What Is an I Visa?

Are you interested in gaining further knowledge and experience as a member of the press, media, journalism, and correspondents? Then the I-visa is for you. The I-Visa is known as the Media Visa that allows foreigners who are Members of the Foreign Media, Press and Radio, Foreign News Media, and Journalism to enter the U.S. legally to work. Unlike the Business Visitor Visa, the I-Visa is a work visa. I-Visa beneficiaries are permitted to participate in informative activities for a foreign audience.

The media visa is a non-immigrant visa to work in the U.S. but I-visa beneficiaries cannot use this specific visa to immigrate permanently to the U.S. or perform activities outside of the realm of journalism. For assistance with applying for an I-visa, have an immigration lawyer help you.

Getting To Know Agents of Foreign Information and Their Roles

Foreign media and film companies can use the I-Visa to bring their representatives to the U.S. to perform activities around the scope of work or foreign media projects. The specified persons that are categorized under the I-Visa with important capacities within the foreign information media are:

  • Film crew (for example videographers and news photographers)
  • Press, radio, film reporters
  • Freelance journalists working under contract
  • Employed journalists under a media company
  • Independent product company staff that are members of the news-gathering process

Film crews and other foreign information media officials who desire to enter the U.S. to work in the commercial, entertainment, or advertising sectors are not under this category and are required to apply for different types of visa categories if they wish to travel to the United States for work temporarily.

Visa Eligibility Requirement

To qualify for an I-Visa, you must prove that you are a representative of a foreign media organization and the activities you want to do in the U.S. are vital to the foreign media function of the organization you are representing.

Anyone who works in a foreign country or represents a foreign media outlet and wants to travel to the U.S. to learn how American Media Houses does the news and reporting on events, gathering information around educational or informational media will need to be eligible.

Certain circumstances that are typically eligible include:

  • Laborers of a foreign media company or an independent production company
  • Film production or distribution staff for dissemination of information or news with a primary source of funding from foreign country
  • Journalists under a contract with a credential from a professional journalistic news network or outlet from a foreign country seeking to enter the U.S. to report on the U.S. for a foreign audience
  • Ambassadors of tourist bureaus that are operated in whole or part by a foreign government for disseminating factual tourist information

A person who writes blogs qualifies if they would like to travel to the U.S. to cover an election or to collect and produce informational material about national parks or other conservation areas.

Filing an I-Visa

Every person seeking to travel to the U.S. under an I-Visa can apply while in the U.S. or abroad. Applying overseas will require going to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your home country and filing an I-Visa Form along with application fee. Before applying visit with your nearest immigration attorney.

An I-Visa Also Has an Expiration Date

Like any other visa whether immigrant or nonimmigrant, your visa has a validity period. An I-visa has a maximum of five years, though the majority of I-Visas are granted for 1 year unless you are applying from the People’s Republic of China (ROC).

Seek Help From an Immigration Lawyer

When applying for an I-Visa it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney especially if your career is dependent on getting an approval. Here at Gambacorta Law Office you will get advice and guidance for the entire I-Visa application process. Give our office a call at 847 443 9303.