R-1 Religious Worker Visa

What is an R-1 Religious Worker Visa / Status?

An R Visa stands for Religious Worker. The Visa or Status provides the religious figure the ability to perform religious duties in the United States for up to 5 years, which is the maximum duration of an R-1 Visa. The First R-1 Visa/Status could be granted for 2.5 years, and then an extension is possible, up to 5 years.

The R-1 visa process does not prioritize a “specific” religious denominations. If a Religious Worker meets the eligibility qualifications to a religious organization in the United States, and the Organization is a 501(c)(3) IRS Recognized Religious Institution, the R1 Visa is a great fit.

Can I bring my family on an R-2 Visa?

Yes. The usual question isn’t, can my family come with me; but rather, what can my family do on an R-2 Visa? Unfortunately, the R-2 Visa doesn’t permit Employment. A Spouse or an unmarried child under 21 would be a religious and an emotional support to the R-1 Religious Worker, while in the United States.

Generally, spouses who are not Religious Workers themselves would want the ability to work. Children would also want the ability to work when they become a teenager and would usually want to attend college. An H, F, or M Visa may be better fits than the R-2 Visa.

Can someone still receive an R-1 Visa after receiving Immigration Violations or Committing Crimes?

Any visa applicant, whether for tourism or as a religious worker, must honor US Visa Laws. Previous or current immigration violations are not overlooked. Entry into the US Illegally or overstaying a visa are immigration violations that would prevent the granting of a US Visa, such as the R-1 Visa.

Although crimes come in many packages and range in severity, nearly any criminal activity could prevent the grant of an R-1 Visa.

Many people find there way to the church, and many believe the application of a visa would erase prior violations and crimes. However, that is not the case and an R-1 Visa would likely be denied for any misconduct.

What are the Government Costs and Immigration Attorney Fees?

Where is the Religious Worker? Government Fee Attorney Fee A little more info:
Outside of the United States $460 + $190 $2200 The Visa would be received at the US Consulate Abroad. This is “beneficial” since a visa would permit travel to and from the US during the up to 5 years of R1 Visa Status.
Inside of the United States $460 $1900 A Change of Status may be preferred if the R1 Religious Worker doesn’t need to travel in the next few years, and is already lawfully in the United States on a different visa.

Our Law Office offers a flat fee service. Criminal history and Immigration Violations would increase that fee. However, in our experience, a religious worker is a good and honest person and someone who doesn’t have criminal or immigration issues.

We aim to keep our R-1 fee low, partly because our office wishes the Church Proceeds to go to support their congregation or to go to outreach or missionary expenses.

We Serve Eastern North Carolina

Although our office has clients all over the United States and the World, for the R-1 Visa, we prefer to focus on only serving Religious Institutions in Eastern NC. It feels nice to know that our office touches the local communities’ religious needs.