R Visa for Religious Workers

R Visa for Religious Workers

The R visa is a class for foreign nationals who want to come to the United States temporarily to be employed in a religious capacity. This could include being employed as a minister or in another vocation, for a minimum of 20 hours per week. To qualify, an individual must demonstrate being part of a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S. for a least two years before filing the petition. If you are petitioning a foreign beneficiary for your religious nonprofit organization, or are a foreign religious worker seeking to enter the U.S., contact the R Visa attorneys at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel. By calling 1-800-666-4996, you can speak with an experienced attorney about the prospects of your case, and what documentation is required.As an R-1 visa holder, you would need to work for:

  • A nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.
  • A religious organization authorized by a group tax exemption holder
  • A nonprofit affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States

A U.S. employer needs to file the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on behalf of the foreign national seeking to enter as a minister, or religious worker. USCIS reviews the petition to determine whether the organization and the foreign national meet the eligibility requirements for this classification.

Alongside the I-129, the petition must include evidence that they are eligible for the R-1 classification they are seeking such as proof of salaried or non-salaried compensation, letters from the IRS, and potentially an on-site inspection as part of a pre-approval of your petition.

The R-1 visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows religious workers to enter and work in the United States in a religious capacity. If you would like more information about the process, documentation required and fee schedule, consult the immigration attorneys at FL-ILC today.


Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

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