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.
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.
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.