I-visa, generally referred to as the “Media Visa,” are intended for representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film, and print industries, traveling temporarily to the United States to work in their profession engaged in informational or educational media activities, essential to the foreign media function. I-visa applications are prepared at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in applicant’s home country without first filing a petition with USCIS. I-visas are typically issued for one year and unlimited extensions may be granted in one-year increments.
Most media related jobs qualify for the I visa; however, the U.S has specifically defined who can get this visa, and this includes individuals such as:
- A person who works in an independent production company with foreign journalistic credentials and must be filming events related to current news or a documentary.
- A person who is producing or distributing film which is related to current news information or is educational, and the film must be financed by a company outside the U.S.
- Journalists with a contract from a foreign media or journalistic company. They must be collecting news that are used to inform and not for commercial purposes.
- Journalists going to the U.S to collect news information about an event happening in the U.S. but the news information must be targeted to a foreign audience.
- A representative of a bureau of tourism who has valid accreditation. The representative’s company must be partially funded by a foreign government, and the purpose of the visit must be to collect touristic information about the U.S.
- A person who works in a company which distributes technical industrial information. This person can then work in the U.S offices of that company.
- Journalistic freelancers who have a valid work contract from a foreign media company, however, they must be engaged in any of the above mentioned work, provided that they work to collect and disseminate information.