R-1 Status



Organization Location: Provide evidence that your religious organization qualifies as a nonprofit religious organization. (Note: You may submit a directory if the petitioner has a group exemption approval.) This means that the address on the 501(c)(3) certificate must be the same as the current address of the organization.

Religious Organization: What do you consider your religious denomination? What is your form of ecclesiastical government? What is your creed or statement of faith? What is your form of worship? What is your formal or informal code of doctrine and discipline? Do you have religious services and, if so, when? Where are your places of religious worship?
Petitioner Location: Submit documentary evidence to prove religious activity at your location, including lease agreements, rental agreements, and/or mortgage payments; a copy of the city or county fire department occupancy permit for the petitioner’s location; copies of utility bills and telephone bills; submit color photographs of the location, both inside and outside the building.

Number of Employees: Number of volunteer and paid ministers and staff serving the petitioner’s church.

Ability to pay: Provide evidence of the petitioner’s ability to pay the beneficiary’s wage. The petitioner must demonstrate this ability at the time of the filing is established and continuing until the beneficiary obtains lawful permanent residence. Evidence of this ability shall be either in the form of copies of annual reports, signed copies of federal tax returns, or audited financial statements. If the petitioner’s company has one hundred (100) or more workers the petitioner may instead provide a statement from a financial officer of the organization that establishes the prospective employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage.
Tax Documents: If the petitioner is a Non-profit organization, you may submit Forms 990 or 990EZ. Regardless of the type of entity, all Schedules and Attachments must be included.

Work History: Provide documentary evidence of the beneficiary’s work history for at least two years, full-time. Provide a breakdown of duties performed in the religious occupation for an average week.

Beneficiary’s Income: Provide the last two years tax returns, and Forms 1099R. If you have ancillary income, we need proof of the source of that income.
Beneficiary’s Services: Submit documentary evidence to show that the beneficiary’s services are needed. Please ensure that the evidence addresses the following factors:

  • Number of volunteer and paid ministers and staff serving the petitioner’s church
  • Size of the congregation.
  • Specific duties which the beneficiary will be undertaking vs. specific duties of other staff – Has the church always had the services of a minister or staff to perform the duties that the beneficiary will be undertaking?
  • If not, what circumstances created a need for the beneficiary’s services?
Ordination: Will the beneficiary be working in a vocational capacity or a ministerial capacity. Will the beneficiary in a leadership capacity in the petitioner’s organization? Please clarify whether the beneficiary has authorization to conduct religious worship and perform other services usually performed by members of the clergy, in addition to religious worship and services performed by all [EXAMPLE: monks]. If so, submit evidence to show that the beneficiary has been ordained and/or given such authorization. Also provide a list of the requirements for ordination/authorization.
Ordination Certificate: Provide documentary evidence of the requirements required for ordination.
If you would like further information about specific case scenarios or situations, please call our office or email us at ckuck@immigration.net to speak to one of experienced immigration attorneys.