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Q-1 Visa is an Opportunity to Share Your Culture through an Employer’s International Exchange

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Are you interested in sharing your home country’s cultures and traditions while working in the U.S.?  Are you an employer interested in obtaining approval for an exchange program in your company so that you can hire international employees on a Q-1 visa?

If so, the Q-1 visa may be available to meet your company’s specific needs for international employees.  Known as the “Disney visa” because it was originally designed by Disney to meet their need for “cultural representatives” to work in Epcot World Showcase, the Q-1 visa is for individuals wishing to participate in an international exchange program administered by an employer.  It is most popularly utilized to obtain short-term employment with Disney and used by some hotel chains to temporarily employ chefs.

In order to obtain a Q-1 designation, the exchange program must be employment-oriented and provide practical training and employment and the opportunity to share the history, culture and traditions of an individual’s home country with the U.S.  Unlike the J-1 visa administered by the U.S. Department of State which offers a number of exchange programs, the Q-1 visa requires an employer who administers the exchange programs to petition for the beneficiary.

Individual’s Eligibility:  The individual must be at least 18 years old and possess the ability to communicate about the cultural significance of the home country.

Employer Requirements to obtain a Q-1 program designation:

  1. Employer maintains an established international cultural exchange program;

  2. The program activities take place in a setting in which the American public can engage with the culture;

  3. A qualified employee is available to administer the program and act as USCIS liaison;

  4. Employer is actively doing business in the U.S;

  5. Employer will offer comparable wages and working conditions to that of local employees in similar positions; and

  6. Employer has financial ability to compensate participant.

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Length of Stay:  Maximum stay is 15 months. If applying for another Q-1 visa, must spend 1 year outside the U.S. before applying again.

Availability:  Unlimited (no cap).

Deadline:  None.

Who Files the Petition:  Must be filed by the employer.

Do you qualify for the Q-1 Visa?  Are you interested in establishing a Q-1 exchange program in your company?

To find out if you qualify for the Q-1 visa or to get Q-1 program approval for an exchange program in your company, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (323) 450-9010; or fill out a Contact Request Form.

About The Grady Firm, P.C.


With offices in Beverly Hills and San Diego, California, the firm serves clients from around the world.

*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.

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