Fact Sheet: USCIS Publishes Final Rule for Religious Worker Visa Classifications
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made significant revisions to the special immigrant and nonimmigrant (R-1) religious worker visa classification regulations. The final rule will ensure the integrity of the religious worker program by establishing a requirement that employers submit a formal petition for temporary religious workers, and by providing for increased inspections, evaluations, verifications, and compliance reviews of religious organizations. The rule also fulfills the Congressional mandate to issue final regulations to eliminate or reduce fraud in the religious worker program.
Evidentiary Requirements for Petitioning Organizations
Nonimmigrant Religious Worker Classification
Special Immigrant Religious Worker Classification
New Definitions and Proposed Changes to Existing Definitions
Revocation Procedures and Appeal Rights
Extension of Nonminister Categories Affected by the Sunset
Pending Nonminister Cases Affected by the Sunset
Nonminister special immigrant and nonimmigrant religious worker cases that have been held in abeyance will be adjudicated in accordance with the final rule. Request for Evidence will be issued for any evidence required as per the new regulations if such evidence was not initially submitted and was not contained in the record.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/21/2008