R-1 Religious Workers Visa Attorney

The United States offers foreign nationals many opportunities to work, serve, and learn in our country. The Religious Worker Visa, or R-1 visa, is a non-immigrant visa category available to foreign individuals who belong to certain religious denominations and wish to come to the United States to perform religious work on a temporary basis.

To qualify for an R-1 visa, you must apply properly, submit required data, and meet specific criteria, requirements, and regulations. The process of obtaining any type of visa can be complicated, and mistakes can cause your application to be delayed or denied, so it can help to get guidance from an immigration lawyer to ensure that everything is done correctly.

The Lexington, KY, R-1 visa lawyers at Carman Fullerton have extensive experience working with foreign nationals who wish to work or remain in our country. We know immigration laws and how the system operates. We can examine your specific situation and guide you through all steps of the visa application process to ensure everything is done correctly so that you will be granted your religious worker visa.

Why Choose Our Exchange Visitor Visa Attorney?

When seeking legal guidance for an R-1 visa, it is important to find a lawyer who has the skills needed to make sure you meet necessary qualifications and who knows how to gather required information and deal with problems and delays that may arise. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Carman Fullerton to represent you:

  • We are experienced and know immigration law and the ins and outs of the legal system. Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton and Attorney Dan Carman have many years of experience representing clients involved in immigration cases of all types.
  • We are bilingual.  Our staff and attorneys speak Spanish and accommodate speakers of other languages as well.
  • We are compassionate and do everything possible to make you feel safe, listened to and understood. Attorney Kirby Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law; he represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
  • We are recognized in our field. Dan Carman is a member of various local and national Bar Associations and has previously been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers.
  • We are local. With an office in Lexington, KY, our attorneys are well-positioned to provide engaged, personalized legal service for all your immigration issues.
  • We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.


How Our R-1 Visa Attorney Works for You

Our attorneys understand how important it is for dedicated religious workers to get the visa that enables them and their families to work in the United States. That is why every person who works at Carman Fullerton— lawyers and support staff alike — shares our commitment to our clients. When you have our legal team on your side, we will:

  • Evaluate your individual religious situation to make sure you qualify for an R-1 visa.
  • Help you fill out and review your application forms and collect and prepare proper documentation, such as your religious organization’s endorsement, financial records, and proof of religious work experience. We ensure that you meet legal qualifications and that forms are filed correctly and in a timely manner.
  • Monitor the entire process and communicate with all relevant parties as necessary.
  • In case of Request for Evidence (RFE) or visa denials, we provide legal guidance and assistance in addressing issues and appealing the decision or reapplying if necessary.
  • Provide assistance if you encounter any issues with your visa during the time you are in the U.S.
  • Help you obtain extensions or more permanent status if you want to extend your visa or stay in the U.S. after your religious program is completed.

When you have our R-1 visa lawyers working for you, you will benefit from our knowledge, fluency in English, and legal education, and we will do everything necessary to make the process as easy as possible.

Our R-1 Visa Lawyers Explain Required Criteria

You must meet government criteria to be granted an R-1 visa. These criteria can be found under 8 CFR § 204.5, and include documentation that you:

  1. Have been a member of a bona fide non-profit religious denomination for at least two years and that you have at least two years of experience in your religious vocation or occupation prior to the filing of USCIS Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant). This application must be filed at the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work.
  2. Have been working continuously for the past two years immediately prior to filing the immigrant petition as a religious minister in a religious vocation either professional or non-professional capacity, or in a religious occupation either professional or nonprofessional capacity.
  3. Seek to enter the United States solely to carry out such religious occupation of the employer’s denomination.

The religious organization you will work for in the U.S. must provide an endorsement and necessary documentation that it qualifies as a non-profit organization. It should provide a letter establishing that you meet all requirements, such as being authorized to perform as a minister, and that you have a United States baccalaureate degree or the foreign equivalent that is required for your profession. The letter should also detail how you will be carrying on the work of a minister, or how you will be paid if you are working in a professional or other religious capacity, and that you will not be dependent upon supplementary income or charity for your support.

Kentucky R-1 Immigration Visa Attorney Answers FAQs

When attempting to get any kind of visa, it is natural to have questions and concerns.  We can best address these at your initial consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our R-1 visa attorneys are often asked.:

How long can I work on an R-1 visa?

An R-1 visa allows a religious worker to work for 30 months, with the option of filing for a 30-month extension near the end of the first 30-month authorized period.

Can my family come to the U.S. on my R-1 visa?

Yes. Family members of persons who are granted an R-1 visa may apply for entry to the U.S. through the religious worker. These relatives include spouses and children less than 21 years of age.

Once I have an R-1 visa, can I apply for permanent residency?

Yes. When you have a R-1 visa, you may apply for permanent residence in the United States, if you meet all specifications and USCIS forms.

What is considered a non-profit religious organization?

A non-profit religious organization in the United States means a religious organization exempt from taxation as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or subsequent amendments and possessing a currently valid determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming the exemption.

When you have our R-1visa attorneys working for you, we will be there throughout the entire legal process, answering your questions and keeping you informed.

Get Help from Our R-1 Visa Attorney

Getting an R-1 visa is a complex process that requires careful preparation and adherence to strict immigration regulations. It is easy to make mistakes and have your application delayed or denied, but the experienced immigration attorneys at Carman Fullerton in Lexington, Kentucky, can help expedite the process. We provide skilled legal representation to handle all issues that can come up during the application process, handle any denials or appeals, and help you get permanent status if you decide you would like to remain in the United States.

By working with our knowledgeable attorneys, you can increase your chances of successfully obtaining an R-1 visa, so you can pursue your religious vocation in the U.S. while complying with all immigration requirements.

Call us today for an initial consultation to see how we can help.

Get Started Now Call 859-971-0060