The I visa is for individuals coming to the United States as integral members of a foreign media organization. Media outlets include the newspaper, radio, film, or other types of foreign media. Members of foreign media who can apply for this visa include reporters, film crews, editors. To apply you must show that you:
- Are coming to the United States to engage solely in this profession; and
- Have a central office in a foreign country.
You should submit evidence such as a letter from the foreign media employer verifying your profession in the media outlet.
Applying Within the United States
If you are located in the United States, with a non-immigrant status or visa, you can change to the I status or extend your stay under the I status by submitting the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with the proper fees and attached evidence. The USCIS makes the decisions on this type of application. During the process you should be on the look out for any requests for more evidence, called RFEs. Failure to respond to these may cause a delay or denial of your application. This is where my services at ST Law Office can be pivotal to the success of an immigration visa application.
Before applying for the visa through this process, you should should make sure there are no problematic issues. Each of the pieces of this process can get complicated. If you miss something or make mistakes, it could mean a delayed process or even a denial. It is important to tread carefully and be meticulous through this process.
Applying at the Embassy
If you are outside of the United States, you will apply to the embassy in your country for the visa. You would need to follow the particular protocol of the specific embassy and complete the non-immigrant visa application. The embassy in your home country schedules the visa interview. The officer will review all documentation and your application at the interview and inform you of the decision at the interview.
If approved for the visa, you’ll be given the time needed to carry out your duties as a media outlet employee. Family members, which are the spouse and child can also gain the I status. The advantage of the child(ren) having the I status is they can attend school in the United States without applying for the F-1 student visa. However, if your spouse or child(ren) plan to enter the United States for short visits, the B-2 visa or visa waiver would be sufficient.
When considering whether to go through with this type of visa application, it is important to take other circumstances and factors into consideration. Failing to do this may cause complications during the application process. For instance, any facts that involve previous denials, past immigration and criminal violations, previous marriages that involved filings, entry with other types of visas, tax issues, visa overstays, and previous employment in the United States can be just as important as the basic eligibility criteria. A single criminal violation, whether a misdemeanor or more serious, or an immigration violation can lead you to be inadmissible to the United States, which may require additional steps to getting the visa, such as a waiver.
It is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with your case. An attorney will assist with preparing the petition, assist with gathering evidence, and advocate vigorously for you during the process. Here at ST Law Office, I have dedicated my practice solely to immigration matters and have diverse experience surrounding these issues. I vigorously advocate no matter how simple or complicated the matter. Don’t hesitate to call us at 561-405-4889 or to schedule your initial phone, online or in-person consultation now.