Non Immigrant Visa Petition
R-1 (Religious Workers)
If you are a minister, person working in a professional capacity for a religious organization, or doing other work for a religious organization you may be able to enter the United States temporarily as an R-1 religious worker. Examples of religious occupations include liturgical workers, cantors, and religious broadcasters.
You must be able to establish that you are a member in a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the visa petition.
You may not self-petition. Every petition for a nonimmigrant religious worker classification must be initiated by a prospective or existing employer through the filing of a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You will not be able to obtain an R-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad or at a port-of-entry without prior approval of Form I-129 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are certain general requirements which must be proven by the petitioning organization as well as by you the beneficiary of the petition.
Period of Stay
As an R-1 nonimmigrant, you may be admitted for a period of up to 5 years. This time period may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of 5 years.
Family of R-1 Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for R-2 classification. Your dependents may not be employed under the R-2 classification.