R-1 TEMPORARY NONIMMIGRANT RELIGIOUS WORKERS
An R-1 is 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.
Notification of Termination of Employment
The petitioner must notify USCIS within 14 days of any change in the nonimmigrant religious worker’s employment. The petitioner must also notify USCIS when the employment is terminated.
Change of Location of Employment
Changes in location of employment may constitute material changes to the terms and conditions of employment as specified in the original approved R-1 petition. If there is a material change in the terms or conditions of employment (or the beneficiary’s eligibility), the petitioner may be required to file an amended petition and receive an approval prior to the beneficiary’s move to a location of employment other than that listed on the original approved R-1 petition.
For information about petitioning for lawful permanent residency for a religious worker, see the “Employment-Based Immigration: Fourth Preference EB-4.”
For more information on R-1 visas, go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.