Religious Workers (R)

The P visa is meant for professional athletes, artists and entertainers.

The R visa is available to an individual who is coming to the United States to work at least part time at a non-profit religious organization.  The individual must intend to work as a minister or in another religious vocation or occupation.

To qualify, the visa holder must have been a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years prior to filing. The employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

An R visa holder may be granted an initial period of stay for up to 30 months. Subsequent extensions may be granted for up to an additional 30 months, for a maximum stay of 60 months.

An R nonimmigrant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may apply for R-2 classification. Those in an R-2 classification cannot receive employment authorization.

An R visa holder may be eligible for lawful permanent residency (a green card).