If you’ve been working as a religious worker in the United States for at least two (2) years, you can start the process of becoming a permanent resident by applying for USCIS Form I-360. Here’s a step by step guide on how to fill out USCIS Form I-360.

Before you proceed, make sure that you have read this article:

Download the USCIS Form I-360

Go to to download the form, the instructions, and the optional checklist. Familiarize yourself with the form and start preparing the supporting documents you’ll need.

Take your R-1 Visa Supporting Documents and use them as reference.

Almost all of the documents that you and your employer submitted for the I-129 petition for your R-1 visa will come in handy for the I-360. In fact, thanks to those documents, I was able to easily navigate the requirements for the i-360.

Watch this step-by-step video guide.

If you’re more of a “show-me-how” type of person, please watch this video tutorial I published on my YouTube channel.

List of Documents You Need to Prepare

Here’s a list of documents you need to prepare.

  1. Cover Letter. Download a free cover letter here:
  2. Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
  3. Letter of Support from employer, with additional supporting documents (see below)
  4. Copies of current passport with current R-1 visa, R-1 Extension Approval Notice, initial R-1 Approval Notice, prior passport with R-1 visa, and most recent I-94 Admission Document;
  5. Copies of spouse’s current passport, R-2 extension approval notice, prior passport with R-2 visa, and I-94 admission document;
  6. Copies of child’s current passport, R-2 extension approval notice, prior passport with R-2 visa, and I-94 admission document;
  7. Copy of marriage certificate;
  8. Copy of the birth certificate of child; and
  9. Filing fees in the amount of $435 (Form I-360) in Postal Money Order.

Additional documents in addition to letter of support from employer:

  • Excerpts from the website or organizing document of your employer, showing the kind of work it does, including work that you do;
  • Tax exemption notice from the IRS confirming the tax exempt status of your employer
  • Recent printout from the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Select Check Website ( confirming that your employer and the religious organization it belongs to remains tax-exempt;
  • Letter from the IRS confirming the Employer ID Number (EID) of your employer;
  • Job Description for your position
  • Consolidated Financial Statements and Schedules of your organization (to show that it is in good financial standing and has the ability to pay for your salary).
  • Your certificate of baptism or proof of membership in your church or religion;
  • Letter or certification from your pastor, bishop, or religious leader that you’ve been a member for at least two years prior to applying for the R1 visa and Permanent Lawful Residence.
  • Carefully review the Instructions for the USCIS Form I-360 and provide any other document that could support your application.


If you have any questions, suggestions, and if I miss anything, just leave them in the comments below and I will answer to the best of my knowledge and experience!

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. I am only sharing our experience for educational and entertainment purposes. Please do your due diligence when applying for any immigration process.

If you’ve had your R1 Visa and been working for two years as a religious worker in the USA, then you are eligible to apply for a green card. After all, the R1 visa has dual intent, meaning that while it is a nonimmigrant visa, there is a path toward becoming a permanent resident in the US. Here are several tips for how you can move from the R1 visa to become a permanent resident.

For this article, the terms “green card,” “immigrant visa,” “permanent residence,” and “EB-4 visa” are used interchangeably to refer to the green card for special immigrant religious workers.

You’re eligible to apply for a green card after two (2) years of having the R1 visa.

I officially started my religious worker job in the US in May 2015. I moved to the US with my family. My wife and our son were given the R2 visa. Technically, we were eligible to apply for a green card in May 2017. But because of work responsibilities and some confusion on my part, we ended up applying in 2018. 

Renew your R1 visa, then apply for a green card.

The R1 visa is good for a maximum of five (5) years. Most of the time, though, the first R1 visa is good for 2.5 years or 30 months. We decided to renew our R1 visa because of two main reasons:

  • There are significant delays in processing Green Card applications. 
  • We did not want to be out of status in case our application takes longer than expected. 

We renewed our R1 visa, got extended for another 2.5 years. Then we started the Green Card application process.

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:


Tips for a Smooth US Visa Application & Interview

Here’s a few tips on how to apply for a US Visa to work in the USA. This process is a bit different compared to applying for a tourist visa. After you accept the job offer and signed the contract, your employer will then file a petition for you to work be given permission to work in the United States. They will send this petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Depending on your agreement with your employer, they may petition you for Permanent Residency or for you to receive a temporary work visa.

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If you have questions and additional tips related to process of applying for a US Visa, feel free to leave a comment on this article or send us a message at

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