Innovative Visa for Innovative Chinese Cook

A Chinese restaurant decided to bring a Chinese cook not only to cook Chinese dishes but also to perform demonstrations of Chinese cooking at the restaurant. The restaurant was not interested in waiting many years for the Chinese quota to become current for permanent residence applicants.

We arranged for the local cable television channel to have a program on Chinese cooking at which our cook could demonstrate the art of Chinese cooking. Based upon the fact that he would not only come to the U.S. to cook, but also to educate the public on Chinese culture and the art of Chinese cooking, both through his public performances at the restaurant and also on television, we applied for a Q-1 cultural exchange visa. Although this visa had been designed for employees of Disneyland to come to staff the country exhibits, we showed that all of the necessary elements of the Q-1 visa regarding cultural exchange were equally met in this restaurant context. The Q-1 visa was issued, and the Chinese chef was able to come to the U.S. without awaiting the long Chinese quota.