R-1 Visa for Religious Workers

Minister [8 C.F.R. §214.2(r)(3)]

In order to qualify for the R-1 visa as a Minister, the Minister must:

  • Be fully authorized and trained in religious denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by clergy of denomination;
  • Not be a lay preacher or a person not authorized to perform clergy’s duties;
  • Perform activities rationally related to being a minister; and
  • Work solely as a minister in the U.S. which may include incidental administrative duties.
  • The Minister may be part-time (20 hours per week), 8 C.F.R. §214.2(r)(l)(ii);
  • Deacon, practitioners of Christian Science and officers of the Salvation Army may be deemed ministers, 9 FAM 41.58 N.9.2; 9.3, and 9.4.

Religious Worker 8 C.F.R. §214.2(r)(1).

In order to qualify for the R-1 visa as a Religious Worker, the Religious Worker:

  • Must be a member of a religious denomination for at least 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission that has a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.;
  • Must be coming to work at least in a part-time position (20 hours);
  • Must be coming to perform a religious vocation or occupation in either a professional or nonprofessional capacity.


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