I Visa

Learn About I Visa Requirements And Eligibility


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 I visa.

VisaPro’s experienced immigration attorneys will prepare and file all the required documents for the representatives of foreign press, films, television, or other media applying for the I visa.

Check My Eligibility

I Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

  • Foreign professionals in print and film media such as reporters, film crews, video tape editors, or employees of independent production companies
  • Freelance journalists working under contract, and persons in similar occupations
  • Immediate family members of I visa holders

I Visa Benefits

  1. You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. while on a valid I visa
  2. You can stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited one year extensions as long as you maintain valid I status
  3. You can apply for an I visa at a consulate abroad, or for change of status, if in the U.S.

I Visa Requirements

For a valid I visa, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. 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
  2. You must be involved in the newsgathering process
  3. If you are engaged in film or video production, it must be informative or educational
  4. If you are an employee of an independent production company involved in gathering news or filming documentaries, you must:

    1. Possess credentials issued by a professional journalistic association

    2. Possess a valid employment contract on a project that is not primarily intended for commercial, entertainment or advertisement use

    3. Prove that the film will be used by a TV station or other such news media

    4. Prove that the film will not be primarily used for commercial or advertising purposes

    5. Present proof of journalistic work done in the last six months

I Visa Notes

  • To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on an I visa, you must change your visa status.
  • The information provided here is applicable to New I Visa and I Extension.

I Visa Fees

VisaPro Processing Time 2 business days

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