Destination Abroad : Study while working for a media house

Destination Abroad : Study while working for a media house

Ivisa allows you to study without F1 visa, but the study should not jeopardise your media responsibilities and Ivisa objectives To put it in a...

Ivisa allows you to study without F1 visa, but the study should not jeopardise your media responsibilities and Ivisa objectives

rao magantiTo put it in a nutshell, Ivisa is an important visa category that allows official representatives of foreign newspapers; television channels, film, radio and other electronic media outlets to stay in the United States to transmit news stories to their respective media organisations in their home countries/or produce documentaries.

Information programs in the fields of film and media come under the Ivisa category. If you are a media person opting to reach the US to send news stories from there, then the organisation that you will represent during your tour in America should have its (reputable) office in India�as the first and foremost prerequisite governing this visa category. Reporters in media, film crews, video editors, employees of production companies and freelance journalists on contract with a media organisation are eligible to apply for Ivisa.

Employees of production companies who are unconnected with newspapers or TV channels but produce film programs like documentaries would also be considered for Ivisas.Media persons who hold an ID/accreditation card as issued by a professional body, or a newspaper or electronic media outlet, or the government; and those who wish to produce news-related documentary films in the US for transmission through a television station or another media outlet in their home country may apply for visas under the I-category. Also, film crews who opt to produce films not intended at commercial entertainment or advertisement come under this category.

Contrary to the requirement as stipulated for some other non-immigrant visas, an Ivisa applicant need not necessarily have a residence in his home country. Ivisa holders can travel in and out of the US; and, apply for dependent visas to spouse and unmarried children below 21 years. If you have traveled to the US on Ivisa to file news stories from the US to a media outlet called "X" in India, then you should send reports to only the "X" and not any other Y or Z. This regulation precisely means that one cannot change his/her employer in the home country while working in the US on an Ivisa.

Ivisa doesn't stipulate any restrictions on your duration of stay in the United States. However, this visa category would not grant you privileges on par with an F-1 student vis-�-vis studying in the United States. While on Ivisa, you may study in an American university up to the level of earning few credits but the study should not jeopardise your media responsibilities and Ivisa objectives. Conversely, dependents of Ivisa holders can pursue higher education in the US without opting for an F-1 visa.

Ivisas are issued to foreign media representatives on a reciprocal basis by the US government. It's obvious that US Consulates grant Ivisas to media persons of a particular country as long as that country hasn't had any difficulty with issuing work visas to US media persons. A special feature of the I-visa is that one need not submit a petition to the USCIS or obtain its approval (as in the case of H1-B or some other nonimmigrant temporary worker visas) prior to attending a visa interview at a US Consulate. Eligible applicants may follow instructions as mentioned on the US Consulates' websites, submit online application, set up online appointment and attend visa interview directly at an American Consulate in their area.

Once in the US on an I-visa, an international media person holding this information category visa may also opt to file a petition seeking permanent residency in America.

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