R-1 Religious Worker Visa
What is it?
The R-1 visa allows foreign nationals to be temporarily employed in the United States as a minister or in a religious occupation. It is intended for religious workers whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions.
To qualify for an R-1 visa, the following criteria must be met:
- Employment must be at least 20 hours per week
- The petitioner must be a non-profit religious organization in the United States with either authorized tax exemption status or which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States
- The beneficiary must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition
Religious occupations are defined as occupations whose duties must:
- A recognized common creed or statement of faith shared among the denomination’s members
- A common form of worship
- A common formal code of doctrine and discipline
- Common religious services and ceremonies
- Common established places of religious worship or religious congregations, or
- Comparable indicia of a bona fide religious denomination
Visas for R-1 Dependents
R-1 visa holders can bring their spouses and minor children under 21 to the United States under dependent visas.