Journalist Visa (I)

The I journalist visa is a non-immigrant visa category specifically designed for foreign journalists, reporters, and members of the media who wish to work in the United States. It allows them to temporarily stay in the country and engage in journalistic activities, such as reporting, gathering news, and conducting interviews.

Projects must be of an informational or educational nature. Individuals who plan to work on a film/program which is intended primarily for commercial, entertainment or advertising are not eligible for journalist visas.


To qualify for an I journalist visa, applicants must meet certain criteria. These include:

  • Media Qualification: The applicant must be employed by a media organization that has a home office outside the United States. This can include newspapers, magazines, radio or television stations, news agencies, or online publications.
  • Purpose of Visit: The primary purpose of the applicant's visit must be to engage in journalistic activities. This can involve reporting on current events, providing news coverage, or documenting information for news organizations.
  • Non-U.S. News Coverage: The applicant should primarily work for a media outlet that broadcasts or publishes outside of the United States. While some incidental reporting within the U.S. may be allowed, the primary focus should be on reporting about events and issues occurring outside the country.


There are three groups of applicants that may be eligible for I visas:

  • Staff journalists of media organizations.
  • Employees of independent production companies who have a contract with a media organization commissioning them for the work.
  • Freelance journalists who have a contract with a media organization.

Visa validity

The duration of stay allowed on an I journalist visa can vary based on the specific circumstances of the assignment or employment. The visa will indicate the length of stay and any conditions attached to the visa.

VisaVersa regularly assists media organizations and individual journalists with I-visa applications. Every project and visa application is different; an individual journalist who needs to travel to the US as a correspondent of a Dutch newspaper will demand a different approach than a large media organization that wishes to send a group of people to the US for a TV program.

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