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. 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 purposes.
As for the duration of the visa, it is generally issued in increments of one year only. To obtain an extension, a specific application must be submitted which includes explanatory documents from the employer justifying a further stay in the US.