Miami R-1 visa

Introduction to Miami R-1 Visa o Religious Worker Visa

Non-ministers and ministers in religious professions and vocations can seek a Miami R-1 visa in order to perform religious work for a period up to 5 years in the United States and ultimately apply for permanent residency .

Miami R-1 visa - Visa for Religious Worker

There are some specific differences between the minister and non-minister positions. Religious workers include ministers of a religion authorized by an accepted denomination to conduct religious worship or any other duties that may be required. Gallardo Law Firm can help you through this complex process.

Who can apply for an R Visa?

This type of visa is available for the following persons:

  • Ministers: This includes individuals who were authorized by a qualifying denomination, and authorized by the clergy to perform religious duties. There are licenses, and certifications which can prove such qualifications. Salvation Army officers, deacons, and Christian Science practitioners are also considered ministers.
  • Professional workers: These are individuals working in a religious profession or vocation requiring a Unites States bachelor degree or a foreign equivalent.
  • Other religious workers: Individuals working in a religious position or vocation.

A religious occupation is when an individual is engaged in any activities associated to the traditional religious function like for example: liturgical workers, religious mentors or cantors, religious hospital workers, religious translators, missionaries, broadcasters, etc. Some positions such as clerks, fund raisers, janitors, maintenance workers, or any similar occupations don’t qualify for this category. The activities performed by the religious person have to be related to a customary religious function and it must have some religious significance.

A religious denomination normally has an official code of doctrine and discipline, ceremonies and services, a type of ecclesiastical government, creed and form of worship together with congregations and places of worship. Contact an immigration attorney from Gallardo Law Firm to explain to you in more details about how the Miami R-1 visa application process works.

R-1 Visa Requirements

Applicants are eligible to apply for the R1 visa if:

  • He or she is a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide as a nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.
  • Both the denomination and affiliates, if relevant, are exempt from taxes, or the religious group or organization is qualifying for the tax-exempt status.
  • The applicant has been a member of this organization for about two years right before admission.
  • Entering the country with the purpose of carrying on the vocation of a minister of a specific denomination. Or an applicant who at the request of the organization works in a religious vocation in the United States for the religious organization or any affiliates.
  • Being in the United States for the immediate prior year if the applicant has spent at least 5 years in this specific classification.

Periods of Stay with an Miami R-1 Visa

Religious Worker Visa

The USCIS initially grants the R-1 status for a period of admission of up to 30 months. Following extensions are granted for 30 months. The total period of stay of the religious worker in the U.S. cannot exceed 5 years (60 months) in the R-1 classification. The USCIS only takes account of time physically spent in the U.S. in a valid R-1 status to the maximum period of stay. You can trust your immigration case to one of the experienced immigration lawyers at Gallardo law Firm.

R-2 Visa for family members of R-1 Visa Holders

The R2 is a temporary visa granted to spouses and unmarried children of R1 visa holders in order to enter the U.S. R2 status holders can remain in the country as long as the R1 worker stays or remains in legal status. Once the principal R-1 person loses his or her status, the family member will lose it too. The R-2 visa is initially granted for up to three years and extensions can be granted for a period of 2 years. The R-2 visa holder cannot stay in the United States for more than 5 years.

Immigration Lawyers Miami at Gallardo Law Firm

Immigration law can be torturously difficult to understand. It will take experienced immigration lawyers from a reputable firm such as Gallardo Law Firm to help the applicant through the whole process. Although the law is written in order to help applicants reunite with their families, gain asylum or protection, it’s also there to protect the United States from people that might be a threat. If the person has a serious health problem, for example, it might take extra effort to convince the immigration authorities to approve the application process. This is why hiring an immigration attorney can be a good investment as it helps to work towards a more positive outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions about R-1 Visas

An R-1 is a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by a non-profit religious organization in the United States (or an organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States) to work as a minister or in a religious position.

The organization petitioning the religious worker must first file Form I-129 and when the applicant wants to work for another organization, the new organization would need to sponsor him or her for a new R-1 visa. If the other organization is not religious they would need to sponsor the applicant for another visa category. Mistakes in filling out the required forms can result in the application being denied and the applicant become inadmissible for several years. This is why hiring an immigration attorney from Gallardo Law Firm is highly advisable.

After filing Form I-129, it takes about 5 months in order for the USCIS to process the application. If this form is approved, the religious worker will have to go through consular processing in order to receive the R-1 visa. This process varies depending on the office where it’s processed, but generally the applicant can expect to receive the visa within 2 months.

Religious workers can obtain permanent residency through the Eb-4 category. The requirements are very similar to the R1 category. The applicant can do self-petitioning or be petitioned by a religious non-profit organization. If you need an immigration attorney to help you out with your R-1 visa, contact Gallardo law Firm.

This is possible as long as the R-1 visa remains valid. The number of reentries varies depending on the country of residency or citizenship of the applicant.
The time the R-1 visa holder spends outside the country cannot be recaptured. In other words, after the religious worker has reached the max period of stay of 60 months, he or she has to leave the United States and remain outside the country for a whole year before seeking the R1 status.
Any non-profit religious organization with a bona fide can sponsor the religious worker. This organization needs to have a letter from the IRS with income tax exemption, or the organization must be exempt under a group ruling.
In most cases the R-1 visa holder cannot change their status to R-1 religious worker or to adjust to permanent resident. The best way is for the applicant to return to his or her home country and apply for a religious visa. There are a number of serious penalties for those who stay in the United States illegally. We recommend you hire an immigration lawyer from Gallardo Law Firm to help you out with the whole process.