I Visa (Foreign media): Requirements and How to Win an I Visa

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

i-visa-foreign-mediaThe 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.).

Attorney Tips for Applicants