R Visa

R Visa

We have obtained several R-1 visas.  One case that presented an interesting challenge was where the applicant performed secular, administrative duties.  CIS believed that an R visa was not appropriate.  We were able to show facts and law that convinced the USCIS to issue the visa.

Nonimmigrant Visas: 

R Visa Overview

The R-1 Visa is available to those who wish to come to the United States solely as a minister or to perform a religious vocation or occupation, in either a professional or nonprofessional capacity, for a period not to exceed five (5) years.

In order to be approved for temporary admission, or extension and maintenance of status, one must meet the following requirements:

Nonimmigrant Visas: 

Guestbook Entry for Johnson Edwin Dodla , United States

Johnson Edwin Dodla
Nonimmigrant Visas: 
United States

I found working with Mr. Khanna and his team to be a pleasant experience. I changed my status from F1 to a Religious worker visa. I was very anxious during this process but I was at peace knowing that the people who were helping me through this process were able and competent professionals. Mr. Khanna was every personable and was eager to clarify all my questions. Also, Mr. Khanna contacted my employer on several occasions in order to explain the legalities involved in filing for the Religious worker visa, for this was the first time my employer had hired a foreign national. I would also like to express my thanks and appreciation to Ms. Anna Baker, who was my primary contact at the Law Offices of Rajiv Khanna.

Religious Worker Visa, premises still under construction

The petitioner is a newly established religious organization {has IRS 501( c )(3) and state registration}. However, its principal place of business (this would be the beneficiary’s work location as well) is still under construction (so far, they have made good progress in the construction of the building). The petitioner does not conduct any religious programs yet. No other primary office location. Can the petitioner file an R1 for a minister for future employment? Would there be issues with the site visit if the facility is not completed by then? Do you have any advice on how to proceed with this case?

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com

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Substantial transcription for video: 

FAQs: Religious Worker Visa, premises still under construction || Students aging out of H-4 || Lawsuit against status denial for CPT users || AC21 portability Supplement J || L-1 and entrepreneurial H-1B || 60 days grace period of H-1B getting over - F-1 option || Need to amend H-1B for remote work from home || Part time H-1B || Doing business on OPT

OTHER: IR5 Green Card traveling separately || H-1B Quota exemption || Reentry Permit obligations || H-1B change of status || CSPA for child of EB-1A petitioner || 212(e) waivers for J-1 holders || I-140 withdrawal || H-4 EAD processing times ||

R Visa Services and Fees

The fee schedule for R classification (fees are payable by personal or corporate checks) is as follows:

1. Legal fees (for our Office):   $2,600,payable at the commencement of the case 
2. Filing fees (to the USCIS) for Form I-129:   $460
3. Federal Express Expenses:   approx. $70



Nonimmigrant Visas: 

Qualifying U.S. Work Experience for Special Immigrant Religious Workers

On April 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Shalom Pentecostal Church v. Acting Secretary DHS, 783 F.3d 156 (3d Cir. 2015), found the regulatory requirements that qualifying work experience gained in the United States must have been acquired in lawful status (herein “lawful status requirements”) in 8 CFR 204.5(m)(4) and (11) to be beyond the Department’s legal authority (ultra vires).

Team Notes: 
Nonimmigrant Visas: 


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