R-1 RELIGIOUS WORKERS
The R-1 visa is for a person who has been a member of a religious denomination for at least
two years and has a job offer in the United States to work for a nonprofit affiliate of that religious
The R-1 beneficiary can be either a member of the clergy or a lay religious worker such as
a liturgical worker, religious instructor, religious counselor, cantor, catechist, worker in a religious hospital or religious
health care facility, missionary, religious translator, or religious broadcaster.
The initial admission cannot exceed three years, with total admission time up to five years.
The R-1 beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children under age 21 are eligible for the
R‑2. They may not accept employment in the United States, but may study.
Many R‑1 beneficiaries also qualify for the green card as a “special immigrant”without
having to go through the labor certification procedure.