Religious Worker (R-1) Visa
The R-1 classification applies to a religious worker. This is an alien coming to the U.S. temporarily to work:
As a minister of religion,
As a professional in a religious vocation or occupation, or
For a bona fide nonprofit religious organization at the request of the organization, in a religious occupation
which relates to a
traditional religious function.
The applicant (religious worker) must have been a member of a religious denomination having a nonprofit religious
organization in the United States for at least the two years immediately prior to the application date. To be
eligible, the U.S. petitioning organization must be a nonprofit religious organization granted (or eligible for)
tax exempt status, and must demonstrate that it can and will provide for all of the R-1 beneficiary’s financial
and physical needs.
If the alien is outside the U.S., he or she may apply directly to a consulate for an R visa. If visa exempt,
the alien may apply at a port of entry.
If the alien is inside the U.S., the religious organization must submit the I-129 to petition to the BCIS.
Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of R-1 workers are entitled to R-2 status with
the same restrictions as the principal.
Dependents may be students in the U.S.
Dependents and spouses may not be employed under the R-2 classification.