Religious Workers – R-1
A religious worker may be sponsored by a bona fide nonprofit religious organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. A religious worker may come to work as a minister, in a professional capacity, in a religious vocation or religious occupation. Prior approval by USCIS is now required for all applicants. In addition, the religious organization will likely receive a site inspection from a USCIS officer. This status allows qualified religious workers to enter the U. S. for an initial period of admission of three years. The maximum period for an R-1 religious worker is five years.
Spouses and minor children may also accompany the religious worker in R-2 status but are not authorized for employment.