EB-4 Visa: Are You Able To Get A U.S. Visa For Religious Purposes?

Applying For A Religious Visa

Thousands of visas are given out every year to immigrants who are interested in making a big move to the United States. There are several visa options available for non-U.S. citizens. Religion-based visas, for example, are intended for ministers seeking stay approval in America. Although, religious visas are not as frequently requested it is available to those that qualify.

This type is also known as the EB-4 immigrant visa for special immigrant religious workers. The category has been expanded to covering a broader range of applicants including:

  • Broadcasters
  • Iraqi and Afghan translators
  • Employees of an International Organization
  • Members of the Armed forces
  • Physicians

Everyone categorized as a possible applicant can be deemed essential and important to the country. Seeking legal assistance from an employment immigration attorney in Pasadena may be the best option for immediate results, as nearly ten-thousand people are approved of EB-4 visa status each year. These visas are an essential component of the United States immigration process because it prioritizes the ability for individuals to maintain and practice his/her religious lifestyle.

Does Your Religion Qualify For A U.S. Religious Visa?

While any religious worker can apply for an EB-4 visa, they must meet a two-year requirement working for the religious denomination of their choice to be eligible. Applicants must prove that they are a priest or minister of a religious denomination through certifications, licenses, or other forms of proof. The religious visa is not restricted to the most popular religious groups such as the Christians or Catholics. This religious green card is open to all kinds of religious groups whether they are heavily practiced with the United States or not.

If you want to be considered as a minister or member of a clergy, as an applicant you need to be recognized by a religious denomination to take part in certain ceremonial practices. The most recognized denominations in the U.S. are:

  • Christianity
  • Catholicism
  • Protestantism
  • Eastern Orthodoxy

Alternative choices unlisted are performing as a Buddhist monk, rabbi, or deacon to name a few. Once a minister of a practicing religion has been approved, the Department of State will move the applicant forward in the visa process. After approval work is limited to professional or non-professional religious jobs. If you are having problems proving that you are a minister and deserve the right to apply it might interest you to seek professional help from an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles.

Helpful Tips For Application Process

Now that you have a better idea of what the religious visa is, here are a few helpful tips to guide you. Let's dive into a few more qualifications you might need to meet, to give yourself the best chance of getting approved for a EB-4 religious visa. 

  • You need to submit Form I-360 – a petition for starting the green card process. It can take a little more than a year to process a VAWA petition. Green cards are approved once your visa is available to you.
  • Applicants must be a part of a non-profit religious organization 
  • Applications may be required to attach a reference letter from a religious worker, who is of a higher rank in the U.S.

The letter should serve as a confirmation that you have been a member of the organization for the recommended time and describe how you have demonstrated the religion and occupational experience. If you are a minister, the letter serves as a form of proof that you have been authorized and are practicing. Applicants who plan to work in a religious, non-profit setting outside of a minister or priest can prove how well you are associated with a church, for example.

Can Your Family Apply For EB-4?

You must apply to work as a minister in your religion full time once you have gotten the EB-4 religious visa. However, you can be a part-time worker at the time you are applying for the visa if you intend to enter a full-time role once stay is approved in the U.S. If you are a minister hoping to apply for a religious visa, then your children and spouse have the option to also apply. 

The children in question must be under the age of 21 and be unmarried. The EB-4 visa is one of the better options to obtain as a religious worker looking to take on a new life in the U.S. As a non-U.S. citizen filling out paperwork may be a complex or unclear process.  Reach out to an employment immigration attorney in Pasadena for a free consultation and assistance.

How Lawyers At Alami Law Can Help

  • Our team is familiar with the immigration and family-based application process
  • Can provide legal assistance with forms, paperwork and required documentations 
  • We are Pasadena lawyers that have handled successful cases like EB-4 visa status
  • The firm offers consultations to answer any questions you may have about immigration visas

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