Religious workers may come to the United States and work for a non-profit religious organization. A R-1 temporary nonimmigrant visa makes it possible for people to enrich their religious life and share their faith with others by working temporarily within the United States. Religious organizations can also benefit from unique talents and perspectives of workers from another country. However, there are specific criteria that must be met to obtain an R-1 visa.
At Miranda & Weisman, LLC , an experienced Maryland immigration lawyer can assist foreign nationals and U.S. employers in the process of obtaining an R-1 visa. We will help you to take advantage of the valuable opportunity provided by an R-1 visa by maximizing the chances that your petition to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be approved.
R-1 visas are available not just for a foreign national to work at a non-profit religious organization, but also to work at an organization affiliated with the religious denomination. The foreign national can work as a minister, within a religious vocation, or in another related occupation.
There are specific eligibility criteria that must be met in order for a foreign national to come and work with a religious organization within the United States:
Provided that the basic eligibility criteria are met, the U.S. employer that wishes to hire a foreign national to work for their religious organization must complete and file Form I-129. USCIS must approve Form I-129 before a worker who is coming to the U.S. can obtain an R-1 visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in his home country.
A Maryland R-visa lawyer can assist the religious organization in filing the required petition and accompanying documentation and can assist the religious worker in understanding his or her obligations for obtaining a visa at a consulate or embassy abroad.
Miranda & Weisman, LLC understands the ins-and-outs of R-1 visa applications and can assist throughout the process of providing documentation and completing required USCIS forms.
A great deal of documentation must be submitted both by the religious worker and the religious organization. For example, the organization may be required to provide proof of tax-exempt status including an IRS 501©(3) letter or a group ruling. The individual religious worker must present evidence that he is a member of a bona fide religious denomination. If he is a minister, he also needs to provide his certificate of ordination or similar documentation.
Our Maryland immigration lawyers will advise you on all of the forms and information required and will guide you through every step of the process of obtaining an R-1 visa. Don’t hesitate to start today, so that your religious organization can benefit from a foreign worker sharing his talents, ability and culture. Call to speak with a member of our legal team and learn how we can represent you.