I visa exists for foreign media representatives who want to engage their work in the United States. This visa category includes visiting journalists and reporters, radio workers, film crews, and editors for foreign media outlets. You must apply for an I visa should you plan to engage in journalism and/or media work during your visit, even if you are a resident or citizen of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program.
How to Obtain an I-Visa
To obtain an I visa, you must satisfy certain requirements:
- You must prove that you are a foreign national working for a foreign media outlet
- You must prove that you are visiting the US only for the purposes of media and journalis
- You must have a home office in your country of residence and/or citizenship
Having an immigration attorney prepare your application and submit it to the US immigration department will definitely help. The immigration lawyer will ensure that the required information and supporting documents are properly assembled.
Arriving in the United States
When your I visa is granted and you travel to the US, your case will be assessed by a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer, who will stamp your visa and let you into the country if they believe that you have satisfactory reasons for visiting. The stamp will contain details for how long you can stay as well as the purpose of your visit.
I Visa Conditions
Typically, you must keep working for your foreign employer during the valid period of your I visa. If you change employers, you will need to apply to change your immigration status with form I-539 and pay any applicable fees. If you leave your job during the valid period of your visa, you may have your length of stay curtailed and may have to leave the US in order to apply for a different visa category.
You may bring your family with you on your I visa - this includes your spouse and any children under the age of 21. They will not be allowed to work, but they will be permitted to study if they wish to do so.
Applying for the I visa for foreign media representatives can be a confusing process. Consulting an immigration attorney who specializes in US immigration law can help make things easier, especially if your case is not as straightforward or if you plan on bringing your family with you.