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Visas for Religious Workers Dedicated to protecting your rights.

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New Jersey R-1 Visa Lawyer

Acquiring a Visa for Religious Workers

An R-1 religious worker visa is for a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by:

  • A non-profit religious organization in the United States;
  • A religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or
  • A non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

This visa program is intended for religious workers whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions, as distinguished from secular members of the religion.

To qualify, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition. The visa is valid of for up to thirty (30) months and can be renewed but cannot exceed five (5) years. Family members and children under twenty-one (21) may be eligible to accompany R-1 visa holders with R-2 visas.

Documents Required for an R-1 Visa

  • Proof that you are working as a minister of religion, or in a religious vocation or occupation, for a bonafide, non-profit religious organization or denomination that is exempt from taxation
  • Proof that you have been a member of the religious organization for at least two years prior to your application
  • A contract from the employer in the U.S.
  • Proof that the that the employer can support the applicant above the poverty line such as bank statements or audited financial reports, past compensation of members in similar positions
  • Recommendation letters;
  • IRS-documentation of the tax-exempt status of the religious organization in the U.S form 506 (c).
  • Evidence that you are qualified for the work designated in the U.S.
  • Proof of salaried or non-salaried compensation
  • Physical address of congregation for onsite USCIS inspection.

Only an Immigration Lawyer Can Offer Legal Advice for Your Visa Application

When applying for an R-1 visa, choosing seasoned legal counsel is vital to meeting your objectives. The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. provides initial consultations to help you determine if you are eligible for a religious worker visa. We exhaustively review your records, immigration history, and family history to learn your options and give you insight into all your options for coming to the U.S. There's not just one path to your goal—our job is to help you find the path that will best serve your purposes.

Since starting our firm in 1987, our New Jersey immigration attorneys have helped more than 10,000 individuals and businesses secure visas, green cards, and much more. We have the knowledge, experience, and insight to guide your case down the path of most-likely success while informing you about every step of the process. As soon as clients hire us, we immediately get to work on their behalf. Get an initial consultation to get started today.

Only an immigration lawyer can give you legal advice. Call (800) 909-8129 or contact us online for help with your R-1 visa application.

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Conveniently Located At

4713 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087

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Speak with our attorneys today to talk about your situation and we will walk you through your options.

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Common Questions

  • I am a fiancée of a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. How can I enter the U.S. to marry?

    Your fiancée must apply for a Fiancée Visa, also known as the K-1 Visa. The visa is for parties who have physically met within the past two years, have an intent to marry, and can document a relationship together. The visa is only for those who are residing abroad and cannot be used if the alien is in the US. The application is filed from within the US and when approved, will be forwarded to the American Consular where the alien fiancée will apply for the visa and be interviewed by an officer - usually about 8-12 months from the date of filing.

  • I live in the U.S. and I am marrying a U.S. citizen. How can I get a green card and become a permanent resident?

    Assuming you have entered the US with a visa or are protected by an old law called 245i, you may be eligible to adjust status to receive a green card from within the US. If you have been illegally present for more than 6 months, you cannot travel until the green card is in hand. Current processing time is about 5-7 months.

  • I live outside the U.S. and I married a U.S citizen. How can I come to the U.S. to live?

    To enter the US after a marriage to a US Citizen, you would go through Consular Processing. Paperwork would be filed in the US and forwarded to the embassy abroad to schedule an interview. The processing time frame from start to finish is between 9-11 months, depending on the embassy abroad. The process is document-intensive and requires careful attention to detail.

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Staying Current to Provide Our Clients the Best Protection

Our Founding Attorney Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq. is one of the rare attorneys with as many as 30 plus years of experience in the field who possess the drive to constantly learn more to better advocate for his clients. Immigration law is a field that changes constantly as world politics unfold, new leaders front the United States and immigration processes change. In order to stay on top of this, Attorney Bennett remains an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) based in Washington D.C. and the New Jersey Chapter of AILA for which he is a former chapter chair. Attorney Bennett constantly attends conferences and presentations which analyze changes in immigration law and procedure to provide the most up to date advice for his clients. He is also a frequent speaker at civic events in New Jersey. His role in the immigration law community keeps his representation on the cutting edge.

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