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What is an I-1 Visa?

An I-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows bona fide foreign nationals who are the representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media to enter the U.S. in connection with the production of documentaries or newsworthy events.

Who qualifies for an I-1 Visa?

To qualify for this visa, your job position must be listed below:

  • Reporters, film crews, videotape editors, employees of independent production companies, freelance journalists working under contract, and persons in similar occupations
  • Both print and film activities are included in this category.
  • The media in which you are representing should have an office in your home country.

If you have the approved job position, then you must qualify under the following three requirements:

  • Hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association
  • Produce a film that will be used on a television station or
  • Produce a film that will not be used mainly for commercial entertainment or advertising purposes

What are the benefits of applying under this visa category?

A trainee can travel freely in and out of the U.S. with an H-3 visa. Also, the visa is valid for up to a 2-year period. A final advantage is that your spouse and unmarried, minor children are entitled to enter the U.S. on derivative H-4 visa status.

How can an attorney help in this process?

There is no limit on the length of your stay in the U.S. You can stay for an unlimited period with one-year I-1 visa extensions as long as you continue in the same position for which you were granted the I-1 visa.

Also, you may bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 in the same visa category. They can stay as long as you maintain the status on the derivative I visa status.

When compiling documentation for eligibility for I-1 visa petitions, both from the employer side and employee side, it is not an instinctive process. Even in cases where a petition includes the required documents, papers should be presented in a logical format so that the immigration officer reviewing the case will make a favorable decision.

To discuss if this is the right visa for you and if you can qualify under this category, please feel free to contact us by email or call us at 314-648-2929.