New Jersey R-1 Visa Lawyer
Acquiring a Visa for Religious Workers
As a religious worker who wishes to come and work in the United States,
you will at first need to file a petition with the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Either
you or your prospective U.S. employer will need to file a Form I-360,
Petition for Amerasian, Widow (er), or Special Immigrant petition.
Required Documents for Your Petition
Once the USCIS has approved your petition, your petition will be sent to
the National Visa Center (NVC). There, the NVC will assign you a case
number. Once your priority date meets the most recent qualifying date,
the NVC will mail you two forms: the Choice of Address and the Agent form.
At this point in time the NVC will begin processing your case and notifying
you which fees you will be required to pay. Important note, if you have an
immigration attorney, these forms will not be sent to you.
Once your fees have been paid, the NVC will require that you submit the
- Passport (it must be valid for 60 days beyond the expiration date of your
- Applications for the Immigrant Visa and the Alien Registration or the Online
Immigrant Visa Application and Registration
- You will need two 2x2 photographs
- Civil documents
- You must prove that you have a means for financial support
- You must provide completed medical examination forms (these are provided
after the medical examination)
Once the NVC has decided that you have provided them all the necessary
documents, they will move forward with scheduling an interview. The NVC
will send your entire file containing your petition and the above documents
to the U.S. embassy or consulate where your interview will be conducted.
Either you, or your attorney will receive email notifications and letters
(if no email address was provided) containing the date and time of your
visa interview, you will also receive information about how to obtain
a medical examination. When you attend your visa interview, you should
bring your valid passport along with any other supporting documentation
that wasn't already provided.
Requirements for Religious Workers
Before you qualify as an immigrant religious worker, you must meet the
following requirements for at least 2 years ahead of time: 1) you must
have been a member of the religious organization in the United States
for which you are going to work, and 2) you must have worked in the religious
vocation continuously. If you are seeking status as a Minister of Religion
(SD-category), you must be entering the United States strictly to practice
your religion, and if you wish to qualify for a Certain Religious Worker
(SR-category), you must be coming to work in the United States for the
purposes of a professional or a nonprofessional capacity. Special note:
if you do come into the United States under the (SR) category, you are
required to enter the U.S. with your visa before September 30, 2012.
All employment based immigrant visas and religious worker visas are issued
in chronological order according to when the petitions were filed. The date you file your petition becomes your "priority" date.
Please note that your visa will not be issued until after your priority
date has been reached. For some heavily saturated categories, the waiting
period could take several years before the priority date has been reached.
Since religious worker visas are numerically limited, it's difficult
to predict how long it will take to get an
employment visa issued. Some cases are significantly delayed due to incomplete applications
or incorrectly filled out paperwork. When such delays occur, the visa
application may require further administrative processing. For this reason,
it's always a wise idea to enlist the services of an immigration lawyer
in New Jersey from our firm.
Get help from our New Jersey immigration law firm!
At The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. we have extensive experience
in helping religious workers come and work in the United States lawfully,
and we are here to guide you through the process and answer any questions
that you might have along the way. We find that having an attorney assist
you with the application process and in preparing the required documentation
can be of great assistance, and it can help prevent further, inconvenient delays.
Contact us today to get smart and effective assistance with your R-1 visa!