I- Visa & Status

Those who qualify for I-Visa status are representatives of the media.


  1. Bona fide representative.
  2. Of foreign press, radio, film or other foreign information media.
  3. Includes not only primary employees of foreign information media engaged in filming news events or documentaries but also employees of independent production companies if the employees either: hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association; or 2.if no such credential is available because the sending country has no credentialing authority or the authority does not offer credentialing to the class of media representatives to which the employees belong.
  4. Does not include film production/distribution unless film is informational or educational.
  5. Television included. Private production crews where film will be distributed for information or news not commercial entertainment are also included.
  6. If producing for commercial entertainment/advertising purpose, camera crew and other workers obtain O-1 and O-2 visas even if no U.S. remuneration and film solely for foreign distribution.
  7. Foreign press includes a foreign press owned by U.S. shareholders if staffed in large part by non-Americans to collect information for foreign audience. I visa holder may be employed by a U.S. branch office or U.S. subsidiary of the foreign company provided his or her activities are being conducted principally for the benefit of the foreign-based media.
  8. Entering solely to engage in vocation.
  9. Only if “home office” is in foreign country (foreign correspondent for New York Times needs L/H visa).
  10. Conditions of entry Reciprocity between U.S. and home country. Cannot enter on a B visa or on a visa waiver to perform I functions.


Not subject to INA §222(g) until there is finding of unauthorized stay by IJ or USCIS because I visa holders are given D/S upon entry.

Immigration Law

Immigration Law
Immigration Law