Representative Visas

immigration attorney in Fairfax Virginia

 

Who qualifies for an “I” visa?

 

An “I” visa, as stated in the Immigration and Nationality Act, can be obtained by an alien who is a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of the representative are entitled to derivative status of the representative. In addition, the government of that foreign country must, in turn, grant comparable privileges to representatives of the same medium from the U.S. as negotiated in a reciprocity agreement.

Members of foreign film crews sometimes seek to enter the U.S. in connection with the production of documentaries or newsworthy events. Although the production companies are not themselves affiliated with a newspaper or electronic news medium, the companies’ employees may be accorded I classification under the following conditions:

 

  1. When these employees hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association;
  2. The film produced will be used by a television station or other media to disseminate information or news; and
  3. The film will not be used primarily for commercial entertainment or advertising purpose.

 

How can an “I” visa be obtained?

 
Applications for “I” visas are processed solely at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. The following documentation and fees are required for an “I” visa application:

 

  • A completed and signed application form OF-156 which is available at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad;
  • A passport valid for at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended stay in the U.S.;
  • A letter from the applicant’s employer explaining the need of a visa and describing, in detail, the position and the type of work the applicant will perform; and
  • A non-refundable US $20.00 application fee in addition to any reciprocal issuance fee.

 

How can an “I” visa be re-validated?

 
Re-validation of an “I” visa can be performed while the applicant is in the United States. Renewal of an “I” visa will be considered upon fulfillment of the following requirements:

 

  • The passport must be valid for at least six months and must already have an “I” visa stamp in it, which must not have expired over one year ago or must have a remaining validity of more than sixty days;
  • The original I-94 form (or the original I-797 if the I-94 has expired) issued to the applicant by the Immigration and Naturalization Service upon his/her arrival in the U.S.;
  • A letter from the applicant’s employer explaining the need of a visa and describing, in detail, the position and the type of work the applicant will perform; and
  • An original, typed application form OF-156 must be completed with a passport-size photo of each applicant attached. (If the spouse and children of the applicant are applying separately, copies of the principal applicant’s visa and valid I-94 must be presented together with the OF-156.)

 

“I” visas may also be renewed at U.S. Embassies or Consulates abroad. The same documentation described above is required.