Special immigrant religious workers are placed in the employment-based fourth preference category. In order to obtain classification as a special immigrant religious worker, an individual, at the time of filing the immigrant petition, must meet the following requirements:
- Must have been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S. (for at least the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition)
- Must be coming to the U.S. solely for the purpose of carrying on the vocation of a minister of that religious denomination, working for the organization at the organization’s request in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the organization or a bona fide organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination and is exempt from taxation as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Must have been performing the vocation, professional work or other work continuously (either abroad or in the U.S.) for at least the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
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