Roxana V. Muro is a knowledgeable immigration attorney with years of experience. Contact the Law Offices of Roxana V. Muro at 909-297-1860 with any immigration issues you may have.

What is an R-1 Visa?

There are several different types of visas a person may apply to gain entry and stay in the United States. R Visas are granted to foreign national religious workers, such as ministers or other religious vocations, seeking to enter the United States. The R Visa is a temporary work visa.

The R Visa is initially granted for a period of 30 months and may be extended for another 30 months. An R visa will not be granted for more than five years. After the five year period, an R Visa holder must live outside the United States for at least one year before applying for another R visa. In some situations, an R Visa holder may be able to apply for a green card after the conclusion of the R visa as well. Family members of the R Visa holder, including spouses and children under age 21 may apply for an R-2 visa and stay in the United States with the R-1 visa holder. R-2 visa will not be able to obtain a work permit based on the R-2 visa.

How do I qualify for an R Visa?

The R visa is a work visa and therefore requires that an employer file for the visa on behalf of the R visa holder. The employer must file a Form I-129. In order to qualify as a religious employer, the employer must be:

  • A non-profit religious organization in the United States
  • A religious organization authorized to use a group tax exemption; or
  • A non-profit religious organization affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States

In order for the religious employee to be eligible for the R visa, they must:

  • Provide evidence they are a member religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States
  • If receiving a salary for the work, provide IRS documents showing salary received for their work
  • If not receiving a salary for the work, provide IRS documentation of non-salary compensation such as room and board, stipends, etc
  • Verify they will be working for the religious employer at least 20 hours a week on average

There are additional verification documents required if the religious worker will be working as a minister.

Additionally, the United States Customs and Immigration Service may conduct a pre-approval site inspection of the work premises.

Hire an Attorney Today!

If you believe you are eligible for an R visa, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney to assist, we will give you the best chance of succeeding with your visa application. If you are interested in an R visa or have any other immigration-related issues, contact the law offices of Roxana V. Muro at 909-297-1860. You can’t afford NOT to.

We look forward to speaking with you about your case.


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