R-1 Visa:

Temporary Religious Worker

R-1 visas are for foreign nationals coming to the United States to temporarily work at least part time as a minister or in a religious vocation or occupation.

Basic Requirements

  1. You must work an average of at least 20 hours per week.
  2. You must be employed by (1) a non-profit religious organization in the United States; (2) a religious organization that is authorized by a group tax exemption holder to use its group tax exemption; or (3) a non-profit organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.
  3. You must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before filing the petition.

The Process

The R-1 visas requirements and process can be complicated, but hiring one of The Scott Law Firm’s immigration attorneys ensures you have someone who thoroughly understands the process on your side.

  1. Employer files Form I-129
  2. On-Site Inspection
  3. Post-Petition Approval

Spouse and Children

Your spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 visas.

Length of Stay and Extensions

USCIS may grant an initial period of admission for R-1 visas for up to 30 months (2.5 years) and subsequent extension for an additional 30 months (2.5 years).

Your total period of stay in the United States in R-1 classification cannot exceed five (5) years (60 months).

USCIS only counts time spent physically in the United States in valid R-1 status toward the maximum period of stay.

Other Visas for Religious Workers


Ministers of religious and members of religious denominations seeking temporary admission to the United States for brief periods may be eligible to be admitted as B-1 business visitors if their activities are allowed under the B-1 nonimmigrant visitor category.

Green Cards

Religious workers and their families may qualify to become Legal Permanent Residents under the Fourth Preference Category for Employment-Based Immigration (EB-4) visa.


If you think you may qualify for an R-1 religious worker visa, the immigration attorneys at The Scott Law Firm can help guide you! To learn more about the process of applying for a R-1 religious worker visa or your immigration options in general, contact our immigration attorneys today.

Criminal Defense Case Results

Aggressive Defense that Wins
  • Asylum granted to victim of gang violence Immigration
  • Cancellation of removal granted Immigration
  • Adjustment of status Immigration
  • Granted cancellation of removal and release from ICE custody Immigration
  • Asylum granted from Mexico after persecution based on sexual orientation Immigration
  • Mexican National granted cancellation of removal and allowed to return home to family. Immigration
  • Client from Bangladesh granted asylum after fleeing violence in his country Immigration
  • Asylum El Salvador client granted asylum after being threatened by gang Members
  • Immigration Judge grants a readjustment of status Immigration
  • Mexican national granted Cancellation of Removal in the New Orleans Immigration Court. Immigration

Start Building Your Case Today

Schedule Your Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.