Summary of US Media and Journalists Visas or I-visas

Journalists (including reporters, film crews, video tape editors, employees of independent production companies, free-lance journalists working under contract, and persons in similar occupations) engaged in both print and film activities have to obtain I-visa to enter the United States. An I-visa cannot be used to film material which is used primarily for commercial entertainment or advertising purposes. Spouse and children accompanying the principal applicant can qualify under the same visa category.

  • Completed Visa Application Form DS-156 with recent photograph attached
  • Completed Supplemental Visa Application Form DS-157 for male 16-45 year olds
  • Valid passport
  • Letter from employer describing job activities and length of stay in the U.S.
  • Payment of applicable issuance fee

Following activities do not qualify for a Media Visa:
  • Material for commercial entertainment or advertising purposes
  • Proofreaders, librarians, set designers
  • Stories which are staged events, television and quiz shows
  • Artistic media content production
  • Guest speaker or lecturer

Note: Working Media Cannot Travel Without a Visa on the Visa Waiver Program