Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people are working as freelancers every day. They’re contract people, individuals with little to no employment rights. As challenging as this field seems to many people, it is a way of living for others, sometimes a lucrative one at that.
But not everyone who wants to work as a freelancer can get work. It isn’t that they aren’t qualified to work, rather there is a legal area keeping them from obtaining work — and that area is immigration.
Freelance Visa for Writers
If you are a legal resident of the United States or have the required documentation to live in the states, then you can find whatever work suits you. However, if you want to obtain a “freelance visa” you will find that there is no category when applying for a visa according to Freelancers Union. Instead, you may have to speak with an attorney well versed in immigration law to find out how you might qualify for a visa.
Siskind Susser are immigration lawyers experienced in helping people qualify for a visa, especially if they are media personnel working for foreign press. Under this arrangement, applicants must apply for an “I” visa, what allows you to enter the United States temporarily to engage in your work.
You’ll need to apply at a consulate and understand that your admission will be granted based on a “duration of status” clause. This means that when your work is up, you must leave the country. Fortunately, you may be able to keep your stay here many years, especially if your sponsoring employer requires your work. There is no need to apply for an extension either.
Immigration Attorney Assistance
An immigration attorney can assist you too. He or she will review the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to find what qualifications are needed for foreign media to obtain a visa. Two criteria apply: you must be performing qualifying activities for a media group located in a foreign country and the work that you do must qualify as informational or part of the news gathering process related to current events.
You may qualify for a visa if you are a media member engaged in the production or distribution of film; are an employee of foreign information media; a journalist working under contract; an employee of independent production companies; a foreign journalist working for a subsidiary of a US network, or you are an accredited representative of tourist bureaus.
You won’t qualify for a visa if you gather information for an advertising newspaper or commercial entertainment outlet. You should also know that the set designers, librarians and proofreaders are not qualified under section “I” but may qualify elsewhere. Talk with your immigration attorney to learn what requirements apply to you. Others deemed ineligible include artistic media content producers and media for stage events such as quiz shows and television.
Required Forms and Photo
All applicants should expect to furnish several forms and a photo when applying for a visa. A 2×2 photo, your country’s valid passport, a nonimmigrant status form and a supplemental nonimmigrant visa application are required. You must also furnish proof of employment and pay the related processing fee. Only when your immigration status is approved may you begin work.
Freelancers Union warns that visa holders with a green card should be careful about what types of work they attempt to do. For instance, if you possess an H1-B visa, then it is illegal to work as an independent contractor except for the one that sponsored you. Remember, you came to this country under certain parameters — you need to stay within those confines or risk having your visa revoked.
Peter Joiner is a professional blogger that provides the latest information on the immigration laws in the U.S. He writes for Goodin Law P.A. Immigration Lawyer, an immigration lawyer in Las Vegas that provides a wide range of services for immigration and citizenship needs.