Immigration Law

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance for I Visas (Media Representatives)

USCIS Policy Alert, Nov. 10, 2015 - "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the foreign information media representative nonimmigrant visa classification, commonly known as the “I” visa category.

Background

The foreign information media “I” nonimmigrant visa category was created by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 in order to facilitate the exchange of information among nations. The U.S. Department of State primarily adjudicates benefit requests for foreign information media representatives during the nonimmigrant visa application process. USCIS generally only receives a request for this visa classification when a nonimmigrant applies for a change of status or an extension of stay as a foreign information media representative.

This guidance, contained in Volume 2 of the Policy Manual, consolidates the guidance in Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 34.4 and related USCIS policy memoranda. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling and supersedes any prior guidance on the information media “I” nonimmigrant visa category.

Policy Highlights

- Clarifies the definition of foreign media representative, which may include employees of independent production companies.
- Clarifies eligibility requirements for the media representative “I” visa classification.
 - Reaffirms that the media representative nonimmigrant classification is intended for those working in information-based or news gathering activities, and not entertainment.

Citation

Volume 2: Nonimmigrants, Part K, Media Representatives (I) [2 USCIS-PM K]."