There are many different religious organizations which serve both their own members and the broader community Religious congregations obviously are active in the Lancaster area and Pennsylvania.
With interest in organized religion on the decline in the United States, it should come as little surprise that many organizations have to turn to people in foreign countries to serve as ministers.
In order to sponsor a religious worker from another country, a not-for-profit religious organization will have to file the proper paperwork. Once the organization has the approval to sponsor a worker, the worker they want to come to the United States must file for what is called an R-1 visa.
This visa makes a person eligible to live and work in the United States for 30 months. The worker is eligible for a one-time extension of this visa for an additional 30 months.
The good news for the worker is that, if she serves in the United States for at least 2 years, then she may apply for permanent residency in the United States.
As immigrants in the Lancaster area probably know, permanent residents, or green card holders, may stay in the United States indefinitely.
A successful R-1 visa application requires attention to detail
As is the case with other visas, applying for an R-1 visa requires careful attention to detail. A misunderstanding of the law or a misstatement of the facts can lead to serious legal consequences.
For example, a person must meet strict requirements in order to qualify for an R-1 visa. For example, the person will have to work for the organization which sponsors him and must work at least 20 hours a week. He must also work exclusively as a religious worker and in furtherance of his ministry.