R Religious Worker Visas

R Religious Worker Visas

Overview of the R Visa

The R-1 visa is for a foreign national who is coming to the U.S. temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious occupation. The religious worker must be employed at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week) by:

  • A non-profit religious organization in the U.S.;
  • A religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or
  • A non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the U.S.


Qualifying for the R Visa

To qualify, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S. for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition.


R-1 status can initially be granted for up to 30 months. Subsequent extensions may be granted for up to an additional 30 months. The religious worker’s total period of stay in the U.S. in R-1 classification cannot exceed five years (60 months).


To learn more about your options contact our San Francisco law firm to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.