The process of bringing foreign-born religious workers, including priests, brothers and sisters, and lay workers to the U.S. is a complicated one. A religious worker must be the beneficiary of an approved I-129 petition filed inside the U.S. before he or she can apply for the R-1 Religious Worker visa abroad. By requiring a religious organization and the foreign national to go through two steps in order to obtain an R-1 visa, the nonimmigrant visa process now takes much longer than it did prior to 2008. However, this process also allows USCIS the opportunity to verify the information submitted for the application, including information regarding the validity of the employer and the proposed employment.
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Our goal is to provide our clients with expert advice and guidance regarding the immigration processes for foreign-born religious workers. We will work with both the religious organization and the foreign national to provide a thorough evaluation of the options available based upon the specific circumstances of the case. We will then prepare the necessary paperwork to submit to the various government agencies that are involved with the immigration process.