The R visa type is for individuals seeking to enter the United States to work in a religious capacity on a temporary basis, as defined in The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §101(a)(15)(R).
How do I qualify?
§ You may qualify if your intention is to come to the U.S. to work (for at least 20 hours per week) to perform religious duties and you are employed or sponsored by the following institutions:
– Non-profit religious organization in the United States;
– Religious organization that is exempt from paying federal income and unemployment taxes (under 501(c)(3) IRS status)
– Non-profit organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.
§ To qualify, 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 before filing the petition).
§ You must have resided and been physically present outside the United States for the immediate prior year if you previously spent five years under this classification.
How do I file for R Visa?
There is a petition process you will have to follow and some evidence you will have to gather, for example :
§ The U.S. employer must file a Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on behalf of the religious worker;
§ The petitioner must include evidence of eligibility for the R Visa classification;
§ If the organization is affiliated with the religious denomination, it must provide: Proof of Tax-Exempt Status;
§ The petitioner must provide a currently valid determination letter from the IRS showing that the organization is tax-exempt;
§ Documentation that establishes the religious nature and purpose of the organization;
§ Proof of Salaried, Non-Salaried Compensation, Self-Support, or evidence demonstrating that the petitioner has an established program for temporary, uncompensated missionary work.
The above mentioned are some of the requirements that both, the petitioner (religious worker) and the petitioning (religious organization) must comply according to the U.S. Immigration Law before filing a petition.
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