Religious Worker R-1 Visa

You qualify as a religious worker if you are a minister or priest of a religion authorized by a recognized denomination to carry out or preside over religious worship and to perform other duties and rituals usually performed by members of the clergy, such as administering the sacraments or their equivalent.

Religious Worker R-1 Visa

A Religious Worker R-1 Visa for doing God’s good work

Ketut Wisnu had always known that his life would be blessed. Living in Bali, the only majority Hindu enclave in a dominant Muslim, he had been brought up in a beautiful tradition of reverence and worship. Everything had meaning, everything was precious, and his life was full of temples, flowers, prayers, and lots of goodwill. As one of the minority priestly caste of Brahmins on the island, it was natural that he would take after his father and become a priest.

He learned the chants and prayers early, became an apprentice priest, and upon his father’s death, graduated to senior priest in charge of discourses and all religious activities. It was a life that gave him the greatest satisfaction. Little did he know that things were about to get much better.

A community of Indonesian Hindus from Bali living in California had raised funds to build a temple outside San Diego. The temple was a gopuram, like an elongated pyramid, in the classic south Indian style. Their inauguration date was approaching and they needed a head priest. Like yesterday.

A request had reached the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia, the organization that managed Hindu temples and activities in Bali. One day Wisnu was asked if he’d like to become head priest of a Hindu temple in the US. After consulting with his wife, he said he and his family would be delighted.

The Religious Worker R-1 Visa was specially designed to welcome religious workers such as Wisnu into the United States, a multi-religious, diverse national of communities from all over the world, with many religions and rituals of worship. Wisnu learned that his family could accompany him as well, taking advantage of the so-called R-2 visa. The process of visa application would be initiated by the American Hindu Organization that would be employing him.

To qualify as a religious worker eligible for an Religious Worker R-1 Visa, you need to be a nun, monk or religious brothers and sisters who has taken a lifelong vow of service, or follow a religious occupation as a liturgical worker, religious instructor or cantor, catechist, worker in a religious hospital, missionary, religious translator or religious broadcaster.

Wisnu’s application was processed efficiently, and he was duly issued his Religious Worker R-1 Visa, valid for 30 months and extensible for another 30. He managed to reach the United States with a week to spare before the inauguration of the temple. His family followed him a month later.

You can get more information on the Religious Worker R-1 Visa from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans.

If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.