Q-1 nonimmigrant visas are intended for those seeking to participate in an international cultural exchange program. The Q nonimmigrant exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.
Only employers who administer cultural exchange programs are allowed to petition for Q nonimmigrants. The purpose of the Q nonimmigrant visa is to facilitate the sharing of international cultures. It is an employment oriented program, but an integral part of your duties must have a cultural element. You must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate effectively about the cultural attributes of your country.
Your sponsoring employer must submit evidence that they maintain an established international cultural exchange program. In addition, the employer must establish that:
- It has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as liaison with USCIS
- It will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local workers similarly employed
- It has the financial ability to compensate the participant(s), as shown by a copy of the employer’s most recent annual report, business income tax return or other form of certified accountant’s report
Q-1 visa holders may stay up to 15 months in the United States. There is no provision for any spouse or children to accompany or follow to join a Q-1 nonimmigrant. Therefore, any spouse or children must qualify for another visa classification for which they may be eligible.