An R-1 or R Visa is meant for a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by a religious organization in the United States. The foreign national must have been a member of the religious denomination, which should be a nonprofit religious organization in the United States, for at least 2 years proceeding the filing of the application.
There are three factors that must be met for a position to be considered a religious vocation or occupation. (1) The position must: primarily relate to a traditional religious function, (2) be recognized as a religious occupation within the denomination, and (3) be primarily related to and clearly involve, inculcating or carrying out the religious creed and beliefs of the denomination.
The sponsoring religious organization must be: (1) a nonprofit religious organization in the United States, (2) a religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption, or (3) a nonprofit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.
Yes, spouses and children receive an R-2 visa to accompany the R-1 religious worker to the United States. An R-2 is not authorized to work in the United States.
The initial grant of R-1 status is for 30 months. Subsequent extensions for 30 months are allowed for a maximum of 5 years in the United States.
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding R-1 that you may have.