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Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Visitors

This category, purportedly bought and paid for by the Disney folks, and still heavily used by them, enables aliens age eighteen and above to work in the U.S. for up to fifteen months, plus 30 days, after which the alien cannot be readmitted in Q-1 status until the alien has been outside of the U.S. for one year. There are two components to the program. First, there must be an actual cultural exchange program approved by USCIS that involves employment or training of the alien, an essential element of which is the sharing with the American public, or a segment thereof, of the culture of the alien's home country. Thus, the essential elements of this component include public access, a cultural component, and related employment or training. In addition, USCIS must approve a Q-1 petition for a particular beneficiary(ies), filed by the employer. The two components can be combined in a single petition, after which additional participants may be approved via new petitions. Employers can, however, replace or substitute for participants already approved in a prior petition through a substitution letter to the consulate or port of entry/pre-flight inspection location (if the applicant is visa-exempt) containing specified information.

Given the nature of the constraints on the program, it is indeed best suited to Epcot Theme Park and the like, though larger hotel chains sometimes use the program temporarily to employ chefs.