When you apply for a Religious Visa, it is actually the religious institution that is the client. As with an Employment Visa, the client is filing so that you can come and provide some type of religious service to the organization. Rabbis, Priests, Cantors, and Teachers, for instance, can get R-1 visas through their religious organization, and their immediate family members are eligible for R-2 visas
To maintain your R-1 status you must be employed by the organization, and not an independent contractor. Additionally, you must earn enough to support yourself through this employment, because you cannot work outside of the job that you got the R-1 visa for. Nor can your spouse work, unless he or she is able to obtain an E-1 or L-1 visa.
One of the great things about the R-1 visa is that it can lead to a green card. Once you have two years of continuous R-1 status the organization can apply for your green card. You can even move from one organization to another but there must not be a gap in your R-1 status.
At TNT Law, we can help you decide if an R-1 visa is right for your organization. Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the process and explain all of the filing requirements.
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