Representatives of the media who are traveling to the U.S. on an assignment must obtain an I visa. They may be denied admission on a B-1 visa or under the visa waiver program.
- Members of the media engaged in the production or distribution of film, including employees of independent production companies, will qualify for “I” visas only if the material being filmed will be used to disseminate information or news;
- Representatives of the media includes, but is not limited to:
- Members of the press, radio, or film industry whose activities are essential to the foreign media function
- Examples: reporters, film crews and editors
- Criteria used as to whether or not an activity qualifies focuses on two issues:
- Is the activity essentially informational? and
- Is it generally associated with the news gathering process?
Please note: Members of the team working on such productions will not qualify for “I” classification visas. They will require the appropriate employment-based (O, P or H) visas. If the film project is of commercial or entertainment value, the appropriate employment-based O, P or H visa will be required.