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Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides a nonimmigrant classification for alien participants coming temporarily to the United States to participate “in an international cultural exchange program approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the country of the alien’s nationality and who will be employed under the same wages and working conditions as domestic workers.”[1]

B. Background

In 1990, Congress created new immigration classification for cultural visitors, commonly known as the “Q” visa category.[2] The implementing regulation establishes the process by which DHS evaluates both the proposed international cultural exchange program and the prospective Q nonimmigrants.[3] The cultural exchange program must have a cultural component that “is an essential and integral part of the international cultural exchange visitor’s employment or training.”[4] The Q nonimmigrants must meet age, qualifications for the job, and communication requirements. Petitions seeking Q-1 status may be filed for multiple participants.[5]

C. Legal Authorities

Footnotes


[^ 1] See INA 101(a)(15)(Q).

[^ 2] See INA 101(a)(15)(Q).

[^ 3] See 8 CFR 214.2(q).

[^ 4] See 8 CFR 214.2(q)(3)(iii)(B).

[^ 5] See 8 CFR 214.2(q)(5)(ii).

Resources

Legal Authorities

8 CFR 214.2(q) - Cultural visitors

8 CFR 214.2(q)(3)(iii)(B) - Cultural component

8 CFR 214.2(q)(5)(ii) - Petitions for multiple participants

INA 101(a)(15)(Q) - Definition of Q nonimmigrant classification

INA 214(c) - Admission of nonimmigrants

Appendices

No appendices available at this time.

Updates

POLICY ALERT - Nonimmigrant Cultural Visitor (Q) Visa Classification

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the nonimmigrant cultural visitor visa classification, commonly known as the “Q” visa category.

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POLICY ALERT - Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to align with the Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020. This guidance becomes effective October 2, 2020. For information regarding implementation, see our litigation summary.

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Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].