What do I need to qualify?
Who can apply for Q Visa or a J Visa? 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.
How to apply for the Q Visa or the J Visa
Your sponsoring organization must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS. The employer must submit evidence that the employer 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.
The employer may also submit evidence which illustrates that 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. 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
How long may I stay?
The time is approximately 15 months. After the cultural program ends, you have 30 days to leave the United States. You can apply all over again for another Q exchange program. But, you must wait one year first.
Can my family join me?
No, they must apply for their own visa.