R1 Visa (Temporary Nonimmigrant Religious Workers)

R1 visas are issued to temporary religious workers with non-immigrant intent. The intending worker must be sponsored by a non-profit religious organization that has been present for a minimum of two years within the United States. The petitioning organization and immigrant must demonstrate that the worker will participate in full-time (a minimum of 35 hours) work at the organization per week. The petitioning organization must provide evidence regarding the compensation for the position. If the religious worker will support themselves during their time in the US, they must demonstrate a financial ability to do so and that the position is part of an international missionary program. R-1 visas grant the religious worker permission to work for the religious organization in the US for up to 30 months; with a possible 30-month extension. A religious worker may remain in R-1 status for up to 60 months. Should a religious worker seek R-1 status again after previously maintaining R-1 status for 60 months, they must remain outside the US for one full year before seeking R-1 status again. It is the burden of the religious worker to demonstrate their membership in the religious organization. Spouses and children under 21 of R-1 religious workers are eligible for R-2 classification, but are not authorized to accept employment as R-2 visa holders. There are currently no annual quotas or caps for R-1 visas.

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