If you need help obtaining nonimmigrant status under an R-1 visa, talk to a New York immigration attorney from Pozo Goldstein, LLP.
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Do you qualify as an R-1 temporary nonimmigrant religious worker?
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a foreign national who comes to the U.S. as an employee for a nonprofit organization or religious denomination may be eligible to enter the country as an R-1 temporary nonimmigrant. Additionally, you must have lived outside of U.S. borders for at least three years prior to applying. This status is giving to individuals who will work at least 20 hours per week for the religious denomination or nonprofit organization. In order to qualify for this status, you must be a member of a religious denomination. Additionally, your denomination must have a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the United States.
Unless your religious denomination and affiliated nonprofit organization are tax exempt, you may not be able to enter the United States as an R-1 nonimmigrant religious worker. In order to receive the R-1 visa, you must have been a member of the religious organization for at least two years. You must plan on working in a religious occupation while in the U.S. or as a minister of the religious denomination. According to the U.S. Department of State, you do not have to possess residence outside of the United States that you intend to keep. You must, however, leave the U.S. once your status as a nonimmigrant religious worker expires.
Required Documentation for an R-1 Visa
During the application process, you will be required to demonstrate tax-exempt status by showing that the religious organization has an individual IRS 501(c) (3) letter. The letter must be from the IRS and it must demonstrate that the organization is tax exempt. If the nonprofit organization is affiliated with the religious denomination, you must be able to show organizational literature, documentation that shows the nature of the religion and its purpose, a valid IRS determination letter and a religious denomination certification. This certification is part of the R-1 Classification and is a supplement to Form I-129.
In addition to paperwork regarding the religious organization, you must be able to demonstrate that you are a member of the organization. If you will be in the United States as a minister, you must provide documentation that indicates that you are a bona fide minister for the organization and a copy of the certification or similar document. You must also produce some evidence that you have completed religious training or theological education associated with the religious denomination. This might include transcripts from a theological institution and some form of documentation that indicates that the institution is accredited by the religious denomination.
In order to apply for R-1 nonimmigrant status, you must fill out an online nonimmigrant visa electronic application, Form DS-160. You must also have a valid passport for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months after the expiration of your stay in the United States. If you will be traveling to the United States with other members of your religious denomination or nonprofit organization, each person must possess an acceptable passport. Finally, you must produce one 2×2 photograph of yourself. The U.S. Department of State has specific photograph guidelines that you must follow or the picture will not be accepted.
How can a New York Immigration Attorney help?
At our firm, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal advice and assistance we can offer. To see what a topnotch New York immigration lawyer from the firm can do for you, contact us today. With a hard-hitting immigration attorney on your side, you can have peace of mind that your case is in good hands.