Los Angeles Attorney for R-1 Visas for Religious Workers

U.S. visa in a passport macro
U.S. visa in a passport macro

According to U.S. immigration laws, religious workers are considered to be “specialty workers” and, as such:

  • Are included in the Employment Fourth Preference (E4), Certain Special Immigrants category when it comes to visas
  • Are classified as either Ministers of Religion (or in the SD-category) or as Certain Religious Workers (or in the SR-category).

Qualifications Necessary for Obtaining Religious Worker Visas

In order to qualify for a religious worker visa, both the petitioning religious organization and the religious worker need to file specific documents with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to set up an interview with a consular officer at a local U.S. embassy. The consular officer will ultimately decide whether the religious worker visa should be approved.

However, the necessary documents can only be filed with the USCIS after an applicant (i.e., the religious worker) has:

  • Been a member of a specific religious denomination that has a legitimate establishment in the U.S. for at least two years (and this is the same religion for which the applicant plans to work in the U.S.)
  • Been continuously working in a religious vocation or occupation for at least the past two years (and intends to continue this work once in the U.S.). 


  • For a Ministers of Religion visa, applicants have to prove that they will only be working as ministers of their specified religious denomination.
  • For a Certain Religious Workers visa, applicants must prove that they will be working, once in the U.S., in a vocation or occupation related to their specified religious denomination. 

In order to get the process of obtaining religious worker visas started, applicants will have to file a Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) with the USCIS. Because this form, as well as the following process associated with obtaining a religious worker visa, can be complicated, applicants should work with an experienced immigration lawyer for the best chances of expediting the visa approval process.

The Los Angeles, California Immigration Lawyers at the Hanlon Law Group

At the Hanlon Law Group, P.C., our Los Angeles immigration attorneys have more than 15 years of experience successfully representing clients in various types of immigration cases, including those that involve the most basic immigration applications to those associated with extremely complicated federal court litigation. Our firm offers state-of-the art technology to deliver these services efficiently while also providing each of our clients with old-fashioned personal service. That means you can count on your case progressing as quickly as possible while feeling confident that your Hanlon Law Group lawyer will answer your questions quickly, clearly and honestly.

To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact our Los Angeles immigration attorneys today by calling (626) 765-4641 or (866) 489-7612 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.

We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.




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Contact the Experienced Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers at Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

A trusted Los Angeles immigration attorney at Hanlon Law Group, P.C. is waiting to speak to you, find out more about your immigration needs and explain your options. Having handled countless professional visa applications for foreign professionals and U.S. employers, our lawyers have the experience and insight you can count on for exceptional service and representation.

Our experience, skills and dedication to our clients are backed by the following, which all of our clients can expect to receive:

Free & Confidential Initial Consultations

You don’t have to pay us anything to discover more about how we can help you and what you need to do to resolve your employment-based immigration needs.

Continuity of legal representation

One of our attorneys will oversee your case from start to finish. This can provide peace of mind that your case will not be passed off to a non-lawyer associate, or to someone who is not intimately familiar with your case.

State-Of-The-Art Case Management Technology

Our cutting-edge system facilitates the visa petition process, while providing clients with real-time case information about the status of their petition, PERM certifications, etc.

Personal Attention From Lawyers & Staff

We take pride in providing old-fashioned, personal service and promptly responding to our clients’ inquiries and immigration needs whenever they arise.

Flexible payment options

We accept all major credit cards. Payment plans may also be available.

Multilingual Immigration Services

We provide immigration services in various languages, including (but not necessarily limited to) Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog, and Fukienese.

Call (866) 227-5527 or email us via the contact form to learn more about our experience and services, as well as how we can help you.

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Hanlon Law Group, P.C. is ready to help you with all your immigration & nationalization legal needs. Contact us now for the help you need & deserve.

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