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Participants in an international cultural exchange program designed to provide practical training, employment, and sharing of the Q visa holder’s native culture, may be issued a Q visa classification. The Q visa program and the training and/or employment must be approved in advance by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States after adjudication of a petition, Form I-129Q, which must be filed by the United States employer. A new Q visa petition must be filed each time a qualified employer wants to bring additional Q visa applicants into the United States in Q visa status.
The Q visa is an unusual and seldom used visa. However, May Law Group, LLC, has successfully filed Q visa applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after establishing a Q visa program for cultural exchange.
Before a petition may be filed with the USCIS, the following requirements must be met by the employer:
- A cultural exchange program must be established:
- The culture exchange must take place in a school, museum, business or other organization where the public is exposed to aspects of the foreign culture as part of a structured program;
- The cultural element must be an essential and integral part of the participant’s employment and training, and must be designed to demonstrate the attitude, customs, history, heritage, philosophy and/or traditions of the alien’s country of nationality; and
- The alien’s prospective employment and training may not be independent of the cultural component.
- The sponsoring employer organization must demonstrate that it has the ability to conduct a responsible international cultural exchange program and has the financial ability to compensate the participant and offer him wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local United States workers similarly employed.
- The Q visa beneficiary be at least 18 years of age, qualified to perform the stated service or labor or receive the specified type of training, and possess the ability to communicate effectively about his culture in English to the public.
A Q visa petition is approved for the length of the program, or for fifteen months, whichever is shorter. The holder of a Q visa who has spent fifteen months in the United States may not be issued a visa or be readmitted under the Q visa classification unless he has resided and been physically present outside the United States for one year. There is no derivative visa category for spouses and children of the beneficiary of a Q petition. Premium processing, which permits approval within a fifteen day period, is available for Q visa petitions.
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For a free consultation to discuss your immigration needs with a dedicated immigration law firm, please contact an attorney online or call 412-291-4400 | 215-880-4977 | 347-839-1700 . We are here to serve you and clients throughout the United States, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, new Jersey, Ohio, Allegheny County, and worldwide in Korea, Japan, Asia, Europe, India, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, South America, Central America, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia.