The “I” visa classification is available for representatives of foreign information media (print, radio, or video), including even tourist bureaus, trade missions, technical industrial information distributors, and including freelancers or employees of independent production companies who have professional journalistic credentials. Aliens working on entertainment or commercial film or video projects, as opposed to informational or educational projects, do not qualify for “I” visas and must pursue other avenues such as those for artists and entertainers.
The visa application may be made directly to the consulate without any preliminary USCIS approval. There is no maximum limit on “I” status, and someone may extend a stay or change to another classification. The spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may accompany or follow the “I” worker in “I” status but may not work in the U.S.
How We Can Help
The Baker Donelson Immigration Group can assist foreign media businesses and entities to obtain the appropriate immigration status for the correspondents they send to the U.S. We can assist media workers and their families seek “I” visas, to change to or from “I” status within the U.S., or to seek permanent residence.
Consult with us for assistance with a case.