The R-1 visa is reserved for religious workers, including clergy.
Religious workers are those that are in a religious vocation or a religious occupation. A religious occupation is one that relates to the traditional functions of the religious denomination.
In order to qualify for an R-1 visa, the person must have been a member of the same religious denomination for the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
All R-1 petitions must first be filed with USCIS in the United States, even if the person is abroad and will be applying for an R-1 visa stamp at the US Embassy or Consulate.
R-1s have a statutory limit of 5 years. They are initially granted for two years and can be extended for an additional three.
Because USCIS has alleged that the fraud rate in R-1 petitions is high, USCIS now requires that an investigator visit the petitioning church prior to approval of the R-1.
Spouses and children of a person with an R-1 visa receive R-2 visas.
Persons on R-2 can attend school, but cannot work.
Due to the complexity of the standards applied by USCIS to R-1 petitions, an attorney should handle the case.
Our experienced immigration attorneys are available to assist you. Call our office to get your case started.