Chapter 3 - Distinction between News and Entertainment

A. Entertainment and Advertising

Camera persons and other workers engaged in producing films for entertainment or advertising purposes do not qualify under the foreign information media representative visa classification and should seek another visa classification for which they may qualify. For example, a foreign national intending to work on entertainment-oriented materials may be better suited to apply for nonimmigrant status on the basis of extraordinary ability or achievement; as an entertainer; or, if applicable, on the basis of providing essential support to certain O or P nonimmigrants. [1]

Even if a camera person or other workers receive no payment from sources in the United States and the film or video footage produced is solely for foreign distribution as entertainment or advertisement, applicants under such circumstances may not qualify under the foreign information media representative visa classification. 

B. Nonfiction Documentaries

Increasingly, because of the growing popularity of documentary-type biographies and similar nonfiction film productions, the distinction between commercial filmmaking for entertainment and genuine news gathering is less clear. For example, filmed biographies may be regarded as documentary filmmaking or as news gathering. In adjudicating such cases, the officer should consider whether the intended use is journalistic, informational, or educational, as opposed to entertainment. The officer should also consider the foreign distribution of the film or video footage in addition to other factors, including the timeliness of the project relative to the subject event.

C. Intended Use

An officer should examine the type of organization that employs the foreign information media representative and the proposed foreign distribution of the film or other produced material. Applicants should not use the foreign information media representative visa classification as a way of avoiding mandatory consultation required to obtain visa classification on the basis of extraordinary ability or achievement or as an entertainer. [2]

Footnotes


1. [^] See INA 101(a)(15)(O) for visa classification based on extraordinary ability or achievement (O visa category). See INA 101(a)(15)(P) for visa classification based on being an entertainer (P visa category).

2. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(o)(5). See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7).

8 CFR 214.2(i) - Representatives of information media

INA 101(a)(15)(I) - Representatives of foreign media

INA 101(a)(15)(O) - Extraordinary ability in arts or athletics

INA 101(a)(15)(P) - Extraordinary ability in arts or athletics as part of a group

Appendices


No appendices available at this time.

POLICY ALERT - Media Representatives (I) Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

November 10, 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance regarding the foreign information media representative nonimmigrant visa classification, commonly known as the “I” visa category.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 
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CHAPTERS

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