EB-4 (Religious Workers)
EB-4 (Religious Workers)
You may be eligible for this category of green card if you are a minister or non-minister in a religious vocation and occupation.
To qualify as a special immigrant religious worker, the foreign national must:
• Have been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of a petition for this status with USCIS.
• Seek to enter the United States to work in a full time, compensated position in one of the following occupations:
- Solely as a minister of that religious denomination;
- A religious vocation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity;
- A religious occupation either in a professional or nonprofessional capacity; or
- A bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States.
• Be coming to work for either:
- A bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States; or
- A bona fide organization that is affiliated with the religious denomination in the United States.
• Have been working in one of the positions described above after the age of 14, either abroad or in lawful immigration status in the United States, continuously for at least 2 years immediately before the filing of a petition with USCIS. The prior religious work need not correspond precisely to the type of work to be performed. A break in the continuity of the work during the preceding two years will not affect eligibility so long as:
- The foreign national was still employed as a religious worker;
- The break did not exceed two years; and
- The nature of the break was for further religious training or for sabbatical that did not involve unauthorized work in the United States. However, the foreign national must have been a member of the petitioner's denomination throughout the two years of qualifying employment.
Generally Required Evidence for the Religious Organization
• Evidence of the tax-exempt status of the religious organization
• Evidence of the religious denomination affiliation
• Evidence showing how the organization will compensate the religious worker, including specific monetary or in-kind compensation.
Generally Required Evidence for the Religious Worker
• Evidence of 2 year membership with the same denomination
• Evidence of personal qualifications to perform the duties
• Evidence of the minimum 2 year previous employment
Stage 1: Petition Collect Evidence
Stage 2: Submit I-360 Petition to USCIS
Stage 3: Submit I-485 or Consular Processing
Stage 4: Fingerprint EAD/AP Issuance
Stage 5: Approval
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 1-2 months
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 6 months
Stage 3 to Stage 4: about 2 months
Stage 4 to Stage 5: about 3-5 months
EXCEPTIONS & NOTICE
A. The time frame may vary case by case depending on the workload of the USCIS
B. The labor certification process with the Department of Labor is waived
C. Full time work is an average of 35 hours per week. Compensated may mean salaried or unsalaried.