U.S. Visas: R-1
An R-1 visa is used for religious workers coming to the U.S. temporarily.
What are the Requirements for Applying for an R-1 Visa?
VISANOW can prepare and submit the R-1 visa petition if the R-1 applicant is presently in the U.S. in valid status or if the Beneficiary is outside the U.S. The R-1 visa applicant must be a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S.
R-1 visa holders are any of the following:
- Ministers of Religion Persons who enter the U.S. only to work as a minister of the religious denomination he/she has belonged to for the past two years. The minister must be 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.
- Religious Professionals Persons who enter the U.S. to in a professional religious vocation (e.g. nun, monk, etc.) or professional occupation (activity that relates to traditional religious function such as liturgical workers, translators) at the request of the organization. A professional religious vocation or occupation requires a Bachelor’s degree.
- Other Religious Workers Persons who enter the U.S. to work for a bona fide non-profit organization in a religious vocation or occupation at the request of the organization. This religious vocation or occupation does not require a Bachelor’s degree. These workers can be individuals who do not qualify as ministers of religion or religious professionals
U.S. non-profit, religious organization must meet two requirements:
- Have a religious community with a form of worship, a code of doctrine and discipline, religious ceremonies, established places of worship, and religious congregations, or other evidence of a religious denomination.
- Be exempt from U.S. taxation as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or satisfy USCIS that it would be eligible for the tax-exempt status.
How Long is the R-1 Visa Valid?
An R-1 visa is valid for an initial period of up to three years. This can be extended for a further two years. The R-1 visa cannot be extended past the five-year period. An R-1 visa applicant who has spent five consecutive years in the U.S. as an R-1 visa may not re-enter as an R-1 visa holder until the R-1 visa holder has been physically present outside the U.S. for at least one year.