This category allows for religious workers to work in the U.S. temporarily.  These visas are usually issued for a period of three years and for a maximum of five years.  In order to be eligible for this category after the five year maximum period, the beneficiary must reside and be physically present outside the U.S. for one year to be eligible again.

Those who would like to enter under this category must be coming to work in the U.S. as a minister/pastor or work in a professional capacity in a religious organization.

Minister/Pastor Defined:

  • A person who is recognized to conduct religious worship and to perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy.

Professional Capacity Defined:

  • Those jobs which require a minimum of bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent.


  • Must intend to work in the U.S. for a religious organization in a religious vocation or capacity; and
  • For at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the application, the foreign national must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide, nonprofit, religious organization in the U.S.


  • Documentary evidence that the U.S. Organization is a bona fide not for profit religious organization or is affiliated with one that is tax exempt;
  • Documentary evidence establishing two year membership;
  • Documentary evidence that the applicant is qualified for the position offered;
  • Ordained Certificate; and
  • Bachelor Degree (if professional capacity).
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