The R-Visa is available to religious workers who want to enter the U.S. as non-immigrants and work temporarily in a religious capacity.
Qualifications for an R-Visa
- Member of a bona fide nonprofit religious organization, with tax exempt or qualifications for tax exempt status, in the U.S.
- Member of the religious organization for at least two years immediately prior to applying for an R-Visa.
- R-Visa applicant is planning to work as a minister, a cleric, or in a religious occupation or vocation for the religious organization;
- Must intend to leave the U.S. when the R-Visa expires.
- The maximum stay with an R-Visa is three years with an option for an additional 30 months extension upon request to the USCIS.
- A prospective employer (the religious organization) must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, with the USCIS.
- The I-129 will have to be first approved before the R-Visa is issued at a U.S. Consulate in the applicant’s country of origin or residence.
Dependents (spouses and unmarried children, 20 years and below) of R-Visa applicants can also accompany or follow to join their family member. The visa issued will be an R-2 Visa.
Note: It is advisable to contact an Immigration Attorney if you have any more detailed questions regarding an R-Visa.