant in a manner where he/she is sharing the his/her culture,
  • intends to pay the alien a wage that is comparable to U.S. workers performing similar duties in the same area, and
  • has the financial resources to pay the Q-1 applicant.

Can a Q1 visa holder bring his/her family as dependents?

No, unfortunately there are no provisions for family under this visa, therefore any family members would have to enter under another classification.

As it may be clear, the requirements for the Q visa are extensive, so employers in NY/NJ area, should seek an immigration lawyer that can help them navigate through this process.

Sethi & Mazaheri, LLC is a full service immigration law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey. We are well known as deportation lawyers and Immigration Lawyer in NYC.

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