Many employers in California have cultural exchange opportunities that could allow foreign-born individuals to work in the U.S. temporarily. The U.S. has several non-immigrant visas, including the Q-1 visa, which is for people participating in cultural and employment exchange programs that last a maximum of 15 months.
A person who wishes to apply for a Q-1 visa must first obtain a job offer from an employer who will act as a sponsor. There are more requirements for the employer than for the program participant, and the employer will be the one responsible for initiating the application process. To qualify for a Q-1 visa, participants need to be an adult with the ability to communicate with others about their culture. They also need to demonstrate that they will be returning to their home country once the cultural exchange program is completed.
The sponsor of a Q-1 visa must be a registered U.S. business with an international cultural exchange program. The business must be able to show evidence that it will be employing a foreign Q-1 participant for cultural exchange events. The business also must demonstrate that it can compensate the Q-1 participant with wages similar to its U.S. citizen employees and provide appropriate working conditions.
People who would like to apply for a U.S. work visa may want to speak to an employment immigration attorney about their options. An attorney may be able to look at an individual’s unique circumstances to find the best solution for working in the U.S. If people are working in the U.S. and their visa is about to expire, an attorney may be able to help them to apply for a visa extension or modification.