EB-4 Religious Worker Green Card
The EB-4 visa classification accords an immigrant visa and permanent residence to religious workers, and religious professionals. The EB-4 category covers:
- Persons working in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for a religious organization
- Persons working in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization or its nonprofit affiliate
- Religious workers
The EB-4 religious worker must be entering the United States to work as a minister or priest of the religious denomination, or in a professional capacity (with a bachelor's degree) in a religious vocation or occupation for the religious organization. A religious vocation means a calling or devotion to religious life including priests, missionaries, or chaplain of a nonprofit hospital. Lay members of the religious denomination who intend to engage in lay work such as administrative work are not eligible. Religious denomination is defined to include a religious group or community of believers having some form of ecclesiastical government, a creed, or statement of faith, some form of worship, discipline, services and ceremonies or comparable indicia.
There are three main requirements for the EB-4 religious worker green card. First, for at least two years immediately preceding the time of the application, the person "has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide, nonprofit, religious organization in the United States." Second, the beneficiary seeks to enter the US solely to carry on his or her vocation as a minister. Third, the worker has been carrying on such vocation or professional work continuously for at least a two year period.
The petition for EB-4 religious worker status is made on form I-360. The I-360 packet must include evidence that the requirements are satisfied. The evidence will include an IRS letter recognizing the petitioning organization as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity. If the employee will work for an affiliate of the 501(c)(3) organization, proof of the affiliation is necessary. The evidence should include a detailed letter from the petitioning organization which states how the alien has worked with the organization and how he will work in the future. The evidence should show how the petitioner will support the employee as well. Proof of the alien's work history and ordination or professional qualifications is necessary.
If the I-360 is approved, the alien must file an I-485 adjustment packet or consular process at a US consulate abroad. If your religious organization intends to pursue EB-4 status for an employee, contact The Nuñez Firm to schedule a consultation
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