Getting USA Journalist Visa (I-visa)

If you are a media or film industry member, you need a special visa to work professionally in the United States. In this article, we will explain what an I is, which is issued to employees of foreign media. Please note that a Category I visa is also required for journalists from countries with a visa-free agreement with America. You will learn what documents you need to collect to obtain it and how to apply for a U.S. visa.

Table of contents

USA Media (I) visa features

A journalist visa is issued to media professionals who come to the United States to work for a certain period.

Visa I is available to the following categories of employees:

The relatives of media personnel are entitled to a derivative visa. It is available to spouses and unmarried children under 21. When obtaining a U.S. visa, relatives may accompany the visa holder throughout the trip. If the spouse and children do not accompany the I visa holder but want to visit them, they need a B2 visa (tourist visa). They will not be able to work in the United States.

Please note that if you are a photographer and your activity is paid for outside the U.S., a regular B1/B2 tourist visa will suffice.

USA I visa requirements

To obtain a U.S. media visa, the applicant must meet one of the following parameters:

If you are a freelance journalist, you will need to provide professional documents and up-to-date media contracts.

Note that the journalist visa is primarily for news and social information work. If you are taking part in shooting feature films and commercials, you will need to apply for a temporary work visa of another category.

Documents required for I visa application

To apply for a journalist visa, a media representative must provide the following documentation:

If a freelance journalist who works with the media on a temporary contract applies for a visa, they must provide a copy of this document. It must include the journalist’s name and surname, position, the period of the contract, and the purpose and duration of the trip to the States.

A film crew member must provide a certificate of employment, indicating their name and surname, position in the company, a brief description of the created plot or program, and the purpose and duration of the trip to the United States.

If a person goes to make a documentary film, story, or program and performs the order under the contract with the media, they must provide a letter from the company. The document must include the applicant's name, the title and a brief description of the story, the period of the contract, and the duration of the work in the States.

In addition, you must provide an invitation letter for an interview. You can sign up here.

How to apply for the I visa?

First, you need to pay the consular fee, fill out the DS-160 application form and make an appointment for an interview. For the appointment you will need:

You must come to the U.S. Consulate at the appointed time with a documentation package, which includes:

Get a photo for a USA visa application online

Along with the documentation package, you must submit a photo that meets the following criteria:

Here is an example:

USA Journalist Visa photo

There is a range of other U.S. visa photo specifications, such as the distance from the eye line to the bottom edge, the face ratio, the color correction, brightness, and contrast. The photo should be taken in a professional photo studio or with the help of a specialized service.

We suggest using the online program Visafoto. This is the most accessible and most convenient option!

Visafoto features

The program automatically:

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
Additional options
Upload photo & Continue


Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Visafoto's has been around since 2013, allowing users from anywhere to take instant photos for any type of document. You just need to upload your full-face portrait to the program. In a couple of seconds, download your processed U.S. visa photo, suitable both for printing and online submission.

First, take a photo of yours under daylight like this one:

Original picture

You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.

Here they are:

Example photo for USA Journalist Visa
Photos for USA Journalist Visa for printing

Visafoto pictures are accepted in 99.7% of cases. Appreciate its capabilities!

Install Visafoto (7ID app) on your phone!

Passport photos, visa photos and ID photos. QR code storage, PIN code storage, signature file maker.

Download 7ID App for iOS   Download 7ID App for Android

7ID Website with more information >

© 2014-2024 | Get photo | Requirements | Contacts | Refund policy | Shipping policy | Terms of Service | Privacy policy
Photographer's guide | Other languages | Blog | Visafoto Reviews | Visafoto Prices | Is Visafoto Legitimate? | Visafoto Free Alternative | The Diversity Visa Lottery 2025 Dates: A Time Guide | Free Green Card Lottery photo checker | DV Lottery photo | US Photo Tool problems | 2x2 inches photo | US passport photo | US visa photo | Photo 1x1 inch | Passport size photo | Bangladesh passport photo size | Passport photo background editor | 35x45 mm photo | 4x6 cm photo | Error: Your photo does not need cropping | DV Lottery photo errors | Passport photo with blue background | 3x4 cm photo | Malaysia passport photo size | Canada Visa Photo | US visa types | Emirates passport photo | Printing passport photo | Baby passport photo | Singapore visa photo | Saudi Arabia visa photo | DS-160 Form | Promocode | DV Program: photo, help, form, Q&A, blog. Free!