I Visas

I Visas: Representatives of Foreign Media

Individuals may be eligible for an I nonimmigrant visa is they:

  • 1) Represent a foreign information media outlet, such as the press, radio, or film,
  • 2) Are coming to the United States to engage solely in the profession of media,
  • 3) Have a home office in a foreign country. Examples of occupation under the I visa category include reporters, film crews, and any other similar work.


To be eligible for the I Visa, an individual must represent that they are a bona fide representative of a foreign media outlet, whose activities are absolutely necessary to perform the functions of your organization.

A foreign media representative is not allowed to engage in media operations in the United States without an I Visa, even if the media member is a national representative of a country that participates in the United States Visa Waiver Program. If a media member attempts to travel to the United States without obtaining the appropriate I Visa, Homeland Security will deny their admission in to the United States.

Admission as an I Visa holder is authorized for the duration of status. No application for extended period of time is required so long as the media member continues to work for the same employer in the same media.

If an individual is currently in the United States and wishes to request a change of status from an alternative nonimmigrant classification to an I Visa status, or if the individual currently holds I status and wishes to request a change of employer or information file, the individual must file Form I-539. The application must be joined with evidence of the individual’s current status and a letter from the foreign media organization which employs the media member that describes the employment and establishes the fact that the applicant is a member of the media and represents that organization.


For more information regarding I Visas, and the process of obtaining an I Visa, please contact the Law Office of Jeffery Bennett via phone: 816-759-2776 (English), 816-759-2777 (Spanish); or via email: jyb@jybennettlaw.com.