What is an R-1 Visa?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers temporary worker visas for many professions. Namely, it even offers religious workers a temporary stay in the country. Read on to discover more about the R-1 visa and how a seasoned work authorization permit lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you obtain one.

What is an R-1 visa and how does it work?

Essentially, an R-1 visa is a type of non-immigrant worker visa exclusive to ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations or occupations. This visa type is supposed to allow these individuals to travel and temporarily stay in the United States to perform their religious work.

As far as specific requirements for an R-1 visa, eligible individuals must work at least part-time for their religious employer (i.e., an average of 20 hours per week). What’s more, these individuals must be employed at a non-profit religious organization; a non-profit organization affiliated with a religious denomination; or a religious organization authorized for a group tax exemption; and the like. Further, the individuals must have been a member of the religious denomination associated with the bona fide non-profit religious organization for at least two years immediately before applying for this visa type.

Therefore, if you believe that you meet all the aforementioned eligibility requirements for this visa type, you may apply for it via Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

How long can I stay in the United States with this visa type?

To reiterate, an R-1 visa is a temporary work visa. This means that if you eventually obtain this visa type, you may only have a limited time to spend within the country’s borders.

Specifically, with an R-1 visa, the USCIS may grant you an initial period of admission for up to 30 months (i.e., two and a half years). Then, it may grant you subsequent extensions of admission for up to an additional 30 months. Put simply, your total period of stay within the United States with an R-1 visa cannot exceed 60 months (i.e., five years). Of note, only if you are physically present within the country’s borders while holding an R-1 visa will a month be counted toward your 60-month limit.

With all that being said, it is worth mentioning that your future immigration benefits and opportunities may be stripped whether you intentionally or accidentally overstay your welcome this time around. This is to say that you must file a new Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, well before your initial 30-month period of admission is set to expire.

In conclusion, you must not begin your application process without first retaining legal representation from a competent work authorization permit lawyer in Milwaukee, WI. Contact our firm, Sesini Law Group, S.C., today.

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