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R-1 Visas: For Ministers And Other Religious Vocations

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 preceding the filing of the application.

Common Questions And Answers About R-1 Visas

What is a “religious vocation or occupation” under R-1?

There are three factors that must be met for a position to be considered a religious vocation or occupation. Firstly, the position must: primarily relate to a traditional religious function. Secondly, recognition as a religious occupation within the denomination. Thirdly, be primarily related to and clearly involve, inculcating or carrying out the religious creed and beliefs of the denomination.

What types of “religious organizations” can sponsor an R visa?

The sponsoring religious organization must be: Firstly, a nonprofit religious organization in the United States. Secondly, a religious organization that has authorization by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption. Thirdly, a nonprofit religious organization which has affiliation with a religious denomination in the United States.

Can my spouse and children come with me on my R visa?

Yes, spouses and children receive an R-2 visa to accompany the R-1 religious worker to the United States. An R-2 does not authorize work in the United States.

How long can I stay on R-1 status?

The initial grant of R-1 status is for 30 months. Extensions are available after the 30 months, for a maximum of 5 year in the United States.

Contact Fok Immigration Law To Learn More

We are prepared to guide you through the process of securing a visa. We help workers secure temporary work visas, and we assist with family immigration. Call our San Jose office at 408-212-7014 to schedule a free initial phone consultation. You can also contact our California attorneys online.