Chapter 2 - Eligibility

A foreign media representative is a noncitizen who:

  • Is a bona fide representative of the foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media;​

  • Has a home office in a foreign country whose government grants reciprocity for similar privileges to representatives with home offices in the United States; and​

  • Seeks to enter or remain in the United States solely to engage in such a vocation.[1]

Noncitizens who meet the above definition may be eligible for classification as a foreign information media representative. Foreign information media representative nonimmigrants are admitted for the duration of their employment with the same foreign media organization in the same information medium. Foreign information media representatives must obtain authorization from USCIS to change employers or work in a different medium.[2]

Independent Production Companies[3]

Employees of independent production companies may also be eligible for foreign information media representative nonimmigrant status if, in addition to the above:

  • The employee holds a credential issued by a professional journalistic association; 

  • The film or video footage produced will be used by a foreign-based television station or other media to disseminate information or news to a foreign audience; and 

  • The film or video footage will not be used primarily for a commercial entertainment or advertising purpose.


[^ 1] See 9 FAM 402.11, Information Media Representatives - I Visas. See Department of State’s website, indicating that “[a]ctivities in the United States must be informational in nature and generally associated with the news gathering process and reporting on current events.” See Chapter 3, Distinction between News and Entertainment [2 USCIS-PM K.3]. 

[^ 2] See 8 CFR 214.2(i).

[^ 3] See 9 FAM 402.11-6, Film/Video Work, for information on employees of independent production companies. 

Current as of July 26, 2021