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Media Visas (I)

Category I Visas

Representatives of the foreign media traveling to the United States on assignment, engaged in filming a news event or documentary require a non-immigrant visa under the I visa category.

Working media cannot travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), who want to enter the United States temporarily, as representatives of the foreign media traveling to the United States, engaging in their profession, as media or journalists, must first obtain a media visa to come to the U.S. They cannot travel without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. Those who attempt to do travel without a visa, on the Visa Waiver Program may be denied admission to the United States by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. immigration inspector at the port of entry.

Representatives of the foreign media include, but are not limited to, members of the press, radio, or film whose activities are essential to the foreign media function, such as reporters, film crews, video tape editors and persons in similar occupations.

Important: Freelance journalists and members of independent production companies traveling to the U.S. on assignment must be under contract to a media organization and hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association.

Applying for the Visa:

Visit the How to Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa section of this site.  Please note the following points when completing the DS-160 online visa application:

  • Before going any further, please ensure that you have your passport and travel details to hand. 
  • Select Dublin, Ireland, as the location if you are applying for your visa at U.S. Embassy Dublin. 

Uploading a Digital Photo

  • You must upload a digital photo. Please read carefully requirements to upload your photo before you begin completing your application.  If the photo you upload is not accepted as suitable, you will be given the option to continue without one.  If you choose to do this, you must bring with you to the interview a photograph which meets required photo specifications

Selecting the Correct Visa Category

  • In the "Travel Information Section" please ensure that you select the correct visa category under "Purpose of Travel to the United States"  - the drop down list will appear in answer to the question "Are you the Principal Applicant".  Select "Other" and then "Representative of Foreign Media (I)".  

The Confirmation Sheet

  • You will receive a printout of the DS-160 confirmation sheet after submitting your application.  Please include this printout with all the other documents when submitting the application to the Embassy.

Read further instructions on completing and saving the online form

Additional documentation required when applying for an I category visa:

  1. A letter from your employer including name, position held with the company and length of time employed, exact purpose of travel and length of proposed stay.
  2. Press card/credentials.

Freelance journalists and members of independent production companies must submit the following:

  1. A letter from the organization commissioning the work which gives the following information: name; title and description of the program being filmed; period of time required for filming in the U.S. and duration of contract.
  2. press card/ credentials.

Note: Individuals and/or companies commissioned to work on film projects of a commercial or entertainment value, require the appropriate work visas (O, P or H) which will involve obtaining employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service before applying for a visa at this Embassy.