Green Card for a Religious Worker (Minister or Non-minister)

Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1990 to create a special immigrant status for ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible in the religious worker category, you must:

  • Have been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years before filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant;
  • Have been working continuously for the past two years immediately prior to filing the immigrant petition:
      • As a religious minister;
      • In a religious vocation in either a professional or non-professional capacity; or
      • In a religious occupation in either a professional or nonprofessional capacity; and
  • Seek to enter the United States solely to work as a minister or in the religious vocation or occupation of your employer’s denomination.

Application Process

To apply for a Green Card while in the United States, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

See the Checklist of Required Initial Evidence section of our Form I-485 page to see what evidence you must submit.

If you are outside the United States, please see our Consular Processing page.

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