Immigration for Religious Workers

Religious workers may enter the U.S. on an immigrant basis with an R visa. This is a temporary visa for persons who have been requested to work or authorized to work in the U.S. by an established religious organization. If you or a loved one is seeking entry into the United States as a religious worker, we can help.

At the Law Offices of Stephen Santucci, PC, we use our years of experience handling a wide variety of immigration matters to assist clients with their visa matters. We take the time to ensure clients have all of the necessary documentation that can bolster their application for the R visa.

Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about religious visas from a knowledgeable immigration attorney.

Qualifying as a Religious Worker

Religious workers include individuals who have been authorized by an employing religious entity to conduct religious worship and perform other organizationally related duties. This can include religious ministers, nuns, monks, other clergy, other high-ranking organizational officials (who may not be of religious status) and other individuals deemed worthy by the USCIS. However, religious workers do not include individuals such as janitors, clerks and other personnel who are not performing duties that are integral to the religious order or organization.

There is no requirement that individuals applying for R visas have a residence abroad that they have no intention of abandoning. However, they must intend to depart the U.S. at the end of their lawful status, absent specific indications or evidence to the contrary. The applicant has resided and been physically present outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year, if he or she has previously spent five years in this category.

No Labor Certification Required

As long as the applicant has been a member of a religious denomination having a legitimate nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years immediately preceding the filing, no labor certification is required.

Family Members

An individual applying for religious worker visa may also have his or her spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 issued a religious worker visa. While they may study while in the U.S., they may not accept employment. Therefore, evidence of their financial support while in the U.S. will be necessary at the visa interview.

Contact a Lawyer About Religious Worker Visas

Let us help you through the process of applying for a religious worker visa. Contact us at the Law Offices of Stephen Santucci, PC, today to talk to an experienced New York immigration lawyer.