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Are there visas for religious workers?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Visas |

Different religious organizations serve not only their own members but also broader communities within their reach.

To that end, many religious organizations may want to send members to other communities in other countries as well. But does that make a religious representative eligible for a visa?

The process of visa applications

The U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services discuss different visas available to the population, including the R-1 nonimmigrant visa for religious workers. Of course, in order to bring over an immigrant on this visa, the religious organization in question needs to file the appropriate paperwork. The organization also needs to be non-profit.

After the paperwork is filed, the immigrant must apply for an R-1 visa. A person working and living under this visa has the right to stay in the United States for 30 months. They may have an additional extension once for another 30 months.

Workers who serve for at least 2 years may apply for permanent residency. These residents, also known as green card holders, have permission to legally stay in America indefinitely.

Requirements of an R-1 visa

However, this visa, like many others, requires strong attention to detail on behalf of the applicant. Additionally, particular niches must be met. A person must meet rather strict requirements to apply for an R-1 visa in the first place, such as only doing work to further the ministry and working exclusively as a religious worker for no less than 20 hours a week.

Filling the paperwork out in a way that abides by the law is also crucial to avoid getting into legal trouble.


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