The R Visas may be issued to foreign religious workers coming to the U.S. in furtherance of their occupation. Religious workers include ministers of religion who are authorized by a recognized denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by members of the clergy such as administering the sacraments, or their equivalent. A religious occupation means a habitual engagement in an activity which relates to a traditional religious function. They include: Liturgical workers, religious instructors or cantors, catechists, workers in religious hospitals, missionaries, religious translators, or religious broadcasters.
To be eligible for the R visa the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
Initial admission on R visa is for 3 years and could be extended for a period up to 2 years. Total period of stay is 5 years. After 5 years must reside and be physically present outside the U.S. for 1 year, except for brief visits, to be eligible again. The spouse and dependent children of an R visa holder may be granted R-2 status.
DISCLAIMER: The information given in this website is intended as general information only and is not a substitute for the services of an immigration attorney in your specific case.