Guide to the US R1 Visa for Religious Workers

I came to the United States with an R1 Visa, which is the visa issued for religious workers. If you don’t know this type of visa, don’t worry. It’s not a very popular type of visa. In fact, in 2021, according to the Department of State website, there were only 1,942 R1 visas issued out of 2,275 applications. R2 visa, on the other hand, is issued to the dependents of R1 visa holders.

If you want to know more about the R1 Visa, I have created several videos that I have uploaded to YouTube. I have compiled them here for easy reference. Below, you can watch basic information about the R1 visa: what it is, how to apply for one, what are the limitations, and how to renew your R1 Visa.

Please keep this mind. If you have had your Visa for at least two (2) years, you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card) through USCIS Form I-360. My suggestion, though, is to renew your R1 visa first so you’re covered and remain in good status while applying for your green card.

All the information you need about the R1 Visa can be found at this USCIS link:


What is the R1 Visa?

The R-1 Visa is considered a non-immigrant visa. So it is meant to be temporary. Although it has a dual intent, meaning you have a path to become a permanent resident through this visa. The R-1 Visa is meant for religious workers: pastors, priests, imam, rabbi, and even lay people who will do work in a religious setting or a religious organization.

What’s the Process to Obtain an R1 Visa?

The process for the R-1 visa starts with a petition (Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) by the prospective employer in the USA. If this petition is approved, then you can apply for the R1 Visa in your home country.

How to Apply for a US R1 Visa

What You Need to Know about the US R1 Visa?

How to Renew the US R1 Visa

From R1 Visa to Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card)

Now, if you’re ready to apply for Permanent Residence and get that green card, then read the following blog posts.

1 comment

  1. Hello There!

    I would like to know how did you do your ITR for IRS as R1 status. I would like to ask for your advice. Please kindly email me. Thanks in advance.



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