Representatives of foreign media who represent foreign press, radio, film, internet, or other media may obtain I visa to come to the US to engage solely in the media activity. Spouses and children under 21 y.o. of media representatives are eligible for an I visa as well. If the family members do not intend to reside in the US with the I visa holder and only travel for a short period of time, they can travel in the US on a B-2 visa.

The authorized stay on the I visa will be determined at the US border by a CBP officer in the I-94. If the activity in the US is not limited by a period of time, the authorized stay will be for the Duration of Status while the media representatives continues to perform his (her) professional activities in the US.

Requirements and conditions:

  • Representative of foreign media must have a foreign country as the permanent residence.
  • Any employee involved in the fil  миming the material can qualify for an I visa
  • Employees engaged in the production or distribution of the material may qualify for an I visa if the material will further be used to disseminate news and information to foreign audience and the source of funding is outside of the US, e.g. reporters, film crews, editors. Proofreaders, librarians, set designers cannot qualify for I visa and need to apply for H, O, or P visa.
  • Photographers may enter the US on a B-2 visa if they receive salary only for a foreign source.
  • Independent employees who are not employees of a foreign media, must have a contract with the foreign media and have a credentials issued by a professional journalistic organization.
  • Representatives of foreign media who intend to work in a US branch of the foreign media must report information only to a foreign audience while working in the US.
  • Representatives of foreign media are not authorized to work for any other employer in the US except for the media. Accompanying spouse and children are not authorized to work in the US, but may attend schools without receiving an F-1 status.
  • An I visa holder may request a change of status or change of employer while in the US by filing I-539.


A  media representative intends to prepare a material in the US which will be used for commercial entertainment or advertising purpose,  artistic content, stage events, TV or shows, needs to obtain an H, O or P visa.


A journalist needs to submit DS-160 Form to a local U.S. embassy / consulate along with the visa fee and supporting documents including employer’s letter, independent contract agreement, description of your duties as a crew member, etc.

Often it is difficult to determine whether certain activity represents news dissemination media activity or activity of commercial purpose. Our attorneys will be happy to assist you with the determination and submission of documents for media visa.

Please email your question to info@altaviam.com

We will contact you to schedule an appointment or teleconference.