You may be eligible for the I-1, Representatives of Foreign Media, nonimmigrant visa, if you:
Occupations under this category include reporters, film crews, editors and other similar occupations. Any spouse and children may accompany or follow to join an I-1 nonimmigrant.
You must demonstrate that you are a representative of foreign media whose activities are essential to the functions of your organization. The consular officer at the U.S. embassy will determine whether an activity is qualifying in order to obtain a nonimmigrant visa.
You can apply at an American Embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. The Department of State establishes visa application processing and issuance fees.
As a representative of foreign media, you cannot travel to the U.S. and engage in your profession without an I-1 nonimmigrant visa, even if you are a citizen of a country that participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you attempt to travel to the U.S. without the appropriate visa, you may be denied admission by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the port of entry (airport, seaport, or land border). There are limited instances under which you, as a media representative, may be eligible to travel with a visitor’s visa. See the” Department of State, Visa Application Forms” link to the right for more information.
Initial Period of Stay
Extension of Stay/Change of Status
Duration of Stay
Duration of Status
At the port of entry, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will determine if you can be admitted to the United States. The Officer will review and stamp Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which will contain your authorized period of stay. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, if any, you must file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/ Change Nonimmigrant Status with any required evidence to USCIS. If you wish to extend your stay due to a change of employer or medium, you also file Form I-539 with evidence to the Service Center with jurisdiction over your residence in the United States. For more information about extending your stay see the “Extend my Stay” link to the right.
Any accompanying or following-to-join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an I-1 nonimmigrant visa. If your spouse and/or children apply for visas at a later date, they must submit a copy of your I-1 nonimmigrant visa with their application. Your spouse and children are not eligible to work with an I-1 nonimmigrant visa, but can study in the United States without applying for a F-1 nonimmigrant visa. If they do not intend to reside with you in the United States they may travel to the United States with a B-1 nonimmigrant visa or travel without a nonimmigrant visa if they qualify under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
If you are a reporter or journalist, etc. representing the media and intend to temporarily visit the U.S. to attend a conference or meeting and you are not going to report about the conference or meeting, either while in the U.S. or upon your return to the foreign country, you may travel on a visitor (B-1) visa. However, it would be in your best interest to obtain a media (I) visa to avoid complications when applying for entry with a CBP Officer. You are more limited with a (B-1) visa when visiting the U.S. as a representative of the media for business purposes.
In addition to the media (I) visa, you will need press credential to present to the CBP Officer as well as other travel ID such as a passport when arriving in the U.S.
Last updated: 07/02/2010