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Jain Law Group
Experienced California Immigration And Business Law Attorney

R-1 Visa: Religious Workers

At the Jain Law Group, we have handled numerous cases and have the necessary experience involving R-1 visas. R-1 visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to enter the United States to be employed temporarily in religious organizations. Religious employment includes work as nuns, monks, pastors, missionaries and teachers affiliated in religious organizations. This R-1 visa is also for workers in religious hospitals and religious instructors except janitors, clerks, fundraisers, or maintenance workers.

The sponsoring organization must be a bona fide nonprofit religious organization and must be exempt from taxation. The following supporting information and documentations should be included in the R-1 visa application:

  1. The foreign worker and the U.S. organization must belong to the same denomination if the membership was maintained outside the U.S.;
  2. The beneficiary must have been a member of the religious denomination for the last two years;
  3. The beneficiary (if a minister) is authorized to conduct religious worship for the denomination;
  4. The beneficiary (if a professional) has an equivalent of a baccalaureate degree which is required to enter into the religious profession;
  5. The beneficiary (if a nonprofessional) has the qualification to work related to a traditional religious function;
  6. Documents regarding the salary arrangements including the amount and source and other compensations such as food, housing, etc.;
  7. Documents pertaining to the nature of the relationship between the religious organization and its affiliate;
  8. Documents relating to the organization's assets;
  9. Documents substantiating the entity's formation.

Duration Of Stay

An initial stay may be granted up to a maximum of 30 months for an R-1 visa applicant. The R-1 visa may be extended numerous times for an additional 30 months. The R-1 visa holder may remain in the U.S. for up to five years

You can contact us online or call 949-379-8483. We serve clients in Irvine and throughout Orange County.

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