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Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Program Participants

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

What is the Q-1 Visa?

The Q-1 visa category is for aliens coming to the U.S. to participate in international cultural exchange programs approved by the Attorney General for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country.

How Do I Apply for a Q-1 Visa?

A U.S. employer or foreign employer should submit the application on behalf of the alien. The employer must meet the following requirements:

  1. Maintains an established international cultural exchange program. This may be demonstrated by submitting copies of catalogs, brochures or other types of material which illustrate that:
    • The cultural component of the program is designed to give an overview of the attitude, customs, history, heritage, philosophy, tradition and/or other cultural attributes of the participant's home country, and;
    • The program activities take place in a public setting where the sharing of culture can be achieved through direct interaction with the American public or a segment thereof.
  2. Has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as a liaison with USCIS;
  3. Will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local domestic workers similarly employed; and
  4. 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.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Q-1 Visa?

The Q-1 applicant should be qualified to perform the service or receive the type of training listed in the application and be able to communicate with the U.S. public about the cultural aspects of their home country. The applicant can apply for a Q-1 visa only after completing a one-year stay outside the U.S.

How Can the Dependents of a Q-1 Visa Holder Come to the U.S.?

The Q-1 visa holder's dependents can apply for B-2 visas for the duration of the Q-1 visa holders stay in the U.S. They will not be able to work or go to school while holding B-2 visas. The spouse and minor children of the Q-1 visa holder can also apply for Q-3 visas to accompany the principal Q-1 visa holder to the U.S.


The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email:, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.

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