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
What is considered 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. (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.
What types of “religious organizations” can sponsor an R visa?
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.
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 is not authorized to 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. Subsequent extensions for 30 months are allowed for a maximum of 5 years in the United States.
What if I have more questions on R-1 visas?
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.