1. What is R-1 religious worker visa?
The R-1 religious worker visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals in religious occupations to enter into the U.S. and perform the duties of a religious worker.
2. Who is eligible for R-1 visa?
You must be a foreign national who, for at least the two years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.
3. How can I qualify as religious worker for R-1 visa?
To qualify for R-1 visa, you must be one of the following:
- Minister of religion
- Working in a professional capacity, either in a religious vocation or occupation
- Other religious worker working in a religious occupation or in a religious vocation
4. What privileges do I enjoy on R-1 visa?
On R-1 visa, you may:
- Engage in full time study in the U.S.
- Travel freely in and out of the U.S.
- Receive payment for services performed
- Apply for Green Card
- Apply for R-2 dependent visa for your spouse and unmarried children below 21 years
5. What are the limitations of R-1 visa?
On R-1 visa, you may:
- Receive payment only from the religious organization through which the status was obtained
- Take your dependents with you to the U.S. but they may not work
6. How long can I stay in the U.S. on R-1 religious worker visa?
You may stay in the U.S. on R-1 religious worker visa along with your spouse, and unmarried children under 21 years of age for an initial period of up to 30 months.
7. Can I extend my stay on R-1 visa?
Yes, you may use Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to apply for extension of stay.Extension may be authorized for a period of up to 30 months. Your total period of stay may not exceed five years.
8. Can I study on R-1 religious worker visa?
Yes, you may engage in full time study on R-1 visa.
9. Can I change employers on R-1 religious worker visa?
Yes, you may change employers on R-1 visa. The new organization seeking to employ you must file a new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker, with the USCIS and have it approved.
10. Are there any travel restrictions on R-1 religious workers visa?
No, there are no travel restrictions on R-1 religious workers visa. You may travel freely in and out of the U.S. during the validity of your visa.
11. What are the documents required for R-1 visa?
The documents required for R-1 visa are:
- Filled in Form I-129 nonimmigrant visa application with supporting documents
- Proof that you are working as a minister of religion, or in a religious vocation or occupation, for a bona-fide, non-profit religious organization or denomination that is exempt from taxation
- Proof that you have been a member of the religious organization for at least two years prior to your application
- A contract from the employer in the U.S proof, such as bank statements, that the employer is able to support the applicant above the poverty line
- Recommendation letters to further support your case
- IRS-supplied proof of the tax-exempt status of the religious organization in the U.S.
- Evidence that you are qualified for the work designated in the U.S.
- Documents showing arrangements for financial support.
12. Can I apply for Green Card while on R-1 status?
Yes, you may apply for Green Card. To adjust status you must file:
- Form I-360 application for special immigrant and obtain approval
- Form I-485 application for adjustment of status when priority date for Form I-360 is current
13. What type of visa will my dependents require?
You may apply for R-2 visa for your spouse and unmarried children below 21 years.
14. Can my dependents study on R-2 visa?
Yes, your dependents may engage in full time study in the U.S.
15. Can my dependents work on R-2 visa?
No, your dependents may not work on R-2 visa.