R-1 Visa, Temporary Nonimmigrant Religious Workers
The R-1 visa classification allows you to come to the United States temporarily to be employed at least part time by a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the United States to work solely as a minister, in a religious vocation, or in a religious occupation.
You may be eligible to be classified as an R-1 nonimmigrant if you:
- Will be employed by a nonprofit religious organization in the United States (or a nonprofit organization which is affiliated with a religious organization in the United States);
- Have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before filing the petition;
- Will work in the United States in at least a part-time position (an average of at least 20 hours per week);
- Are a minister or will be working in a religious vocation or occupation;
- Will work for the employer who files the petition to classify you as a R-1 nonimmigrant; and
- Will not work in any other capacity except as a religious worker.
More information on this classification is available on our R-1 Nonimmigrant page.
Read our policy on R-1 adjudications in Volume 2, Part O, of the USCIS Policy Manual.
How to File
Your petitioning entity must:
- Read the instructions for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
- Complete and sign your Form I-129;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
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After You File
Once we receive your Form I-129, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your petition;
- Site visit at the petitioner’s headquarters location, if necessary
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.