EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers

There are 10,000 visas available in this category.

A religious worker is a person who for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of a petition, has been a member of a religious denomination which has a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the United States. The applicant must also be coming to the United States solely for the purpose of carrying on the duties of (1) a minister of that religious denomination or (2) working for the organization in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the organization or (3) in a religious vocation or occupation for the organization or its non-profit affiliate.

Further, religious workers must have been performing the vocation, professional work or other work continuously (either abroad or in the United States) for at least the two year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

Such a person may come as a minister, work in a professional capacity or other work.

‘Minister’ means an individual duly authorized by a recognized religious denomination to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties usually performed by an authorized member of the clergy of that religion. There must be a reasonable connection between the activities performed and the religious calling of the minister. This term does not include a lay preacher, not authorized to perform such duties.

‘Professional capacity’ means an activity in a religious vocation or occupation for which the minimum of a United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree is required.

‘Religious occupation’ means an activity, which relates to a traditional religious function, such as by way of example liturgical workers, religious instructors, religious counselors, canters, catechists workers in religious hospitals or religious health care facilities, missionaries, religious translators or religious broadcasters. This does not include janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fundraisers or a person solely involved in solicitation of donations.

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