Visas / Green cards for Religious Workers

visa / green cards for religious workersMinisters and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations may come to the U.S. temporarily for the purpose of performing religious work. 

An R-1 nonimmigrant is a noncitizen coming to the United States temporarily to work at least part time (an average of at least 20 hours per week) as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation and be employed by a religious organization in the United States, or non-profit organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

To qualify, you must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S. for at least 2 years immediately before filing the petition.

An R-1 religious worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification. An R-2 dependent is not authorized to work based on this visa classification.

After USCIS approves an R-1 petition, the consular post in your home country determines whether you are eligible to receive the R-1 nonimmigrant visa. It is also possible to change your nonimmigrant status to that of R-1, while you are in the U.S.

A religious worker may also immigrate to or adjust status in the U.S. (apply for a Green card) for the purpose of performing religious work in a full-time compensated position.

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