Those who would like to come to the United States to work as a minister or work in another religious role may use the R-1 visa. It is also not the only religious immigration option. The experienced attorneys at Poarch Thompson Law can help you determine if the R-1 visa is right for you.
In order to be eligible for an R-1 visa, you must:
In order to sponsor a non-immigrant religious worker, your organization must be a bona fide non-profit religious organization. This means that the organization meets the following standards:
In order to be a religious denomination, your organization must demonstrate one, or more, of the following conditions:
A minister is someone who is authorized by the religion to which they belong to perform religious worship and other religious duties usually performed by that religion’s clergy. The petitioner must prove that the minister was fully trained according to their religious tradition and attest that the minister is qualified.
You can use premium processing for an R-1 visa. In general, you can expect the R-1 visa process to take eight months or more. With premium processing, it could take as little as two weeks.
R-1 visas are granted for an initial period of stay of 30 months. They can be extended for another 30 months but cannot be renewed a third time. You may stay in the U.S. a maximum of five years on this visa.
As your cap approaches, you should look into another visa to extend your stay, and Poarch Thompson Law can help you navigate what visa may be best for you.
It’s wise to have experienced immigration attorneys to help you navigate these changes and successfully sponsor your ministers or be sponsored as a minister to the United States. Reach out to us today.