R1 visas are issued to temporary religious workers with non-immigrant intent. The intending worker must be sponsored by a non-profit religious organization that has been present for a minimum of two years within the United States. The petitioning organization and immigrant must demonstrate that the worker will participate in full-time (a minimum of 35 hours) work at the organization per week. The petitioning organization must provide evidence regarding the compensation for the position, which may include: budgets, evidence of previous compensation for a similar position, or verifiable documentation of room and board (if it will be provided). If the religious worker will support themselves during their time in the US, they must demonstrate a financial ability to do so and that the position is part of an international missionary program. R-1 visas grant the religious worker permission to work for the religious organization in the US for up to 30 months; with a possible 30 month extension. A religious worker may remain in R-1 status for up to 60 months. Should a religious worker seek R-1 status again after previously maintaining R-1 status for 60 months, they must remain outside the US for one full year before seeking R-1 status again.Additionally, it is the burden of the petitioning organization to evidence their tax exempt status under the IRS as a religious non-profit [Section 501(c)(3)]. It is the burden of the religious worker to demonstrate their membership in the religious organization. Spouses and children under 21 of R-1 religious workers are eligible for R-2 classification, but are not authorized to accept employment as R-2 visa holders. There are currently no annual quotas or caps for R-1 visas.
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