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Religious Visa Petition

The R visa is an unusual category. If you are outside the U.S., the sponsoring religious organization does NOT need to first file the petition with USCIS. You can directly go to the U.S. embassy/consulate to get an R1 visa. 

However, if you are already in the U.S. and would like to extend your R1 visa status or would like to change from another nonimmigrant status or would like to change your employment, the sponsoring religious organization must file the petition with USCIS first and get it approved.

Documents

  • Application fee. 
    Fee details 

  • Form I-129 along with supplement R. 

  • Form I-539 for spouse and dependent children, if any. 

  • A comprehensive written statement from an authorized official of the religious organization (from the organizational unit responsible for maintaining I-9’s) that will be employing the alien has been a member of the denomination for the past 2 years and the arrangements, if any, for salary, benefits, and other compensation, the name and location of the place the alien will provide the services, the organization’s affiliation with the denomination. 

  • Evidence showing that the religious organization or any affiliate which will engage the alien’s services is a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S. and is exempt from taxation in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

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Application

Mail this application to the California Service Center

Petition TypeRegular MailingCourier Mailing
Regular PetitionUSCIS California Service Center 
ATTN: I-129 R-1
P.O. Box 10129 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1012
USCIS California Service Center
ATTN: I-129 R-1
24000 Avila Road 2nd Floor, Room 2312 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Premium ProcessingPremium Processing Service 
USCIS California Service Center 
ATTN: I-129 R-1
P.O. Box 10825 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607
Premium Processing Service 
USCIS California Service Center 
ATTN: I-129 R-1
24000 Avila Road 2nd Floor, Room 2312 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Once the petition is approved, the employer or agent is sent a Notice of Approval, Form I-797. And the same notice is also sent to the consulate in your home country, where you may apply for a visa. Some aliens may be visa exempt. In that case, I-129 approval notice is sent to the Port Of Entry (POE) where the beneficiary intends to apply for admission. 

If you are already in the U.S. and are changing from one nonimmigrant status to another, or just extending the same status, a visa is not required. However, a visa may be required if you subsequently leave the U.S. and want to reenter. 

For visitors, travel, student and other international travel medical insurance.

Visit insubuy.com or call +1 (866) INSUBUY or +1 (972) 985-4400