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Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer > Philadelphia Religious Worker R Visa Lawyer

Philadelphia Religious Worker R Visa Lawyer

It is not uncommon for religious figures around the world to travel to different countries on a mission. Religious workers who wish to enter the United States to further their religious goals must obtain an R visa to do so. Only certain individuals are eligible for an R visa and once one is obtained, these visas only allow religious workers to remain in the country for a certain amount of time. It is important to understand the requirements for an R visa, and our Philadelphia religious worker R visa lawyer explains more below.

Eligibility Requirements for R Visas

Only certain individuals qualify as a religious worker under the law. These individuals are as follows:

  • Ministers
  • Individuals working in a religious vocation or occupation in a professional capacity
  • Individuals working in a religious vocation or occupation who have been a member of that religious denomination for a minimum of two years before the date of the R visa application; religious denominations must qualify as a legitimate religious organization in the United States

Ministers as defined under the law are individuals who conduct religious worship and complete other duties as authorized members of the clergy of that specific religion. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines ‘working in a professional capacity’ as performing work that requires a B.A. degree or a foreign equivalent.

The USCIS also defines working in a religious occupation as performing work that is related to traditional religious functions. The category of religious workers includes liturgical workers, cantors, religious broadcasters, translators, and those who work in religious hospitals. Clerks, nurses, maintenance workers, and fundraisers are not considered religious workers.

Duration of an R-1 Visa

Individuals who obtain an R-1 visa can initially remain in the country for up to 30 months. Once that time has expired, they can apply for an additional 30 months. No stay on an R-1 visa can exceed five years, or 60 months. Only time that is spent physically within the United States is counted towards a person’s stay.

R-Visas for Family Members

Once someone has obtained an R-1 visa, their spouse and unmarried children can obtain an R-2 visa that will allow them to enter the United States with their parents or spouse. Individuals who obtain an R-2 visa can go to school in the United States, but they are not permitted to work unless they obtain a separate work visa.

Our R Visas for Religious Worker Lawyer in Philadelphia Can Assist with Your Case

It is often very important for religious workers to travel around the world for work purposes. At Ellenberg Law Group, our Philadelphia R visa religious workers lawyer can advise you of the options available to you and your family, and help you through the entire process so you have the best chance of obtaining the immigration status you seek. Call us now at 215-790-1682 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation and to learn more.

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