Temporary Religious Worker – R-1

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Immigration: Religious (R-1) Visa

The R-1 is a temporary non-immigrant visa reserved for individuals who wish to enter the United States to temporarily work in a religious occupation or vocation such as a minister. The R-1 recipient’s employer must be a non-profit religious organization located in the United States or a religious organization that is covered by tax exemption requirements or a non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States. The R-1 visa is available for  religious occupations that are defined as those whose duties must:

The term “Religious occupations”  does not include primarily administrative or support positions such as janitors, maintenance workers, clerical employees, fund-raisers or similar positions solely involved in raising funds. Examples of the qualifying occupations include ministers, clergy, nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters, liturgical workers, religious instructors or counselors, cantors (choir leaders), catechists, workers in religious hospitals or religious health care facilities whose job duties involve furthering the religion’s creed and beliefs, missionaries, religious translators, and religious broadcasters. The occupation must require at least 20 hours of work per week.


To qualify for the R-1 visa, the foreign national must demonstrate that they have been a member of a religious denomination for at least two years immediately prior to applying for an R-1 visa. The religious denomination abroad must have bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States or a non-profit religious organization which is affiliated with a religious denomination in the United States.

Period of Stay

An initial stay of 30 months may be granted to an R-1 recipient by the USCIS. The beneficiary may apply for an extension of another 30 months. However, the maximum stay on an R-1 visa cannot exceed 5 years. An R-1 recipient is eligible for a new five year period of stay after having resided outside the United States for at least one year.

Family of R-1 Visa Holders

The spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 of an R-2 visa recipient may qualify for a R-2 visa.  An R-2 visa holder is not authorized to work in the United States.

How can we help….

The Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates have been successful in helping individuals as well as religious organizations apply for R-1/R-2 visas. Please call our offices at (617) 367-6750 to see how we can help you apply for the R-1/R-2 visa.

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
1 Boston Place #2600
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-6750

If you are planning on attending a consultation at our law offices in person you might like to see the Directions to our Office.


Client Testimonials

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“Thank you so much for all of the hard work you have put in to the process of helping me become a permanent resident. This has been a long journey that has been challenging at times. It has taken 6 years, 3 jobs, 2 states, 2 renewals of my H1-B, multiple trips to embassies/consulates in…

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AG A Greig
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“First to say – i finally received a green card with these guys help! Everyone working at this law office is very knowledgeable and responsive. I have been working with them through my employer and it has been several years. My H1B was approved through this law office as well. I recommend anyone who is…

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S Shin K.
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“It is recommended that one should have an immigration lawyer handy. I recommend that this attorney be Trupti Patel. My case was not straightforward and they were very helpful. They get a lot of referrals and very busy but always available when you need them. I found them very knowledgeable about all types of immigration…

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H Harvik R.
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We are extremely happy with the Trupti N. Patel & Associates services, and it has been almost ten years that we have been working with Attorney Patel and her staff for all our US non-immigrant visa and immigration requirements and they consistently provide us with outstanding value. Their fees are extremely competitive, yet they offer…

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V Vishrut Shah
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Trupti Patel associates are the best professional law firm and highly knowledgeable staff. Really appreciate the patience and empathy presented by Trupti and AnnMarie during all stages / scenarios they handle on each case. Highly recommend Trupti Patel associates if you want prompt, trusted and knowledgeable team to address any visa cases. Thank you.

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N Nandan Chandrashekar
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The team at TNP does a good job gauging the client’s needs and attending to them. I have had a fair share of ups and down with the defunct legal immigration process here in America and the TNP team has helped me navigate the same. I would particularly like to recommend legal assistant Ms. AnnMarie…

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R Rahulraju Rudraraju Murali
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