R Visa for Religious Workers

The R visa is used by members of a religious organization coming to the US to work for the same religious organization.

Origins of the R-1 Visa

The R-1 visa was put into law as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 with strong support of the Catholic Church. They faced severe shortages of priests, monks, nuns, healthcare staff in their hospitals and teachers in their schools. It was also supported by the evangelical lobby and welcomed by the Hindu and Buddhist communities.

R Visa Requirements

The requirements for becoming eligible for an R Visa are:

  • You’ve been a member of a religious organization for at least two years.
  • The religious denomination has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the US. This means, that the organization is tax exempt under the US tax law.
  • The organization is petitioning for you to work for them.
  • You will work for them as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation. Minister is defined as an individual who is trained and authorized to perform the duties required by the denomination.
  • And, of course, you intend to return to your home country at the end of your stay.

Spouses and children of the R-1 visa applicant are eligible for an R-2 visa. They are not permitted to legally work within the United States.

To find out more about the R Visa please visit our R-1 Visa page on www.ranchodlaw.com or call our office at 415-986-6186.

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