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IMMIGRATION

Temporary Work Visa

H1  ׀  E1/E2  ׀   L1

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Religious Workers (EB-4)

 

Who May Qualify:

This category is reserved for religious workers in the following three categories:

  1. Ministers of religion;
  2. Professionals employed in a religious vocation or occupation;
  3. Others working in a religious vocation or occupation.

The labor certification requirements do not apply.

Accompanying spouses and children, and those who follow to join, enjoy the same priority date as the principal applicant.

Requirements:

  1. At least two years immediately before filing, must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States and must have been "performing the ministry, vocation, professional work, or other work continuously'' during that period.
  2. To qualify as a minister, the individual must be authorized by the denomination to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties typical of clergy of that religion. The term doesn't include a lay preacher.
  3. To qualify as a professional employed in a religious vocation or occupation, the individual must come to work for and at the request of the organization in a professional capacity in a religious occupation or vocation, such occupations as religious teaching and scholarship, which typically  requires at the minimum a U.S. baccalaureate or the foreign equivalent.
  4. The third category requires work for the religious organization, or a bona fide affiliated organization so recognized by tax exemption, at its request, in a religious occupation or vocation. This includes nuns, monks, liturgical workers, cantors, missionaries, broadcasters, and others. It does not include, for example, those employed by the religious organization as janitors or clerks.

Application Procedures:

File I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special immigrant) at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work, with the following documentations:

  1. Proof that the religious organization qualifies as a non-profit organization
  2. A letter from an official of the religious organization in the United States establishing that the applicant has the two years of religious membership and the two years of required experience.
  3. If qualifying as a minister, a certificate of ordination or statement by authorized organization official as to the qualifying duties.
  4. If qualifying as a professional, the applicant's university degree and transcript showing that the degree is appropriate.
  5. If qualifying in a nonprofessional capacity, evidence that the applicant is, for example, a nun, monk, or religious brother, or that other work to be done qualifies as a religious function.
  6. If you are applying to work in the United States in a non-ministerial or non-professional capacity for a religious organization affiliated with a religious denomination, the letter should establish how the religious organization is affiliated with the denomination.
  7. An employment letter describing how the applicant will be doing the stated type of work and describing any terms of payment showing that the applicant will not have to depend on other work or solicitation, including evidence of the religious organization's financial status.

Question-Answers:

Q: Can you file multiple applications?

A: Yes! In case that it may be unclear for which preference or even subcategory within a preference you may most easily qualify, you may apply under more than one category.

Q: Can you file adjustment application concurrent with EB-4 petition?

A: No! EB-4 petition must first be approved.

 

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