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
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).