I-Visas for Foreign Media Representatives

A little known visa that is very helpful for members of the media in other nations is the I-Visa, Representatives of Foreign Media. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), individuals may be eligible for this type of visa if they:

  • Represent a foreign information media outlet (press, radio, film, or other foreign information media),
  • Are coming to the United States to engage solely in this profession, and
  • Have a home office in a foreign country.

This visa also applies to those who work for a United States (U.S.) subsidiary of a foreign media company if the subsidiary is wholly-owned by the foreign media company.

How to Apply for an I-Visa

While the order of steps may vary depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the application process begins by completing Form DS-160. Applicants then normally go through an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (applicants 13 years or younger typically do not need an interview). Applicants should bring their passport, Form DS-160, fee payment, and photo, along with any other documentation the embassy or consulate requires.

The duration of the I-Visa lasts for as long as indicated on the Form I-94, but I-Visas are normally issues in one-year increments. Representatives may apply for one-year extensions, and there is no limit on the number of extensions that may be granted.

Representatives may also bring their spouse and dependent children with them, and the application procedure is the same as that for the representative. If the representative's spouse and/or children apply at a later date, however, they must supply a copy of the representative's I-Visa. Although the family members of representatives are not authorized to work under an I-Visa, they may study without needing to apply for an F-1 student visa.

Contact an Immigration Attorney to Assist with Your I-Visa Application or Extension

Samuel C. Berger, P.C., represents individuals who wish to immigrate to New Jersey and New York, family members seeking to bring a loved one here, and employers who want to hire talent from abroad. To schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team, please contact us today online or at (212) 380-8117.