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Religious Worker (R - visa)
R-1 Religious Worker Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily for a period not to exceed 5 years to be employed at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by a non-profit religious organization in the United.
There are three classes of religious workers - ministers, professionals and other workers in religious vocations.
- Ministers are people authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship services and to perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy. It does not include lay persons who participate in services. A minister must be ordained to conduct religious worship and perform other duties performed by an ordained pastor/clergyman.
- Professionals are those working in a religious vocation or occupation for which the minimum of a Bachelor's degree (or foreign equivalent) is required. A religious occupation is an activity which relates to traditional religious functions such as liturgical workers, religious instructors or counselors.
- A religious vocation is a calling to religious life with a demonstrable commitment to that life such as taking vows. Typical in this category would be monks, nuns and religious brothers and sisters.
To qualify as a Religious Worker the applicant must be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the US for two years immediately preceding applying for religious worker status; the religious denomination must be non-profit (exempt from taxation).
A spouse and minor children of R-1 visa holder are entitled to R-2 visas.