Jump to content
JJMKulman

Interning / Shadowing / Volunteering on a K1 VISA

5 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello, I have recently entered the US on a K1 VISA. My wife and I got married close to a month ago, and I'm currently in the process of applying for a green card.

I am well aware that I'm unable to engage in paid work until permission has been granted. However, I wanted to check the legality of unpaid interning / shadowing / volunteering opportunities...

 

Initially I assumed any unpaid work would be fine. However, I recently heard that even if an internship is unpaid, I wouldn't be able to take it, as it's an opportunity that could be going to American citizen. I'm not sure about the validity of this statement (or even where I even came across it), but regardless I thought it was worth checking here, as obviously I want to keep everything above board. Getting a green card is my top priority and I wouldn't dream of jeopardising this in any way.

Thanks in advance for any information regarding this conundrum!

Joe  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the rule of thumb is, is if the volunteer work or internship could lead to a paid job or has any gifts given such as gift cards, flowers, anything, it is considered taking a role away from a citizen.

Internships can be a slippery slope, because ideally you intern for something you want and a lot of companies may look to hire the interns they bring in unpaid, which means an unpaid internship could be seen as taking a potential job away from a citizen.

Basically, anything you volunteer for, you have to gain nothing from it other than the experience. So working at a soup kitchen feeding the homeless is okay, as long as you don't accept any gifts as payment or even "appreciation" of your work. But taking an unpaid internship... there is gain in that because it can lead to a job where you are interning at.

Others have done it though, I wouldn't recommend it nor would I do it.
 


*More detailed timeline in profile!*
 
Relationship:     Friends since 2010, Together since 2013

 K-1:   2015 Done in 208 days - 212g for Second Cosponsor    

Spoiler

04/27/15- NOA1 Recieved                                                    
06/02/15 - NOA2 Recieved
09/22/15 - Interview       (221g for more documents (a SECOND cosponsor), see profile for more details!)                                            
11/09/15 -  ISSUED!!                                                              
11/10/15 - Passport received                                                
02/20/16 - Wedding!              

                                         
 AOS:   2016 Done in 77 days - No RFE, No Interview                                                                    

Spoiler

04/08/16 - I-485, I-765, I-131 AOS Application recieved by USCIS
04/12/16 - 3 NOA1's received in mail
05/14/16 - Biometrics for AOS and EAD
06/27/16 - I-485 Case to changed to "New Card being produced"  (Day 77)
06/27/16 - I-485 Case changed to Approved! (Day 77)
06/30/16 - I-485 Case changed to "My Card has been mailed to me!"
07/05/16 - Green Card received in mail! 

 


ROC:   2018 - 2019 Done in 326 days - No RFE, No Interview

Spoiler

 

05/09/18 - Mailed out ROC to CSC

05/10/18 - CSC Signed and received ROC package
06/07/28 - NOA1 

06/11/18 - Check cashed

06/15/18 - NOA received in the mail
08/27/18 - 18 month extension received (Courtesy Copy)

09/18/18 - Request for official 18 month extension
10/22/18 - Official 18 month extension received 

02/27/19 - Biometrics waived 

04/29/19 - New card being produced!
05/09/19 - USPS delivered green card! In hand now!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, JJMKulman said:

Hello, I have recently entered the US on a K1 VISA. My wife and I got married close to a month ago, and I'm currently in the process of applying for a green card.

I am well aware that I'm unable to engage in paid work until permission has been granted. However, I wanted to check the legality of unpaid interning / shadowing / volunteering opportunities...

 

Initially I assumed any unpaid work would be fine. However, I recently heard that even if an internship is unpaid, I wouldn't be able to take it, as it's an opportunity that could be going to American citizen. I'm not sure about the validity of this statement (or even where I even came across it), but regardless I thought it was worth checking here, as obviously I want to keep everything above board. Getting a green card is my top priority and I wouldn't dream of jeopardising this in any way.

Thanks in advance for any information regarding this conundrum!

Joe  

 

 

Volunteering for truly volunteer positions is fine. I volunteered with a non-profit that provides pro-bono legal services to detainees in immigration detention. I scanned and also did translations. Both of these volunteer opportunities were advertised on their website. I would stay away from unpaid internships, and from doing "volunteer" work for which they would normally pay a person.

Edited by junkmart

c9 AOS Concurrently filed I-130 & I-130A, I-485, I-131, I-765

 

2019-02-21 Package sent to Chicago Lockbox via FedEx

2019-02-27 Package received

2019-02-27 Priority Date

2019-03-04 Notice Date

2019-03-09 Notice received via USPS

2019-03-15 Biometrics Appointment Notice received

2019-03-26 Attended Biometrics Appointment

2019-04-01 Case is ready to to be scheduled for an interview

2019-04-22 Interview Notice received via USPS

2019-05-20 Interview: Approved after 82 days.

2019-05-21 Card in production

2019-05-22 Card was mailed to you (no tracking)

2019-05-23 Update that USPS picked up the card (included tracking number). Estimated arrival: May 28

2019-05-24 I-130 and I-485 Approval Letters received via USPS.

2019-05-29 Green Card in hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has to be a position doing work that no one would ever expect to be paid for. 

 

The example of the translation work for refugees is a perfect definition of the type of thing that is permitted. Helping in a soup kitchen or animal shelter are also good examples. People don’t do these things to further their career and there is no expectation that it will lead to paid work later down the line. It is done purely altruistically. 

 

Offering to make the coffee and open the mail at your friend’s workplace would not be permitted. Even very junior roles in offices and other workplaces carry an expectation of payment and the chance for career development by those who undertake them. 

 

In short, helping those who need help is permitted. Getting your “foot in the door” in the hopes of helping yourself is not permitted. 


 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...