Q Visa Overview

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International Cultural Exchange Program Participants (Q-1’s)

The Q-1 classification applies to participants in an international cultural exchange program approved by the Attorney General for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and to share the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country.

The Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program or Walsh Program (Q2, Q3 visa) is a groundbreaking cultural exchange and employment-training program, administered by the Department of State.

Including More than One Alien in a Petition

Aliens who will apply for their visas at the same consulate or, if they do not need visas, will enter at the same port of entry may be included in one petition if they will be involved in the same international cultural exchange program.

Petition Document Requirements

A U.S. employer or foreign employer may file the I-129 Q-1 petition; however, a foreign employer's petition must be signed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident employed by the qualified employer on a permanent basis in an executive, managerial, or supervisory capacity for the prior year. The petition must be filed with evidence 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, 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.
  • Has designated a qualified employee to administer the program and serve as liaison with INS; Will offer the alien wages and working conditions comparable to those accorded local domestic workers similarly employed; and
  • 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.

Government Links

This section focuses on articles and reports related to Q visa from government agencies such as the USCIS, DOS, DHS, CBP and ICE.

  1. USCIS - Cutural Exchange
  2. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program.
  3. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection internet site offers additional information on Admissions/Entry requirements.
  4. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)- In addition, some travelers will also need to register their entry into and their departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program.
  5. Citizens from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), who want to enter the United States temporarily, as representatives of the foreign media traveling to the United States, engaging in their profession, as media or journalists, must first obtain a media visa to come to the U.S. They cannot travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. Those who attempt to do travel without a visa, on the Visa Waiver Program may be denied admission to the United States by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. immigration inspector at the port of entry. For more information on VWP, see Visa Waiver Program
Nonimmigrant Visas: