1. What is EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers Green Card?
The EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers visa is an immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are members of religious denominations to enter into the U.S. to obtain permanent residency.
2. Who is eligible to apply for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers Green Card?
To qualify as an EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker, you must:
1. Be a member of a religious denomination that has a non profit religious organization in the U.S.
2.Have been a member of this religious denomination for at least two years before applying for admission to the U.S.
3. Be entering the U.S. to work in any one of the following categories:
a.As a minister or priest of the religious denomination
b.In a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization. A professional capacity means that a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent is required to do this job
b.In a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate. A religious vocation means a calling or devotion to religious life. Taking vows can prove that you have a calling to religious life. A religious occupation is an activity devoted to traditional religious functions. Examples of religious occupations include, but are not limited to cantors, missionaries, and religious instructors
3. How do I apply for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers Green Card?
Your employer or you must file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special immigrant at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work. You must also submit:
1. Proof that the religious organization qualifies as a non-profit organization
2. A letter from an official of the religious organization in the U.S.:
a.The letter should establish that you have been a member of the denomination for two years, and that you have at least two years of experience in your religious vocation or occupation
b.If you are a minister, the letter should establish that you have been authorized to perform religious duties in general and should specify which duties you are authorized to perform
b.If you are a religious professional, the letter should establish that you have a U.S. baccalaureate degree or the foreign equivalent that is required for your religious profession. You must also submit an official academic record. If you are applying to work in the U.S in another religious vocation or occupation, the letter should establish that you are qualified to work in that religious vocation or occupation. For instance, if you are applying to work as a nun or a monk, you would need to provide evidence that you are a nun or a monk
3.If you are applying to work in the U.S. in a non-ministerial or non-professional capacity for a religious organization affiliated with a religious denomination, the letter should establish how the religious organization is affiliated with the denomination
4.The letter should also detail how you will be carrying on the work of a minister, or how you will be paid if you are working in a professional or other religious capacity. The letter should indicate that you will not be dependent upon supplementary income from a second job or charity (funds solicited for your support)
4. What is the definition of ‘minister’ for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Green Card?
‘Minister’ means an individual duly authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that religion. In all cases, there must be a reasonable connection between the activities performed and the religious calling of the minister. The term does not include a lay preacher not authorized to perform such duties.
5. What is the definition of ‘professional capacity’ for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Green Card?
‘Professional capacity’ means an activity in a religious vocation or occupation for which the minimum of a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree is required.
6. What is the definition of ‘religious denomination’ for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Green Card?
‘Religious denomination’ means a religious group or community of believers having some form of ecclesiastical government, a creed or statement of faith, some form of worship, a formal or informal code of doctrine and discipline, religious services and ceremonies, established places of religious worship, religious congregations, or comparable indicia of a bona fide ‘religious denomination’.
7. What is the definition of ‘religious occupation’ for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Green Card?
‘Religious occupation’ means an activity which relates to a traditional religious function. Examples of individuals in religious occupations’ include, but are not limited to, liturgical workers, religious instructors, religious counselors, cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals or religious health care facilities, missionaries, religious translators, or religious broadcasters. This group does not include janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fund raisers, or persons solely involved in the solicitation of donations.
8. Can I appeal the denial of my petition or application for EB-4 Green Card for religious workers?
Yes, you may appeal the denial of your petition or application for EB-4 Green Card to the Associate Commissioner for Examinations. You will be informed of the reasons for denial and of your right to appeal.
9. What is the definition of ‘religious vocation’ for EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Green Card?
‘Religious vocation’ means a calling to religious life evidenced by the demonstration of commitment practiced in the religious denomination, such as the taking of vows. Examples of individuals with a ‘religious vocation’ include, but are not limited to, nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters.