Religious workers from all over the world are called to the United States every year to fulfill their faith’s mission, but the complexity and ever changing landscape of U.S. immigration law can make the journey difficult without proper guidance. This is where Religious Immigration Services can help.
Established in 1988 as part of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Religious Immigration Services is one of the few groups in the United States specializing in religious immigration law. These experienced legal professionals work closely with religious organizations who wish to bring a religious worker to the U.S.
Religious Immigration Services is currently accepting new cases. Please contact us at RIS@cliniclegal.org or 301.565.4832 to learn more.
To learn more, download the RIS flyer. For new clients, please contact RIS Director, Miguel Naranjo at 301.565.4832.
Update on Non-Minister Sunset Provision
On Friday February 15, 2019 President Trump signed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019” (H.J. Res. 31) into law, funding the federal government through September 30, 2019. The Act also extends several immigration programs. Division H, Sec. 102 of the Act amends the sunset date of the Non-Minister Permanent Residence Program under Sec. 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) and (III) of the Immigration and Nationality Act until September 30, 2019. Thus, the Non-Minister Permanent Residence Program is extended until September 30, 2019.
Recent RIS Blog Articles
The non-minister special immigrant religious worker program currently has legislative authority through April 28, 2017, under a bill signed by President Obama in December 2016. The law allows non-ministers, such as religious sisters or brothers, or other lay religious workers in the religious vocation or religious occupation categories, to adjust to permanent resident status.
Religious workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico are unable to submit an adjustment of status or immigrant visa application at this time.
Filing a change of address with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a simple but important task for foreign nationals who are in the United States. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 265(a), "each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the attorney general in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the attorney general may require by regulation." Any non-citizens, including permanent residents, who reside in the U.S. should use Form AR-11, the Alien’s Change of Address Card, to report their change of address within 10 days of moving to the new address.
An important part of the immigration process of sponsoring international religious workers to the United States involves a site visit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This required visit is used to verify elements of the petition filed by the sponsor, including sponsor and beneficiary information, and work location. Site visits may occur with advance notice or without any notice. A successful site visit allows the sponsor to qualify for expedited processing when filing I-129 petitions for a nonimmigrant religious worker, also known as premium processing.