R-1 Visa Lawyers in Santa Ana

Obtaining Nonimmigrant Status for Religious Workers

The R-1 visa is for qualifying religious workers. As a nonimmigrant visa, the R-1 grants temporary status to recipients—typically 30 months, but no longer than 60. To qualify, you must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition. As your sponsor, the religious organization in the U.S. must file the petition on your behalf.

If you are a religious worker or a representative of a religious organization wishing to employ a religious worker in the U.S., let U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP assist you with the process. We have helped hundreds of individuals obtain work visas, and we possess the in-depth knowledge and focused experience needed to help you accomplish your goals. We can answer all your questions about this category and help you navigate the process with ease.

Get in touch with our R-1 visa attorneys in Santa Ana by calling (714) 786-1166 or sending us an online message. We look forward to providing the dependable, accessible services you need.

Who Qualifies for an R-1 Visa?

We represent several churches, religious groups, and congregations in the religious visa process. This includes ministers, workers performing a religious vocation (lifetime commitment to a religious way of life through vows, investitures, ceremonies, etc.), and other religious occupations.

Individuals who work in positions that are primarily administrative or supportive generally do not qualify. This includes janitors, maintenance workers, clerical employees, or persons solely involved in the solicitation of donations. If your work involves the above duties but only to a limited degree, you may still qualify for an R-1.

If you are married, you may be able to obtain an R-2 visa (derivative status) for your spouse. You can also obtain R-2 status for your children if they are unmarried and under 21. You must demonstrate that you will be able to financially support your family if they come with you, as they will not be permitted to work.

The definitions of “religious organization,” “religious worker,” “minister,” and other concepts within this category are complex. For a personalized assessment of your qualifications and options, let our attorneys at U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP analyze your situation.

Can an R-1 Visa Holder Get a Green Card?

Most nonimmigrant visas require applicants to prove nonimmigrant intent. In other words, the applicant must fully intend to return to their country of origin when their temporary status expires. If an adjudicating officer believes the applicant wants to stay in the U.S. permanently, they will generally reject the application and may even accuse the applicant of fraud.

Some nonimmigrant visas, however, allow for dual intent, meaning you can maintain the long-term goal of becoming a permanent resident, so long as you intend to return to your country of origin if your visa expires. The R-1 visa is an example of a dual intent visa. So long as you meet all qualifications, you may be able to adjust your status to permanent residence (i.e. obtain a green card) while you are in the U.S. with R-1 status.

Get started on your case by calling (714) 786-1166 or reaching out to us online. We have 30+ years of legal experience, and we look forward to using this experience to help you accomplish your goals.

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