To qualify as a Religious Worker, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition.
The R-1 visa requires filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). There are certain general requirements which must be satisfied by the petitioning organization as well as by the religious worker, the beneficiary of the petition. R-1 visa petitions have recently been highly scrutinized by the USCIS due to a high rate of fraud. If filing an R-1, the petitioner should expect a possible site visit from a USCIS investigator prior to the petition approval to confirm the organization is legitimate.
R-1 worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification and are not authorized for employment in this status.