The I visa is available to foreign journalists and representatives of radio, film or other information organizations traveling to the U.S. to engage in information media activities.
Journalists and media representatives include reporters, film crews, videotape editors, employees of independent production companies, freelance journalists working under contract, and persons in similar occupations. Representatives from both the print and electronic media are included in this category.
Note: You cannot use the I visa to shoot films used primarily for commercial, entertainment or advertising purposes. However, you can shoot documentaries with informational content.
You may be eligible for the I visa if you are an accredited representative of a foreign government tourist bureau providing factual tourist information. However, accredited representatives of Foreign Government Trade Promotional Missions are not eligible for the
Benefits of the I Visa
You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. while on a valid I visa
You can stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited one year extensions as long as you maintain valid I status
You can apply for an I visa at a consulate abroad, or for change of status
, if in the U.S.
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Requirements for the I Visa
For a valid I visa, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
You must be a member of the media, a freelance journalist, or an employee of an independent production company under contract to a media organization
You must be involved in the newsgathering process
If you are engaged in film or video production, it must be informative or educational
If you are an employee of an independent production company involved in gathering news or filming documentaries, you must:
Possess credentials issued by a professional journalistic association
Possess a valid employment contract on a project that is not primarily intended for commercial, entertainment or advertisement use
Prove that the film will be used by a TV station or other such news media
Prove that the film will not be primarily used for commercial or advertising purposes
Present proof of journalistic work done in the last six months
How Do I Get a US Work Visa?
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