‎I Journalist Visa

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What is a journalist "I" Visa?

The Journalist Visa (I) is for professional journalists who need to travel to the United States for short-term assignments for a local medium.

Specific requirements for the journalist Visa (I)

Professional journalists should make an appointment for a consular interview and appear on the day of the interview.

Due to the high incidence of fraud in journalist (I) visa applications, a review has been made of the necessary requirements for this type of visa. These requirements depend on whether or not the applicant has previously had a journalist visa. If the applicant has not had a journalist visa in the last year, she must present proof of her journalistic work during the last six months.


1. In addition to the requirements for the Tourist Visa, the journalist traveling in a professional capacity must present:

2. Previous passports.

3. Cover letter from your company, indicating the time worked with it, the date and duration of the projected trip, and the event that you are going to cover in the United States.

Who has not had Visa I during the last year, needs to present proof of her work as a journalist in the last six months, through:

4. Originals of your publications or programs:

For journalists of written media, originals of the publications in which each article has been published. Cutouts or photocopies will not be accepted.

For television reporters, videos of their segments on the air.

For radio journalists, cassettes of their programs.

For videographers, producers and television directors, videos of the sequence of program credits in which their names appear in the respective credits.

For radio producers or other off-air personnel, program cassettes in which on-air credits are included.

Anyone who has had an I Visa for the last year and plans to travel on behalf of the same publication or program, needs to present proof of the work done during the previous trip to the United States. Said examples may include originals of the publications or programs (according to point No. 4 above).

Anyone who has had an I Visa for the last year but plans to travel to the United States on behalf of a different publication or program, needs to present proof of the final result of their previous trip to the United States and additionally proof of work recently completed with the new company. Said examples may include originals of your publications or programs (according to point No. 4 above). The proof of a recent job for the new company is similar to the requirements for the first time applicant, as mentioned above, but does not need to cover the entire six-month period.

What should I do if I just found out that I have to travel to the US to cover an event in the next two weeks and I can`t get an appointment? Your case classifies as an emergency business trip appointment. Please see the information on "Urgent Travel".

Source: Department of State of the United States of America.

Important: The information on this page was provided by the Department of State, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and / or the United States Department of Homeland Security. No information provided on this page should be considered legal advice. For this reason, the reader is advised to consult an attorney before doing any diligence to visit or migrate to the United States of America.

Benefits of the journalist visa in the United States.

The United States has the largest number of journalists on the planet and offers many temporary and permanent work opportunities for foreign professionals.

If you are a journalist or member of the press and want to work in the United States, one of the main visa rules is that you work for a media organization based outside the United States. You cannot get a visa if you want to work as a media employee for an American company.

Who needs a visa?

If you fall into any of the categories below, then you need a visa to film, research and report in the United States: Most journalists and some filmmakers.

Distributors: If you are producing or distributing films related to current events or for educational purposes, and the film is financed by a company outside the United States, then you may need a visa.

Journalists under contract: Journalists who have a contract with a foreign media company or similar organization may apply for a visa for news gathering (including current events), but not for commercial purposes.

Journalists reporting current events: If you are traveling to the United States to report current events to a foreign audience, you can apply for an I visa.

Freelance Journalists: If you are a freelance journalist with a valid employment contract from a foreign media company, you may need a visa to visit the United States, assuming you are visiting the country to collect and report information.

Any worker intending to enter the United States for purposes not listed above may require a traditional work visa or a separate type of visa

Certain media workers may also have specialized visa categories, including H visas (general work visas), O visas (arts and education specialists), and P visas (for athletes, artists and entertainers).

How to apply for an I visa – Applying for an I visa involves a similar process to applying for any nonimmigrant visa.

How long does it take to process an I visa? – The I visa is one of the fastest visas for US immigration authorities to process. It can usually be processed in about 1 to 3 weeks. However, processing times may take longer, depending on the workload of your local US embassy

How long does my I Visa last? – The I visa will last as long as it takes to complete your work in the United States. US immigration authorities generally grant an I visa for the duration of your stated employment contract in the United States. Generally, if your contract does not have a defined period, your visa will be valid for one year.

Can I get a Green Card with an I visa? – An I visa is not considered a pathway to a Green Card. Instead, an I visa allows you to work temporarily in the United States as a member of the foreign media or press. However, there are certain situations in which a visa holder can change his status. You might be hired by an American company, for example, that is willing to sponsor you for an H1-B visa, which can be a pathway to a Green Card and permanent residency.

Can I bring my dependents to the United States on an I visa? The visa allows you to bring a dependent to the United States with you during your contract in America. Your dependents must fall into one of the following two categories: Spouse of an I visa holder; Unmarried children under the age of 21 of an I visa holder

Spouses and children can apply for a visa called a derivative or a dependent visa. Normally, any dependent will apply for a derivative visa at the same time you apply for an I visa. If your dependents apply for a dependent visa at a future date, your dependents will need to provide proof of their visa.

Dependents visiting the US on a dependent I visa can study in the US without needing a study visa (F1). However, you are not allowed to work in the United States on a dependent visa.

To find out more information about how to obtain a US visa, it is recommended to look for a reputable immigration office in the international market.


Mr. Alessandro Jacob speaking about Brazilian Law on "International Bar Association" conference

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