\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 34 Other Employment Authorized Nonimmigrants (E, I & R Classifications). \ 34.4 Representatives of the Information Media.
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34.4 Representatives of the Information Media.
In general, for the purposes of section 101(a)(15)(I), reciprocity exists between the U.S. and all foreign countries. Should there be any doubt about the reciprocity between the U.S. and a
applicant’s country, check the reciprocity tables contained on the Department of State (DOS) website at
you are still unable to resolve the issue, call the DOS Visa Office at 202-663-1187. The Department of State and
include television news reporting and filming in the term "other foreign information media" as that term is used in section 101(a)(15)(I) of the Act. Status as an information media representative may also be accorded to the employees of independent production companies when:
Those employees hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association,
The film or video tape produced will be used by a television station or other media to disseminate information or news, and
The film will not be used primarily for a commercial entertainment or advertising purpose. This last criterion, however, does not preclude the production company from using film footage in its library for commercial purposes sometime in the future.
Distinction between News and Entertainment
Camera persons and other workers engaged in produced films for a commercial entertainment or advertising purpose must qualify under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Act, even though they will receive no remuneration from U.S. sources and the film or videotape produced is solely for foreign distribution. Increasingly, because of the growing popularity of documentary type biography and similar non-fiction film productions, the distinctions between commercial film making for entertainment and genuine news-gatherin
g have become blurred. In adjudicating such cases, the officer should consider carefully the intended use and distribution of the film and other factors such as the timeliness of the project relative to the subject event.
Because I nonimmigrants do not require a separate visa petition approved by
, eligibility for such status is primarily adjudicated by consular officers during the nonimmigrant visa issuance process. From time to time, you may encounter an application for a change of status to that of an I nonimmigrant. Such application is filed on Form
, together with a letter from the employing media organization describing the employment and establishing the fact that the applicant is a representative of that media organization.
If, from the evidence submitted, the application appears approvable endorse the approval block and issue Form I-797 (through CLAIMS) showing “D/S” as the validity period, the classification “I” and the employing media organization. Dependents are also admitted in “I” classification (there is no I-2).
If the evidence does not clearly establish the beneficiary’s eligibility for “I” status and a request for additional evidence does not appear warranted, prepare a denial notice setting forth the specific reasons why the application cannot be approved. There is no appeal from a denial of “I” classification. However, if the facts of the case are novel, complex or potentially of value as a precedent, the decision of the director may be certified to the Administrative Appeals Office pursuant to
8 CFR 103.4
Commercial Entertainment vs. News Gathering
In recent years, the distinction between commercial entertainment and news has become somewhat blurred. For example, filmed biographies may be regarded as documentary film making or as news gathering. It may be necessary to examine the type of organization which is employing the “I” alien and the proposed distribution of the film or other product which is produced. The “I” classification must not be used as a way of avoiding mandatory consultation required for O or P classification.
To date, no precedent decisions have been published involving representatives of the information media.