Nonimmigrant R-1 Visas

Religious Minister or Religious Worker

A bona fide tax-exempt non-profit religious organization may file a petition for a foreign individual who has been a member of its religious denomination for at least 2 years, to work solely as a religious minister in the U.S. This may include incidental administrative duties or be restricted to simply performing in a religious vocation or occupation in either a professional or nonprofessional capacity.

Religious minister or religious worker may work under this visa category for up to 5 years. Such minister or worker may not work in any other capacity but is allowed to work for more than one petitioning employer.


  • Petitioner must be a bona fide tax-exempt non-profit religious organization.
  • Beneficiary’s religious denomination must the same as that of the petitioning organization.
  • A religious minister must be fully authorized and trained in religious denomination to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by clergy of denomination.
  • The duties of religious worker must primarily relate to a traditional religious function, clearly involve inculcating or carrying out the religious creed and beliefs of the denomination, and must not be primarily administrative or support positions.