R-1 Visa

At Oguz Law, we warmly welcome individuals who wish to engage in religious services in the United States through the R-1 visa. Our team of experienced immigration attorneys provides a hands-on approach to ensure each client receives the attention and expertise they deserve. Initiate your R-1 visa application process with confidence, knowing that you have a dedicated team of professionals by your side.

What is the R-1 Visa?

The R-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category designed for foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States to work temporarily in religious occupations. This visa allows religious workers, such as ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, and others, to work in the U.S. for religious organizations or at places of worship.

Who Qualifies for the R-1 Visa?

To qualify for the R-1 visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Religious Occupation

The applicant must be engaged in a religious occupation, either as a professional or non-professional religious worker.

  • Membership

The applicant must be a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.

  • Employment

The applicant must be employed by the religious organization or an affiliate, either in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation, or as a minister.

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    How Does the Application Process Work?

    Step 1: Eligibility Assessment

    Our initial step is to assess your eligibility. Our expert team will review your case to confirm if you meet the eligibility criteria.

    Step 2: Initial Petition

    To initiate the process, your U.S. employer or sponsoring religious organization needs to file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We assist in compiling the necessary evidence to demonstrate eligibility for R-1 status, ensuring all criteria are meticulously met.

    Step 3: Petition Approval

    We closely monitor your case, providing updates and insights until USCIS approves the petition. Upon approval, the petitioner receives a Form I-797, Notice of Approval, marking a significant milestone in your visa application.

    Step 4: Visa Application Guidance

    Following petition approval, you’re ready to apply for the R-1 visa. We walk you through completing the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160, and prepare you for the next crucial step: the visa interview.

    Step 5: Interview Preparation

    We ensure you’re fully prepared for your visa interview, advising you on the necessary documentation, including your valid passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a recent photograph, and the all-important Form I-797. Once your visa is approved, we guide you through subsequent steps, including paying any necessary visa issuance fees. Our support extends until you have your visa and are ready to embark on your mission in the United States. Please note that USCIS was authorized to initiate post-approval site visits for R-1 and H-1B employers in 2009.

    What Are the Benefits of the R-1 Visa?

    The R-1 visa offers several advantages:

    a. Duration of Stay

    Initially valid for up to 30 months, with the possibility of an extension for a total stay of up to 5 years.

    b. Work Authorization

    Allows work for the sponsoring religious organization or its affiliate.

    c. Study Opportunities

    The R-1 visa holder can engage in part-time study in the U.S.

    What Are the Required Application Documents?

    When applying for the R-1 visa, applicants must submit:

    a. Application Form

    Completed Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker.

    b. Proof of Membership

    Evidence of membership in the religious denomination.

    c. Offer of Employment

    A letter from the U.S. employer detailing the offer and describing the religious occupation to be undertaken.

    d. Organizational Information

    Documentation about the religious organization, such as its nonprofit status.

    Dorukhan was my partner's lawyer and helped them with their case in the US. He did an amazing job helping them through their process. He and his team were always easily reachable, very thorough, and helpful throughout the whole process. Eventually, he became my lawyer, too, when my partner and I got married, and I couldn't have asked for a better and easier experience. I will definitely return to Oguz Law in the future for any needs that I have. Thank you, Dorukhan and your team!
    Tessa B.
    I'm very satisfied with Oguz Law's service. Dorukhan is a very professional lawyer who helped me with everything I needed during my immigration process - which was a success! I'm grateful for all he has done, and I totally recommend Oguz Law!
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Religious workers include ministers, priests, religious brothers/sisters, and individuals working in a religious occupation or vocation.

    No, R-1 visa holders can only work for the sponsoring religious organization or its affiliate.

    No, R-2 visa holders cannot work in the U.S.

    Yes, R-1 visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency under specific employment-based immigrant visa categories.
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