R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 classification applies to a religious worker. This is a foreign national coming to the U.S. temporarily to work:

  • As a minister of religion,
  • As a professional in a religious vocation or occupation, or
  • For a bona fide nonprofit religious organization at the request of the organization, in a religious occupation which relates to a traditional religious function.

The applicant (religious worker) must have been a member of a religious denomination having a nonprofit religious organization in the United States for at least the two years immediately prior to the application date. To be eligible, the U.S. petitioning organization must be a nonprofit religious organization granted (or eligible for) tax exempt status, and must demonstrate that it can and will provide for all of the R-1 beneficiary’s financial and physical needs.

If the foreign national is outside the U.S., he or she may apply directly at a US Consulate for an R visa. If visa exempt (only applies to Canadians), the foreign national may apply at a port of entry.

If the foreign national is inside the U.S., the religious organization may use the I-129 to petition for a change of status, extension of stay, or change in the previously approved terms and conditions of employment.

Temporary Work Visas



Latest News

October 18, 2021

Updated Guidance for Fully Vaccinated International Travelers

Several news sources have confirmed that the White House will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. via…More


October 18, 2021

November 2021 Visa Bulletin

Subsequent to the issuance of the November 2021 Visa Bulletin, USCIS has informed prospective applicants of which chart to reference when determining if…More

Image Image Image Image