Immigration Law

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What is R Visa?

A Visa stands for a Religious Worker Visa, is when religious worker seeks to enter the US to work in a religious capacity for a temporary time under the provisions of the US laws, specifically the Immigration and Nationally Act. Continue to read below to find Expert answers pertaining to R Visa.

What are the forms and fees that a person would need to file for an R visa?

A person would need to file form I-29 and R-1 supplement which can be found here.

There is a checklist that the person can use which is found here; The fees for the I-29 is usually around $325 and carries a $150 fee for counselor processing if the person does it at the US Embassy in the person’s country. There may be an extra fee that is like the counselor fee that will be determined by the country in which the person is from or visiting which can be found here;

If a registered nurse is in the country on an R visa and the employer wants them to change their visa status to fulfill a position, can the nurse change their visa status?

The nurse would be required to change his/her status in order to be employed lawfully by the agency. The process is a two step process that requires a person to file USCIS I-539, which is the application to change or extend non immigrant status and requires the employer to file an I-129 form on the behalf of the nurse for a non immigrant work visa, like the H-1B. In most cases, registered nurses do not always meet the requirements of the H-1B, the employer would need to meet the requirements of demonstrating that at least having a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement normally, the required degree in a common thing in that line of work, and the employer requires the degree or a equivalent for the position’s duties that is so specialized and complex that the person’s knowledge requirement to perform his/her duties generally requires a bachelor degree or higher. Since the process is not simple nor is it straightforward, it is advisable that the employer retain an immigration attorney to help with the process.

Can a person who holds an R visa, has a degree in psychology from Peru, is wanting to work for a non-religious non-profit group, who’s visa expires soon, adjust the status of his/her visa?

In most situations, the person can change their status as long as the individual has the basis to do so. The wait time to gain the new status is around 7 years unless the individual holds an advance degree. This may cause a slight issue if the R visa is about to expire. So unless the R visa status can cover the person for this time with extensions and all, the person may face an issue of the R visa expiring and them having to leave the country. If the R visa expires then they wouldn’t be able to change the individual’s status. If the individual’s visa expires the only other way to change their status is marriage to a US citizen for love.

If a parent is in the states as a R visa holder and the child as a R-2 visa holder, can the child change their status upon graduating high school so that he/she can work in the states?

The child can file form I-539 to change his/her status in the U.S. It is generally recommended to hire an immigration lawyer to assist with filing these forms, but they can be found at "forms".

Religious or R visas are a simple way for religious workers to come to a country and perform religious duties. Sometimes there may be questions regarding issues that the person may want to change his/her status. Seeking the answers of insight of an Expert would help clarify these questions.

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