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R-1 Non-Immigrant Visa

Your Go-To Immigration Resource


Are you a foreign national who is seeking to come to the United States temporarily to provide services as a minister or in another religious occupation for a non-profit religious organization? If so, the R-1 nonimmigrant classification may be for you.

Who may qualify as a Religious Worker?

The foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination which has a non-profit religious organization in the same type of religious denomination in the United States for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
To perform services as a Minister, the individual must have the qualifications (be fully-trained based on particular standards set by the religious denomination) and be authorized by such denomination to engage in religious worship or similar activities.

What qualifies as a religious occupation?

A religious occupation is one that is not administrative although very light administrative duties are acceptable or does not involve support services (fund-raisers, clerical employees, maintenance workers, and janitors, to name a few). The religious occupation may not be characterized as religious training or study.

Validity of the R-1 status

The R-1 status is issued for a period of 30 months for an initial admission and can be extended for another 30-month period, not to exceed five years (60 months) in the aggregate.

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