Religious Workers (R-1 Visa)
A "religious worker" visa, also known as an R-1, is for foreign
nationals who come to the United States to be employed as religious worker
in the United States. You must work at least 20 hours per week for a non-profit
religious organization, and you must have been affiliated with the religion
for at least two years before coming to the United States. Dependents
of the religious worker, such as spouse and children, are granted an R-2
visa. R-2 visa holders are not eligible for work authorization in the
For assistance in obtaining an R-1 visa, or any other immigration matter,
contact our Orange County immigration lawyer today. Our office is committed
to the rights of immigrants and their families, and we take great pride
in the personalized attention we provide to each of our clients.
Call our firm today at (949) 478-4963 for experienced legal counsel.
What is a non-profit religious organization?
A non-profit religious organization should be given its common sense, ordinary
meaning. The organization must be registered in the United States as a
What types of "religious occupations" are covered?
Generally, a religious worker is one whose life is primarily dedicated
to the service of the religion. Ministers and missionaries, for example,
would qualify. An R-1 visa is not appropriate for someone who wishes to
work for a religious institution but whose job functions are clerical
How long can a Religious Worker Stay in the U.S.?
USCIS may grant R-1 status for an initial period of 30 months, after which
an extension may be granted for another 30 months. The religious worker’s
total period of stay cannot exceed five years.
Change or Adjustment of Status
Although an R-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, the R-1 visa holder can
change their status to another nonimmigrant visa, or to
adjust their status to permanent residency. You’ll want to consult with an experienced
Orange County immigration attorney to start this process.
For assistance with any immigration matter, contact the Law Office of Ashkan
Yekrangi, P.C. today. Our experienced attorney is a former immigrant himself,
and understands firsthand the unique challenges you’ll face throughout
the visa process.
For guidance in any immigration matter,
contact our firm today.