U.S. Immigration Lawyer: Religious Worker Visas

At U.S. Law Center in Southern California, our attorneys assist religious workers and organizations with R-1 visa applications. The religious worker visa enables a person engaged in a religious occupation to enter the United States to follow that calling.

Who Is A Religious Worker?

When preparing an application for an R-1 visa, our lawyers support our client's request with proper documentation in accordance with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines. A nun, monk or religious brother or sister who has taken vows is typically accepted as having demonstrated the required lifelong commitment to a religious vocation. Other examples of religious workers as defined by immigration services are liturgical workers, religious instructors, cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators and religious broadcasters. A janitor, secretary or fundraiser is not considered a religious worker and is not eligible for an R-1 visa. The religious worker visa is a nonimmigrant work visa. The worker does not have to maintain a residence abroad, but must intend to leave the U.S. at the end of R-1 status.

Families Of Religious Workers

Our attorneys also handle applications for religious workers' spouses and minor children (under 21) to enter the U.S. under derivative status. A child or spouse cannot work while in the U.S., but may attend school.

The Visa Application Process

We will handle your application for an R-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence or at another U.S. consular office abroad. Our attorneys will prepare visa application form DS-156, proof of tax-exempt status or eligibility for tax-exempt status for your employing organization, and a letter from your employer certifying your position in your organization.

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers about an R-1 visa sponsorship petition or have another question about our immigration law practice, please email or our Riverside County office at 951-808-5342 to arrange a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. Our fees are competitive and we accept credit cards. Se habla español.

If you are a prospective employee, you may have as a final goal employment-based residency (a green card) or U.S. citizenship. Our immigration lawyers will craft a multistage strategy toward that goal. We also help employees with family-based visa applications for their spouses and children.