R-1 Visa

An R-1 is a foreign national who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation at least part time (average of at least 20 hours per week). This visa program is intended for religious workers whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions, as distinguished from secular members of the religion.


  • You must be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately preceding the application for admission.
  • You must be coming to the United States to work at least in a part time position (average of at least 20 hrs/week).
  • You must be coming to, or remaining in, the United States at the request of the petitioner to work for the petitioner.


R-1 visa can be issued for 3 years initially and can be extended for 2 years, for a total period of 5 years and eventually the R-1 visa holder can apply for a Green Card for Permanent Residence.


An R-1 religious worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification. An R-2 dependent is not authorized to accept employment based on this visa classification.