More than two dozen participants from as far away as Missouri, Texas and Nebraska met the staff of Religious Immigration Services in Garden Grove, California, in October for a day-long training in religious immigration.
The group included practitioners from Catholic Charities agencies and private firms as well as priests and religious, representing dioceses or religious communities.
RIS Director Miguel Naranjo and staff members Kate Adams and Minyoung Ohm, both attorneys, and Tamika Vick, administrative assistant, were welcomed warmly by the Diocese of Orange and Catholic Charities of Orange County.
The day before the Oct. 12 presentation, under the warm California sun, the team walked around the garden of the famous Crystal Cathedral, now known as Christ Cathedral, under its new ownership by the Orange Diocese.
The participants made the training lively with their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. It covered the process of filing I-129 petitions, applying for R-1 visas abroad, maintaining status while in the U.S., adjusting status to a permanent resident, as well as some recent updates that directly impact religious immigration practice such as the changes made to the Foreign Affairs Manual, the non-minister sunset provision, and the visa retrogression shown on Department of State’s visa bulletin.
The RIS attorneys answered many individual case questions and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to interact with the participants. We would also like to thank the Diocese of Orange and Catholic Charities of Orange County for hosting.
RIS attorney Minyoung Ohm stayed after the training to give a presentation at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes conference being held in nearby Anaheim. She spoke to about 40 people on filing religious immigration petitions, getting R-1 visas, maintaining R-1 status, and applying for permanent residence.
Ohm was pleased to report that while she was sitting at the exhibit table for CLINIC, many of the RCRI attendees expressed their gratitude and praise for CLINIC’s work. The RIS team is very proud to be a part of this great team that serves immigrants.