Visas for International Cultural Exchange Visitors (Q-1)
The Q-1 visa is for individuals going to the United States to participate in an international cultural exchange program designated by the Attorney General (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) for the purpose of receiving practical training, employment, and for the sharing of the history, culture and traditions of the country of the applicant's nationality. Similar to the J visa, this category is oriented more toward employment programs.
The Petition Process
The employer in the United States must file an I-129 petition at the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the place where the exchange program is located. Such petitions cannot be filed by the party in the Philippines, and cannot be filed with the Embassy.
The USCIS can provide guidance as to the proper type of visa required, as well as the details of how to file the petition. Petition processing times by the USCIS may vary; please check directly with the appropriate USCIS office. Once the applicant received an approved petition, or notice of the approval from the USCIS (Form I-797), s/he may apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
How to Apply
To apply, please check the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Procedures page. In addition to the basic documentary requirements, as specified on the application procedures Step 2, the applicant must submit/comply with the following additional documentary requirements:
- Copy of Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Original or copy of Form I-797 (Notice of Approval )
- Evidence of ties and financial status of the applicant, or the applicant’s parents, if minor, in the Philippines.
- In some cases, additional documents may be requested.
- All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted, unless specified. The applicant must submit these documents to the interviewing consular officer during the interview. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview. Any documents received will not be returned and will be destroyed. Please note, that presentation of the documents will not guarantee visa issuance. Applicants must still qualify under INA Section 214(b).
Please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
Last Update :: 01/27/2010
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit (NIV) is open for business Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on U.S. and Philippine Holidays.