A religious occupation is any occupation that primarily relates to carrying out the beliefs of the religion and is normally recognized as a religious occupation by the religion. Ministers, priests, rabbis, imam, etc. are readily recognizable as religious occupations. Other religious occupations can include Bible teachers, mohels, cantors, paid deacons or elders, nuns and monks. We have worked with various clients in the past in different religious occupations. If you believe that you may have an offer for a religious occupation in the US, please contact us for a free consultation.
If you are seeking a position as a minister, priest, rabbi, etc., then you should have a religious degree and/or be ordained in your field. For all religious occupations you should have been a member of the religious denomination for at least two full years before seeking the religious visa. If you believe you may qualify for a religious occupation and would like more information, please contact us for a free consultation.
Yes, you can worker for multiple churches, as long as multiple churches have sponsored you and have approved petition. You will be unable to work in other capacities outside of a religious occupation if you have an R1 visa.
The initial visa will be valid for 30 months (which is 2.5 years). You can renew it for an additional 30 months, such that you can have the religious visa for 5 years. After the 5 years, you will need to reside outside of the US for at least one full year, before applying for another R1 visa. However, you may be able to apply for an seek residency for a religious occupation, as discussed in the residency for religious workers FAQs. If you would like to discuss this option, please contact us for a free consultation.