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kikithekat

I-Visa (journalist) vs. B1- which one has less troubles

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Hey guys,

i got denied the visa waiver because of a previous journey to iran. For a job as the DOP of a documentary, i needed to travel to the states in February. But representative at the embassy assest me and said i needed to apply for a I-Visa because of the nature of this film. AS they couldnt issue ANY visa in time for the job, so he put the status on pending. Now i have another job coming up for a commercial brand and wanted to reactivate my visa. Yet again they want to go ahead with I-Visa. But i have heard that an I-Visa has a few fall downs and you always have trouble at the borderimmigration and that it wont be wise to apply for this if i could also get a B1.

Is there anybody with experiences of an I-Visa here? What are the difficulties? Any advices?

Thanks

kiki

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Poland
Timeline

Coming in with B-1 visa (assuming you get it), what exactly are you going to say reason for the visit is ? If you tell the truth (which you should), you're going to get sent back immediately and told to go get the right visa...

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Filed: Timeline

hey, on a buisness visa i am alllowed to work when i get paid from abroad. so, i would tell this.

The US Embassy told you that you need an I visa for your work. Why do you think you can get around this?

You need to look at the future. Screw with the system, then be prepared for the consequences.

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hey, on a buisness visa i am alllowed to work when i get paid from abroad. so, i would tell this.

Ok, yes you are right.

When you get to the POE tell them you will be working while you are in the USA, which is ok as you are getting paid from abroad. They will stamp you straight in. My mistake.

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I had an I-visa for a while - it's for media professionals employed by a foreign media company needing to work on something for that foreign media company in the US. For example, I was a news reporter and the visa was for coming to the US to interview and create news reports for a broadcaster in the UK.

It was a very quick visa to get at the London Embassy with the right credentials.

You can only use it for the time it takes for your project or job - it's not for any other use. You can't use it to travel for pleasure for example.

While I had it in my passport I also travelled occasionally on the VWP to visit my boyfriend and was always asked whether I would be working because of the I-visa in my passport.

What difficulties are you worried about - getting the actual visa or using it?

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hey, on a buisness visa i am alllowed to work when i get paid from abroad. so, i would tell this.

Not always. There are very specific regulations about what a jurnalist can do on a B visa -- and the Embassy has already told you that what you plan to do requires the I. They will not issue a B visa to do what they have already told you requires an "I". It is not a matter of you choosing a particular visa because you think it has "less trouble" -- the visa has to match the prinary purpose of your reason for going to the US.

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As a Director of Photography with some credits under your belt I suspect that you may well be able to obtain an O1B visa - for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

Do you have a US agent that could file an O petition for you?

You can also pay extra for premium processing which can speed it up to under a couple of weeks, and aided by a sprinkling of magic from a good O lawyer wording the petition the right way, it could work out well for you.


CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

I-751 #1- May2015 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 - Oct 2017 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

N-400 Feb 2018 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

Mid - February  2019: N-400 Interview - unable to conduct, as pending I-751 was still in Vermont, despite case transfer notice having been received.

Mid 2019: Filed request for Senator & Ombudsman assistance. Both unable to help. Treat.

Dec 2019: Filed FOIA request for full A# file

Feb 2020: FOIA request completed - entire A# file received as a .PDF; 197 pages fully redacted, and 80 partially redacted. Don't waste your time!

 

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I had an I-visa for a while - it's for media professionals employed by a foreign media company needing to work on something for that foreign media company in the US. For example, I was a news reporter and the visa was for coming to the US to interview and create news reports for a broadcaster in the UK.

It was a very quick visa to get at the London Embassy with the right credentials.

You can only use it for the time it takes for your project or job - it's not for any other use. You can't use it to travel for pleasure for example.

While I had it in my passport I also travelled occasionally on the VWP to visit my boyfriend and was always asked whether I would be working because of the I-visa in my passport.

What difficulties are you worried about - getting the actual visa or using it?

Hey, i can get the I-Visa quite easy. I just heard that they would ask a lot of questions on the immigration when you have an I-Visa and it could be a pain to get in ( especially with trump on the horizon). YOu never had any problems here?

I had no idea that you couldnt travel for pleasure to the states with an I-Visa. I got my ESTA revoked as i was visiting Iran and i am not elegible for the VWP anymore. so that is actually a huge problem. :/

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As a Director of Photography with some credits under your belt I suspect that you may well be able to obtain an O1B visa - for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

Do you have a US agent that could file an O petition for you?

You can also pay extra for premium processing which can speed it up to under a couple of weeks, and aided by a sprinkling of magic from a good O lawyer wording the petition the right way, it could work out well for you.

oh wow. i had no idea!!! where would i find such an agent and what are the costs?

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Hey, i can get the I-Visa quite easy. I just heard that they would ask a lot of questions on the immigration when you have an I-Visa and it could be a pain to get in ( especially with trump on the horizon). YOu never had any problems here?

I had no idea that you couldnt travel for pleasure to the states with an I-Visa. I got my ESTA revoked as i was visiting Iran and i am not elegible for the VWP anymore. so that is actually a huge problem. :/

Every time you travel with the I-visa it has to be for a specific job reason - once you are there and working you can include a vacation and travel for pleasure but you can't just use it to enter the US like a travel visa.

When you enter the country they ask you exactly why you are there each time and how long you will be there for.

Maybe people who have problems entering are too vague about the work they will be doing and who for. It's important that any work produced is not for any domestic media companies.

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Hey, i can get the I-Visa quite easy. I just heard that they would ask a lot of questions on the immigration when you have an I-Visa and it could be a pain to get in ( especially with trump on the horizon). YOu never had any problems here?

I had no idea that you couldnt travel for pleasure to the states with an I-Visa. I got my ESTA revoked as i was visiting Iran and i am not elegible for the VWP anymore. so that is actually a huge problem. :/

Trump individually has nothing to do with enforcement of US laws. Your entry into the US (on any visa) is solely at CBP's discretion.

Edited by KierenHby

USCIS

January 16, 2015 I-130 Mailed, Chi lockbox January 20, 2015 Priority Date, January 21, 2015 NOA1 notice date, Assigned VSC, January 23, 2015 Check Cashed, electronically March 5, 2015 NOA2

NVC

March 27, 2015 NVC received April 6, 2015 Case#, IIN# assigned April 8, 2015 Paid AOS + IV fee Invoices May 5, 2015 AOS + IV package submitted May 11, 2015 Scan Date

June 11, 2015 DS-260 submitted June 25, 2015 False checklist (for ds260).. hello? June 30, 2015 Answered checklist Aug 5, 2015 Escalated to Supervisor review Aug 13, 2015 Case Complete

Consular

Sept 10, 2015 Interview Scheduled Sept 11, 2015 P4 Letter received Sept 21, 2015 file In transit from NVC Sept 23, 2015 file at Embassy

Sept 28, 2015 Medical Oct 14, 2015 Biometrics Oct 15, 2015 Interview (Approved) Oct 19, 2015 IV visa Issued Oct 23, 2015 Passport Pickup

POE

Nov 2, 2015 Entered the US Nov 16, 2015 Applied for SSN, walk-in Nov 20, 2015 Social Security Card recd Jan 15, 2016 GC received

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: France
Timeline

How long do people with I-Visas usually stay in the U.S will all the limitations? Can they truly sustain their lives while being paid by the foreign media sending them?

Edited by Polis

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