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Other Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the I Visa
  • I changed my visa status and subsequently departed the United States. How can I re-enter the United States?

    I changed my visa status and subsequently departed the United States. How can I re-enter the United States?

    • If someone changed status to I status in the United States, he or she does not need an I visa to maintain legal status while in the United States.  However, a visa is required if the beneficiary subsequently leaves the United States and wishes to re-enter as an I nonimmigrant.  The applicant must apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá The Form I-797 (Notice of Action), which informed the applicant that the change of status to I status was approved, is not a travel document and cannot take the place of a visa.
  • Can my spouse or child travel with me?

    Can my spouse or child travel with me?

    • Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 can receive a derivative I visa to accompany or follow-to-join the principal visa holder in the United States.  The application procedure is the same. Derivatives are generally subject to the same visa validity, period of admission, and limitation of stay as the principal applicant.  The spouse and any child age 14 years of age and older must be present at the interview. Note
      that U.S. law does not recognize Colombian common-law marriages (unión libre), and such spouses therefore do not qualify for derivative visas.
  • How can I apply for a derivative I visa?

    How can I apply for a derivative I visa?

    • Derivatives must apply for a visa, following the same instructions as the principal applicant.  When a derivative applies for an I visa to follow-to-join a principal I nonimmigrant already in the United States, the consular officer also must be satisfied that the principal applicant is maintaining I status before issuing the visa.  Therefore, in addition to the normal I documents, such applicants must present:

      A photocopy of the principal applicant’s issued I visa and U.S. entry stamp or, if the applicant changed status to I status, the original Form I-797 (Notice of Action) approving the change of status.

      Certified copies of the birth/marriage certificates showing the relationship between the principal alien and the I applicant.

      The spouse and any child age 14 years of age and older must be present at the interview.

  • Can my stepchild apply for a derivative visa?

    Can my stepchild apply for a derivative visa?

    • If the marriage creating the stepchild relationship occurred before the
      child’s eighteenth birthday, the child may apply for a derivative visa.  Your child’s application materials must include a copy of your marriage certificate establishing the stepchild relationship.
  • Can I study in the United States on a derivative I visa?

    Can I study in the United States on a derivative I visa?

    • Yes. There is no requirement that the spouse and/or children of an I visa holder apply for a student (F-1) visa if they wish to study in the United States. They may study on their derivative I visas.
  • Can I work in the United States on a derivative I visa?

    Can I work in the United States on a derivative I visa?

    • No. Spouses and children in derivative I status cannot work while in the United States.