I-Visa for Representatives of Foreign Media

The I visa is available to members of the media, such as representatives of foreign radio, film, news, television, reporters, freelance journalists, and film crew members or other media provided that U.S. citizens are granted reciprocal privileges. I visas are available to persons only to work for a foreign media outlet, or a U.S.-based subsidiary of a foreign media company. I status is valid for the duration of employment.

The I visa applicant must prove:

  • That his or her stay in the U.S. will be temporary.
  • That he or she will have sufficient funds to stay in the U.S.
  • That he or she intends to return to the home country after the work has been completed.

The initial I visa application must be filed directly at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad, with future extensions filed either abroad or with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). I visas can be granted for an initial period necessary to complete the reporting assignment, and can be extended as necessary. The I visa allows the beneficiary to work only for the foreign media employer and does not allow other employment in the U.S. The beneficiary may change employers by filing an I transfer petition with USCIS or by applying for a new I visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

Spouses and children of I visa holders are classified as I “dependents.” Holders of I “dependent” status are not entitled to work in the United States.

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