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Q1 Visa, Cultural Exchange Visa

Overview: The Q non-immigrant visa is for international cultural exchange programs designated by USCIS. The J non-immigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The employer must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS. The employer must also submit evidence that it maintains an established international cultural exchange program, has the financial ability to compensate the participants, and will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to local workers similarly employed.

Family: No dependent visa available. Spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 of Q visa holders must qualify for a visa classification by themselves.

Period of Stay: up to 15 months

Green Card intent: Not permitted. Q-1 visa holders are required to spend 1 year outside US before applying for Q visa again

In fiscal year 2010, USCIS received 10,394 applications for O-1 visa, approved 1,589, denied 223, waived or overcome 163.

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