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R Visa or Religious Visa| U.S. Immigration Law Firm, Manila, Philippines

The Religious or R-1 Visa is granted to foreign religious workers who wish to come to the United States to render a temporary vocational, occupational, or professional religious service. Possible grantees are members of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the United States for at least two years prior to filing the petition. R-1 visas are initially valid for three years and are extendable for two more years. If an individual would like to stay in the U.S. beyond five years with this non immigrant visa, he or she must reside and be physically present outside the U.S. to be eligible to obtain the visa again. R Visa holders can eventually apply for permanent residence through a green card.

Who qualifies for R Visas?

Ministers
Ministers are individuals authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship and perform clergy-like tasks of a certain religion. Licenses, ordination certificates, and a formal letter of conferral are significant in proving ministership.

Vocational and Occupational Professional Workers
Professional workers are individuals who work in a religious vocation or occupation that requires a U.S. bachelor degree or its foreign equivalent.

Vocational and Occupational Other Religious Workers
Other religious workers perform ecclesiastical vocation or occupation in their own manners.

Religious Denominations
All religious workers are dependent on their standardized religious denomination. They usually have a formal code of doctrine and discipline, religious services and ceremonies, recognized creed and form, religious congregations, and established places of worship.