I Visa

The I visa (“Representatives of Foreign Media”) is a special US visa reserved for media personnel who work for a foreign media company that is carrying out its business in the United States.

While the nominal term for an I visa is only up to one year, that may be extended indefinitely, for as long as the project is active.

Permitted Occupations


The following occupations (and equivalents) are allowed under an I category visa:

  • News reporters
  • Freelance journalists (provided they are working under contract)
  • Film crews
  • Editors
  • Independent production companies

Commercial Media Excluded

The I visa does not cover commercial uses, including entertainment or advertising.

Family Members: I-1

Immediate family members, i.e., legal spouse and any unmarried children under 21, may apply for an I-1 visa to accompany the I visa holder on their visit to the U.S., where they are permitted to study without applying for any other visa, but are not permitted to work. They should present a copy of the original visa with the I-1 application.

If family members wish to visit for a shorter stay, a B2 visa may be preferable (unless they are coming from a country that participates in a visa waiver program with the U.S.).

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