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I Visa Questions

The I visa–popularly known as the media visa—is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign media personnel temporarily traveling to the United States to work there while maintaining their permanent office in their home country. Under U.S immigration law, the applicant has to meet very specific requirements in order to qualify for an I visa. Lack of proper knowledge about I visa requirements and confusion about legal laws involved with it often give rise to questions like those answered by Experts below.

What are the requirements for making an I visa application?

In order to apply for an I visa, the applicant must be a member of the foreign media coming to the U.S. specifically to engage in work related to his/her job as a foreign media professional. Someone who intends to get hired by a U.S. media outlet cannot apply for an I visa.

Is an I visa holder legally permitted to receive payment in the U.S. for work done in the U.S.?

According to U.S. immigration law, a person working in the U.S. on an I visa cannot be paid there. Since an I visa is not a work visa, the person cannot be paid by a U.S. company and should be paid in the employer in their home country.

Can an I visa holder apply for a Green Card? If yes, what are the requirements to do so?

Yes, an I visa holder can apply for Green Card. While the I visa is a temporary visa and does not require any form of sponsorship. However, a Green Card is a permanent work visa. To apply for a Green Card, there must be a U.S. employer willing to sponsor the applicant.

Is it possible for a F1 visa holder to change it to an I visa?

It is not possible to change an existing F-1 visa to an I visa. An I visa must be obtained from the applicant’s home country. It is not possible to change the status of any other visa to an I visa from within the U.S. Once you have an I visa you can apply for an extension but you cannot get the I visa while in the U.S.

Is it legal for an I visa holder to work on another job in addition to the one with the foreign media company with which the visa holder is under contract? Would work besides I visa-related work be a violation of the terms of the I visa?

As an I visa holder, the applicant is only allowed to work for the employer with which he/she was under contract at the time of application. In order to work on any other project or job in the U.S., the person must get a specific work authorization. If he/she is working on any other job without the proper visa and authorization, he/she would be working illegally.

When applying for an I visa, applicants may be confused about such things as visa requirements or the legal rules visa extension. It is important to have a clear sense of the requirements for the I visa and the right application procedure before beginning. When you are unsure, it may be suitable to ask for Expert advice to help you with your I visa application and to provide you with clear insights about immigration laws.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34621
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
characters left:
3 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent I Visa Questions

  • My father wrote a letter to accompany his DS-4079 that stated

    My father wrote a letter to accompany his DS-4079 that stated his allegiance was to Canada and that he likes Canadian culture and took an oath of allegiance to Canada. He made that clear. The consulate acknowledged the DS-4079 and said he couldn't cancel his appointment, just delay it. My father has changed his mind in light of doing research, he definately didnt think this through. Question: Is there a way to withdraw the DS-4079,..ie does he have to go in person to withdraw it? PS he lives in Canada. And secondly, I'm haunted that they could take away his passport and citizenship based on the fact that he maybe just make them mad with that letter and DS-4079.... or does he still have to go to the consulate to sign other forms to actually loose his citizenship? Do they just take it away?
  • We have filed I-140 petition under premium processing in nebraska

    We have filed I-140 petition under premium processing in nebraska service center. We haven't received the receipt number for 3 working days via email and my employer called Premium Processing to check the status of receipt number. USCIS PP Representatives instructed us to wait for one more week before calling to find out the status.
    They have returned the I-140 as my employer filed with the outdated form. It was rejected the next day they received the petition. When my employer called the USCIS representative in Premium Processing they didnt inform about the rejection.
    Problem here is that employer received the return packet from USCIS after the expiration date of Labor certification. My employer rectified the problem on the same day and filed immediately with expired labor mentioning the entire situation.
    They denied the I-140 saying petition has been filed with expired labor.
    Here are my questions:
    My employer contacted them multiple times asking about the status and no one provided the information about returned petition
    My employer argument is that they could have filed I-140 immediately in e-filing online if they come to know about the returned petition.
    I would like to check with the experts and see are there any options to reopen the case and provide the information again.
    They did send us the packet in the normal post and it reached us back after several weeks. I appreciate if someone can respond back.
  • I am a nurse practitioner. I am here on a student visa but am temporarily here on a OPT v

    I am a nurse practitioner. I am here on a student visa but am temporarily here on a OPT visa through my previous Masters program which will end in December. During my interview and on my application it asks if I will need a Sponsor and they were well aware of my situation. But now they are stating that they cannot sponsor me because they have never sponsored Nurse Practitioners. The Doctor that I work for does not like me for what ever reason that he has not stated or filed any complaints about. No Complaints have been filed against my performance. I recently got married to a U.S citizen and have filed for a marriage visa which will be approved in January. But my OPT visa expires in December. Human Resources and the hiring manager said since I have no sponsorship i will have to be terminated. i asked can I take a temporary vacation until my Marriage visa is processed. They said that is not possible. I am pretty confident this Doctor is persuading them somehow to terminate me
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