I Visa for USA is a non-immigrant visa and a temporary visa. It is focused for media workers and journalists seeking entry in US.
USA, Work Visa

I Visa USA Requirements and Process

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Visa Journal

I Visa is a non-immigrant visa introduced by the U.S. This is a temporary visa, especially for media workers and journalists who want to go to the U.S. for doing jobs related to mass media. Their task is to actively participate in collecting and presenting the current news in the U.S. Through this Visa, reporters can visit the U.S. to broadcast news from there to all over the world. But they must be associated with any foreign news company or organization. They are not allowed to work with a company located in the U.S.

Eligibility requirements for I Visa USA:

To qualify for this Visa, there are some requirements that one needs to fulfill. These are not very strict though:

  • Applicant must have a permanent residency outside the U.S. and he has to prove it by showing his residency documents.
  • His intention must be clear regarding his temporary stay in the U.S. He must be intended to leave the U.S. as soon as his project will be finished.
  • Financial stability proof is also needed
  • Applicant must prove his association with the foreign news company and for that purpose, he can show his contract.
  • Companies who create commercial projects and entertainment projects cannot apply for I-visa.
  • For the entire duration of the applicant’s stay in the U.S., the applicant must remain employed with the company, they start their contract with in the U.S.
  • Applicant must be involved in covering the current news and documentaries
  • If a person is making an educational film or content relevant to current news, he/she must be looking for a company outside the U.S. for financial aid.
  • The information must be targeting a foreign audience.

The journalists who do not categorize themselves in these criteria must look for another type of visas rather than applying for an I-visa. If you are a librarian, a proofreader, or a designer, other visas are available for you in the U.S.

Though you are going to the U.S. as a reporter and your purpose is to collect and report information related to various fields and current situations, you must apply I-visa. People who go to the U.S. under this Visa are confined to collecting information, but they have permission to join university courses too. However, if they plan to get admission in a full-time program, they will not be allowed to work for a U.S. Company.

Another perk of this Visa is that you can bring your dependents along with you. That will include your spouse and your unmarried children under 21. To prove their relationship with you, submit the marriage and childbirth certificates. Dependents can continue their study in the U.S. but are not allowed to work. If you extend your Visa they can do the same.

Validity of I Visa

This Visa is valid for 5 years. Depending on the project one can apply for an extension if needed. For that purpose, fill 1-539 form and submit it online. If the journalist is living in the U.S. based on I-visa then there is no need to apply again and again.

Application of I-Visa

There are various steps that the applicants need to fulfill carefully to make sure the approval of the application for I-visa. Here is the website you can get basic information and instructions. Along with that, the application form is available too. Application form of I Visa

Online form DS-160:

Fill in the information required in the form and submit it. They will give you a confirmation page which you will need late.

Required Documents for I Visa USA:

Prepare a file that contains all your documents that the embassy will demand and you think they might be required. You will bring the file with you in the interview.

  • Your valid passport
  • Passport size pictures
  • Application form fees recipient
  • Visa appointment letter
  • Letter from your employer that must describe the purpose of your stay in the U.S. And that purpose must fall in the category of I-visa activities.
  • No past criminal record
  • Your bank statement
  • Your health documents
  • Slip of your DS-160 form.

Visa Fees:

The fee for I-Visa is 160$ and is not refundable no matter if your Visa got rejected. There are chances that you may ask to pay the additional fees called reciprocity fees. This fee depends on the relations of your country with the U.S.

Attend the interview:

Get an appointment for an interview from the U.S. embassy located in your home country. They will investigate your purpose in applying for I-visa. Your intent of coming back to your country. They will check your criminal background and your bank statement to analyze how you will manage to afford your expenditures in the U.S. Any issue in an interview can delay the process of Visa.

I Visa USA Processing Time:

After the interview, you will wait for the Visa to proceed further. Visa processed in 10 days after the submission of application. It depends on the embassy how much time they will take. They will inform you via email whether your application has been accepted or rejected. After the acceptance of your application, you can start making agreements about your visit.


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