The Religious Worker (R1) visa is for persons seeking to enter the United States (U.S.) to work in a religious capacity on a temporary basis, under provisions of U.S. law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Religious workers include persons authorized, by a recognized employing entity, to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that religion, and workers engaging in a religious vocation or occupation.
• The applicant must be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religiousorganization in the U.S.
• The religious denomination and its affiliate, if applicable, are either exempt from taxation or qualifies for tax-exempt status; and
• The applicant has been a member of the denomination for two years immediately preceding applying for religious worker status.
The applicant is planning to work as a minister of that denomination, or in a religiousoccupation or vocation for a bona fide, non-profit religious organization (or a tax-exempt affiliate of such anorganization).There is no requirement that individuals applying for “R” visas have a residence abroad that theyhave 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 preoutside the U.S. for the immediate prior year, if he or she has previously spent five years in this category.