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I-360 Special Immigrant Religious Worker Petitions – Green Cards For Religious Workers

A religious organization or an organization affiliated with a religious denomination can sponsor a religious worker for a green card, which is also known as U.S. permanent residence. The requirements are the same as those for an R-1 petition, with one additional requirement: For the two years immediately preceding the filing of the I-360 petition, the religious worker must have been employed in a full-time capacity as a minister in a religious vocation or in a religious occupation. Also, the permanent position being offered to the religious worker must be a full-time position. If the prior employment was in the United States, then the employment must have been authorized under U.S. immigration law.

At Vicki Anderson Immigration Law, LLC, in Burnsville, I provide clients throughout Minnesota with the immigration representation and guidance they need to stay in this country. My name is Vicki Anderson, and in the years that I have been practicing law, I have honed my skills in all immigration law matters, including those surrounding the I-360 petition.

Overview Of The Approval Process For Religious Worker Visas

After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the I-360 petition, the religious worker will need to either apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. by filing Form I-485 or apply for an immigrant visa outside the U.S. at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Depending on the facts of the case, I can discuss the appropriate process with you. U.S. permanent residence is granted when the I-485 application is approved or when the religious worker enters the U.S. with an immigrant visa.

For non-minister religious workers, there is an additional complication. The special immigrant religious worker program is not a permanent program for non-ministers. There is a sunset date for the program, and I-360 petitions for non-minister religious workers can only be filed before the sunset date is reached. Likewise, non-minister religious workers can only be granted permanent residence before the sunset date is reached. Thankfully, Congress has been extending the sunset date for many years.

Special immigrant religious workers are part of the EB-4 preference category, which is oversubscribed. There is currently a significant backlog. Thus, it will likely not be possible to immediately file an I-485 application or immigrant visa application when the I-360 petition has been approved. It is important to check the cut-off date of the EB-4 preference category each month by consulting the U.S. Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

Leave Your Immigration Issues To Me

The processing time for an I-360 special immigrant religious worker petition is currently very long. If you wish to sponsor a religious worker for a green card, then it is important that you do so as soon as that religious worker becomes eligible. Otherwise, the religious worker may run out of time in R-1 status.

Start your petition process today by calling me at 651-968-0551 or emailing me here to schedule your initial consultation.