Translation initiation factor that is able to deliver tRNA to the P-site of the eukaryotic ribosome in a GTP-independent manner. The binding of Met-tRNA(I) occurs after the AUG codon finds its position in the P-site of 40S ribosomes, the situation that takes place during initiation complex formation on some specific RNAs. Its activity in tRNA binding with 40S subunits does not require the presence of the aminoacyl moiety. Possesses the unique ability to deliver non-Met (elongator) tRNAs into the P- site of the 40S subunit. In addition to its role in initiation, can promote release of deacylated tRNA and mRNA from recycled 40S subunits following ABCE1-mediated dissociation of post-termination ribosomal complexes into subunits (By similarity).