A special green card process is available for ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations if they will perform religious work full-time. This special immigrant religious worker option may be an alternative to the labor certification or other green card options.
The special immigrant religious worker category is one of several employment-based fourth-preference (EB-4) visa classifications. For additional information about other EB-4 green card categories, click here.
To qualify as an EB-4 special immigrant religious worker, the foreign national must:
- Have been a member of a religious denomination affiliated with a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of the application.
- Seek to enter the United States to work in a full time, compensated position in one of the following occupations:
- Solely as a minister of that religious denomination;
- A religious vocation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity;
- A religious occupation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity; or
- A bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States.
- Be coming to work for either:
- A bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States; or
- A bona fide organization that is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States.
- Have been working in one of the qualifying positions, either abroad or in lawful immigration status in the United States, continuously for at least 2 years immediately before filing the EB-4 religious worker application.
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