To assist the media and spreading of news all around the globe, the U.S has a very specific visa program for this purpose. The visa will let the journalists and media people who work in the information or media sector to accomplish their work or assignment while in the U.S. This visa is known as the “I visa”.

You must prove that you are a bona fide representative of foreign media whose works are very important for the functions of your organization to get the USA Journalist and Media Visa. The embassy consular officer will decide whether an activity is qualifying in order to acquire a nonimmigrant visa approval.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Unlike other visa categories, the I Visa does not have many requirements. The major requirement that applicate must fulfill is related to their occupation. The visa applicant must be a representative of a foreign new media or new organization and collecting news. The I Visa for Journalists and Media Professionals does not include any other major requirements.

Source: U.S. Department of State

How to get a journalist visa for USA?

The I visa application process is very similar to other U.S. non-immigrant visa processes. You will be applying to your nearest U.S Embassy or consular office. The following steps are necessary:

Fill in Form DS-160

You are required to provide your personal information, purpose and activities, and all other relevant information in the form. After you submit the form, you will get a code and confirmation page. Save the confirmation page and the code for your need later on.

 Submit a photograph which meets the Photo Requirements

Read the photograph requirements here.

Pay the application fee

This government application fee for the I visa is $160 and is non-refundable no matter what the decision of the U.S

Schedule your visa interview

Visa applicants who are between 14 and 79 years old must face an interview session at the U.S. Embassy. To avoid delays in the process, you must schedule an interview as soon as possible. After you made you appointment, you will receive a letter of appointment which you must keep along with all the required documents.

At the interview, a U.S Embassy official will ask you various types of questions regarding your purpose, character, health, any past criminal offenses, past refusals, past U.S visas you have had, and other associated questions. Be confident enough to answer all the questions of the officer otherwise it is likely that you may not get your visa.

Source: U.S. Department of State

You must gather all important and relevant documents for the visa purposes. All documents you take to the embassy must support your visa application. Your application must have the following documents:

  • Your passport with at least 6 months’ validity period;
  • The Form DS-160 confirmation page;
  • Payment confirmation documents which prove you have paid all applicable fees;
  • visa appointment letter;
  • A Letter from your company describing the purpose of your visit in the U.S which must satisfy I visa activities. Furthermore, the letter should mention details about your length of stay, and work duration, contract, and your personal data;
  • Your credentials which confirm you fall into the I visa category;
  • A copy of signed up work contracts with your employer;
  • Journalistic accreditations;
  • Press card;
  • Past published articles;
  • Medical test report; and
  • Documents showing you have no past criminal record.
Source: U.S. Department of State

I Visa Filling Fee: $160
Review the instructions available on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to learn more about fee payment.

Source: U.S. Department of State

You can bring your dependent family members when you have an I visa. Normally, your spouse and your unmarried dependent children under 21 years old. They can apply at the same time as you or after you get your visa.

To apply for your dependent family member(s), you must submit sufficient documents to prove your relationship such as certificate of marriage, birth certificates of your children and other documents. If the family members apply after you have been given your visa then they submit a copy of your I visa.

Your dependent family members, if approved, can get admission for short academic courses but they cannot get any type of work permit or jobs. If you wish to extend your visa, your dependents must also do this same thing.

Source: U.S. Department of State