I- Visa & Status
Those who qualify for I-Visa status are representatives of the media.
- Bona fide representative.
- Of foreign press, radio, film or other foreign information media.
- 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.
- Does not include film production/distribution unless film is informational or educational.
- Television included. Private production crews where film will be distributed for information or news not commercial entertainment are also included.
- 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.
- 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.
- Entering solely to engage in vocation.
- Only if “home office” is in foreign country (foreign correspondent for New York Times needs L/H visa).
- 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.