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Q Visa: Cultural Exchange Program Visas

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The United States government participates in a number of different cultural exchange programs in an effort to help our citizens acquire a better understanding of world cultures and to assist in the spread of understanding of our own culture. As part of these programs, the U.S. offers two different types of non-immigrant visas that enable certain foreign nationals to visit this country, the J-1 exchange visitor visa and the Q visa for cultural exchange. The primary difference between the two is that the former is intended for programs that are recognized by the U.S. Department of State, while the latter is for programs designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Eligibility Requirements

In order for you to obtain a Q visa, the employer or organization that is responsible for the cultural exchange program will have to file a sponsorship petition on your behalf, specifically the Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker. The activity or event in which you are planning to participate must be an established international cultural exchange program that has the purpose of sharing attitudes, customers, history, heritage, philosophy, tradition, or other aspects of the culture of your home country, and it must take place in a setting that is open to the public. You must be capable of effectively communicating about the subject matter in order to fulfill the purpose of this visa.

Duration of Stay on a Q Visa

A Q visa allows the holder to enter and stay in the United States for an initial period of up to 15 months, followed by a mandatory one-year waiting period before he or she may be permitted to reenter this country. Upon the completion of the program, the alien worker has a 30-day grace period before being required to leave. Unlike many other types of non-immigrant visa, the Q visa does not permit the holder to bring a spouse and children along on the trip - family members must apply for their own visa, such as a B-2 visitor visa.

Contact Robert Brown LLC for experienced legal counsel regarding the Q visa and any other type of immigration matter. We serve individuals and employers in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and throughout the world, and we are ready to speak with you today.

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