If you are a foreign national who wants to participate in a recognized cultural exchange program in the US, you need a Q-1 visa. In order for you to get the Q-1 visa, the cultural exchange program must be practical in nature, meaning it must provide the participants the opportunity to share their native cultures, traditions, and history with US citizens and residents, besides getting hands-on training and employment.
There is no limit as to how many visas can be given each year under the Q-1 category. This means you will not have to wait longer to get a decision on your visa. The Q-1 is a non-immigrant visa, which means if you have the Q-1 visa, you can stay in the US on a temporary basis.
The Q-1 visa holders cannot engage in activities in the US that are outside the scope of the Q-1 category. If you have a Q-1 visa and your spouse or children who are unmarried and aged below 21 years want to accompany you to the US, they can do so by obtaining Q-3 visas.
You will have a 30 days grace period after expiry of the Q-1 visa. Before the end of the 30 days, you must leave the US. You may get an extension of few months on your Q-1 visa if you want to. However, your total stay in the US on a Q-1 must not exceed 15 months.
You must have a valid reason for extending the visa if you have lived in the US for less than 15 months on the Q-1 visa. For example, if you have stayed in the US for 10 months on the Q-1 visa and your sponsoring organization or employer can extend your stay in the US for another 5 months, your application for visa extension may be approved.
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