About our services: EB-4 Visas
Religious WorkersReligious workers, such as ministers and nuns, may be able to immigrate to the US under an employment-based visa known as the EB-4. About 5,000 immigrant visas are available each year to religious workers who qualify for this visa. What Religious Organizations Qualify?
Religious workers applying to immigrate to the US must work for what the INS considers a bona-fide religious group or an organization that's affiliated with the religious denomination. Under INS regulations, such organizations must qualify for tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code. The organization does not need to have sought tax-exempt status but must only prove to the INS that it is eligible for such status.
What Religious Occupations Qualify?The following types of religious workers qualify for the EB-4 visa:
- Ministers: People authorized by the religion to conduct religious services and perform other functions.
- Professionals in religious vocations: Those working in such positions as those of missionaries, counselors, liturgical workers and other occupations traditionally part of the denomination. A bachelor's degree is required.
- Others in religious vocations: Individuals who have made a commitment to the religious life, such as monks and nuns. Candidates must have been working for the religious group for two years prior to applying.
How Do You File a Petition?The petition is filed with Form I-360 by the religious organization. The following information is essential in the application:
- Evidence that the petitioner is a qualifying religious organization, such as documentation of the organization's tax-exempt status.
- Confirmation that the applicant has worked for the religious group for two years. The work cannot be volunteer work, and employment must be full-time. If the two years were spent working for a different organization than the one petitioning, both organizations must share a common religious doctrine.
- In the case of a minister, the letter must state that the person is authorized to act as a minister and include a detailed list of the ministerial duties. The application must also include evidence that the minister is ordained, including a description of the ordination process.
- If the individual is to work in a professional capacity, evidence of a US bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent is required.
- If the individual is a nun, monk or works in another religious vocation, the application must include evidence that the individual is qualified for the job. Such evidence could be proof of the position's traditional role within the organization.
- The application should include details about how the worker will be paid.