R Nonimmigrant Visa Classification


The Immigration and Nationality Act provides permanent residency (EB-4 fourth preference) for religious workers already in the R status.

R-1 visa: Religious Worker

What is an R-1 visa?

The R-1 visa allows individuals to enter the U.S. and work temporarily in a religious capacity as either:

1. A Minister of religion.
2. For a bona fide nonprofit religious organization (Church, Synagogue, Mosque) in the U.S. in a vocation or professional work
3. A professional in a religious occupation.

What requirements are needed to apply for an R-1 visa?

1. Be a member of the clergy or a lay religious worker.
2. Be a member of that religious denomination for the two (2) years immediately preceding the application.
3. Enter the U.S. solely to carry on the vocation of a minister of the religious organization.
4. Reside and be outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year.

The R-1 visa is granted for a period of maximum five (5) years, including extensions.

R-2 visa: Spouses and children under the age of twenty-one (21) of R visa holders

Spouses and children of R-1 visa holders are eligible for R dependent visas to accompany the principal visa holder.

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