I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media

The I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media is perhaps the simplest of all US visas. It requires no complicated paperwork, no US-based sponsor or employer, no complicated credentials to establish, and no proof of awards, recognition or distinction. All you need to be is an accredited employee of a media organization in your own country, with a letter from your employer confirming this.

I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media

The man who made fun of Indians abroad got a I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media

Michael Pinto was a joker. Everyone knew that he goofed off from school, back in Goa where he used to live, and went around the Panjim neighborhood playing pranks on unsuspecting seniors. He was a great mimic and could produce a whole range of famous voices and film dialogues. No one was very surprised when he turned to filmmaking when he grew and eventually ended up doing social and cultural news for one of Goa’s most-watched TV channels.

One day he suggested to his editor that they should do a spoofy send-up, á la Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, of the quirky lives of Indians living abroad. He had in mind people who had left the India where they lived but had not been able to do much about the India that still lived inside them. They did not like being easterners, but they had no idea how to be westerners.

Michael Pinto found their accents outrageous and hilarious, their lifestyles neither here nor there, their entire “American dream” bizarrely jumbled up with the Indian nightmare. He thought he could do a great documentary on Indians abroad trying to become Americans. His editor thought it was brilliant.

And thus, travel preparations began. As a media person who would be filming in the United States, Michael would need a visa. The media company’s travel agency told him that he needed an I visa, specially made for people like him.

The I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media is exclusively for members of the information gathering and dissemination industry, namely the press, radio, film and online news platforms, who want to travel temporarily to the United States to gather news and report on it.

Since Michael wanted to film factual material in the US, including interviews, lifestyles and other South Asian-related footage, which would be screened to audiences outside the US, namely in India and non-US countries where Indians had a presence, he comfortably met the criteria for eligibility for the I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media, Press and Radio.

By the way, the final film, a hilarious 1.5-hour reality show that had cracked up the entire country, was called Nothing Serious. It was nominated for Best Documentary at the Golden Globe that year.

You can get more information on the I-1 Visa for Members of Foreign Media from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans.

If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.