Business isn't the only area that has experienced tremendous global expansion over the past 25 years. With the influx of immigrants that have established permanent residency in the United States, it stands to reason that religious organizations worldwide also have the opportunity to extend their reach to this country.
U.S. immigration laws have accommodated this need by issuing R-1 visas, which are nonimmigrant visas that allow religious workers to work in the United States for up to five years. R-1 visa holders and their immediate family members can ultimately apply for an adjustment of status and seek permanent residency as green card holders.
We Work With Religious Organizations And Their Workers
The immigration lawyers at Rodriguez Bell & DiFranco Law Office, LLC, assist individuals and religious organizations in obtaining R-1 visas. As with most immigration matters, the application for R-1 visas involves extensive paperwork. To avoid mistakes that cause delays, it is a good idea to work with an experienced immigration attorney.
A spouse of a religious worker and unmarried children who are 21 or younger may apply for R-2 visas that will allow them to accompany the primary visa holder. R-2 visa holders cannot seek employment in the United States.
To be eligible to apply for an R-1 visa, an individual must:
- Be a member of a legitimate religious organization for a minimum of two years and have a job offer to work for the religious organization in the United States
- Be a member of a religious organization or its affiliate that qualifies for tax-exempt status
- Perform a religious occupation such as a priest, rabbi, minister, monk, cantor, worker in a religious hospital, missionary, religious translator or religious broadcaster
- Provide formal recognition of religious training from the religious organization, such as a license or a certificate of ordination
Workers performing non-religious functions such as secretary, maintenance or accountant are not eligible to receive an R-1 visa.
We Are Experienced In A Broad Range Of Immigration Matters
Our attorneys focus solely on immigration law. They have done so for more than 10 years. We work with clients in Cleveland and in Greater Columbus from offices in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.
If you have questions regarding religious worker visas or any other type of visa, call or email us to schedule a free consultation. We will review your situation and recommend an effective course of action.