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 clients' request with proper documentation in accordance with USCIS guidelines. A nun, monk, religious brother or sister who has taken vows is typically accepted as having demonstrated the required lifelong commitment to the 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 (under 21) children 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 the 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 e-mail or call our Orange County (714.602.5681) or Riverside County (951.808.5342) office 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.