Religious Visa

Ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations may immigrate to or adjust status in the U.S. for the purpose of performing religious work in a full-time compensated position.

The special immigrant religious worker category is one of several employment-based fourth-preference (EB-4) visa classifications.

Eligibility Criteria For Religious Visa

To be eligible in the religious worker category, you must:

  • Have been a member of a bona fide non-profit religious denomination for at least two years prior to filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
  • Have been working continuously for the past two years immediately prior to filing the immigrant petition:
    • As a religious minister in a religious vocation either professional or non-professional capacity, or
    • In a religious occupation either professional or nonprofessional capacity
  • Seek to enter the United States solely to carry out such religious occupation of the employer’s denomination

Application Process

To apply for a green card while in the United States, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

  • Form I-485;
  • Copy of Form I-797, approval notice for I-360, Petition for Amerasian Widow(er), or Special Immigrant;
  • Passport photos, 2"x2" full-face color frontal view on a white or off-white background (although USCIS now uses your photos taken during fingerprint appointment);
  • Form I-485A, Supplement A, if filed under 245(i);
  • Form I-693, Medical Examination, signed and sealed by a designated physician;
  • Birth certificate or other records of your birth;
  • Copies of all passport pages with non-immigrant visas;
  • Arrest and criminal history;
  • Employment verification letter from petitioner on religious entity’s letterhead, stating your salary and position and that the job is still available;
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s current passport and previously issued passports, including biographic/photo pages, current and expired visas, and pages with relevant entry or departure stamps;
  • Photocopy of Form I-797 approval notices for all extensions and changes of status; and
  • Photocopy of the Form I-20 or IAP 66 school records (front and back, including all school annotations).