Representative of Foreign Media Visas are reserved for individuals coming into the United States with the sole intention of representing a foreign media outlet. For instance, representatives may be working for foreign press, radio, film, or other form of foreign information media. If you are seeking to obtain I classification (Representatives of Foreign Media Visa), you must being coming to the United States solely to engage in this profession and you must have a home office in a country other than the U.S.
Occupations commonly qualified to acquire I classification include: film crews, editors, reporters, and similar jobs. Spouses of the I classification visa holder and any children under the age of 21 may come join the I nonimmigrant. In order to achieve I classification, you must adequately demonstrate that you are a foreign media representative whose activities are imperative to your organization’s operation. Eligibility and qualification is determined by the consular officer at the United States embassy.
You may apply for an I classification visa at an American embassy or consulate. Make sure that you apply at an embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over you place of permanent residence. Issuance fees and applications are established by the Department of State. Once you have obtained an I visa, you may not travel to the United States without the intention of engaging in your occupation. You also may not engage in foreign media representation in the United States without I nonimmigrant classification.
If you are a citizen of a country that participates in the United States Visa Waiver Program, you still need and I nonimmigrant visa to participate in foreign media operations in the United States. If you attempt to cross the border without the appropriate visa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deny your entry at the airport, seaport, or border you are attempting to cross. In specific, limited circumstances, a representative of the foreign media may be allowed to travel in the United States with a visitor’s visa.
Once you arrive at a U.S. border, airport, or seaport, a Customs and Border Protection officer with decide whether or not you will be allowed into the United States. If you are admitted into the country, the officer will stamp and review For I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. This form contains your authorized period of stay. Typically, you will be admitted into the U.S. for “duration of status.”
“Duration of status” means that you are allowed to stay in the country as long as you continue working for the same employer and the same information medium. If your form indicates a specific departure date, you must file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Unless you file this form, you will not be allowed to stay in the U.S. past your authorized stay period.
If you are already in the United States and want to change your current classification and become an I nonimmigrant, you must file Form I-539. If you are already an I nonimmigrant and wish to change your employer or information medium, you must also file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. There are fees attached to this form. With this form, you must provide evidence of your current occupational status from your employer.
If you family wishes to accompany you to the United States, they may be eligible to file for an I nonimmigrant visa as well.
Family members eligible to apply for I nonimmigrant classification include:
If you spouse and children apply for a visa after you have acquired one, they must submit a copy of your visa with their application. While in the United States, your spouse and children do not have permission to work, but ma freely study in the U.S. without filing for F-1 nonimmigrant status (a student visa). Under certain circumstances, your spouse and children may travel to the United States without I classification. If they travel to the U.S. to visit you, they may enter the country under B-2 nonimmigrant classification. If they qualify, your family may also enter the country under the United States Visa Waiver Program. The U.S. VWP allows nationals from selected countries to travel to the United States temporarily under nonimmigrant status. Visitors may enter the country for business or pleasure. If they qualify for the VWP, they are not required to obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Visitors are not allowed to stay in the country more than 90 days.
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