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An R-1 Visa is available to eligible religious workers who wish to come to temporarily work in the U.S. Are you a religious organization seeking to temporarily bring a foreign national to the U.S. who has dedicated their life to religious practices and functions? A non-profit religious organization can sponsor individuals for an R-1 visa. The R-1 visa is available to:

  • Ministers;
  • Rabbis;
  • Priests;
  • Clergy members;
  • Others who hold a recognized occupation within the religious organization, which directly relates to the dissemination or inculcation of the organization’s beliefs or creed; and
  • Other religious workers such as nuns, monks, brothers, or sisters may qualify for an R-1 visa if they have taken vows or completed other ceremonial rights attesting to a particular religious lifestyle that is recognized by the religious organization.

To be eligible for an R-1 visa, you must be coming to the U.S. to work as a minister or in another religious vocation at least 20 hours a week for:

  • A religious denomination with bona fide non-profit religious status in the U.S., which you have worked for at least 2 years immediately before seeking the R-1 visa;
  • A religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; and
  • A non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.
In addition, the religious organization must show how you will be compensated. Compensation may be either salaried or non-salaried. The religious organization must show how the religious worker will be supported while in the U.S. There are limited circumstances where you may support yourself.

Call us at (212) 840-0050 or complete our form to schedule a free confidential consultation.


Not sure which option is right for you? Request a confidential consultation today.