R Visa

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.

R-1 Petitions and Processing Times

Detailed question:

My R-1, my family’s R-2 petitions, and the I-360 for my EB-4 were filed with USCIS in April and we have not heard anything except for receiving Receipt Notices. How much longer will it be before we have a decision from USCIS?

Answer:

The USCIS website shows that processing times for both the R-1/R-2 and for the I-360 (Religious Worker) are five months.  If your petitions were filed in April, you might not have a decision until approximately September.

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R-1 Extension

Detailed question:

I am currently in R-1 status. This is my first 30-month extension. Is it true that I will not be able to get another extension when this R-1 extension expires?

Answer:

An alien who has spent five years in the United States in R-1 status may not be readmitted to or receive an extension of stay in the United States under the R visa classification, unless the alien has resided abroad and has been physically present outside the United States for the immediate prior year.  However, if you were outside of the U.S. for any period of time during your initial R-1 validity period or during this 30-month extension, you can recapture the number of days that you were outside of the U.S.

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Notice of Intent to Deny for R-1 Petition

Detailed question:

After an onsite inspection of our facility was conducted, we received a “Notice of Intent to Deny” for our R-1 petition. Is this an actual denial of the petition, or is there any other action that we can take to try to still have the petition approved?

Answer:

If an onsite inspection yields derogatory information not known to the petitioner, USCIS will issue a “Notice of Intent to Deny” the petition.  The petitioner may submit additional documentation to rebut the derogatory evidence.  If the petition is then denied, the denial may be appealed to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.

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Immigrant Petition and R-1 Visa

Detailed question:

I am currently in the U.S. on an R-1 visa. Can I file my immigrant petition and my petition to adjust status to that of permanent resident at the same time?

Answer:

No. Religious workers are not permitted to file Form I-360 (immigrant petition) concurrently with Form I-485 (petition to adjust status to permanent resident). You must wait until your I-360 is approved before you can file you Form I-485.

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On-site Inspection as a Condition of Approving R-1 Visa

Detailed question:

If USCIS conducts an on-site inspection as a condition of approving an R-1 Visa application, what will this involve?

Answer:

The on-site inspection may include the following:

 1. A tour of the organization’s facilities and, if appropriate, the organization’s headquarters or satellite location;

2. An interview with the organization’s officials;

3. A review of the organization’s records related to compliance with immigration laws and regulations; and

4. A visit to the locations where the applicant will work or live.

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Notice of Intent to Deny and R-1 petition

Detailed question:

If USCIS issues a Notice of Intent to Deny after the onsite inspection, is there any way that an R-1 petition can still be approved?

Answer:

If an onsite inspection yields derogatory information not known to the petitioner, USCIS will issue a Notice of Intent to Deny the petition. The petitioner may submit additional documentation to rebut the derogatory evidence. In addition, if the petition is denied, the denial may be appealed to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.

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Religious Denomination’s and R Visa

Detailed question:

I am trying to obtain an R-visa, and I read that a copy of a religious worker’s certificate of ordination must be included with a petition for an R-visa. The religious denomination that I belong to does not require any special theological education. What can my prospective employer include with my petition to satisfy this requirement?

Answer:

If the denomination does not require a prescribed theological education, provide the religious denomination’s requirements for ordination to minister, a list of duties performed by virtue of ordination, the denomination’s levels of ordination, if any, and evidence of the religious worker’s completion of the denomination’s requirements for ordination.

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Petition for a nonimmigrant religious worker

Detailed question:

I want to obtain a position in the U.S. as a religious worker. Can I file for an R-1 visa for myself?

Answer:

Every petition for a nonimmigrant religious worker (R-1) classification must be initiated by a prospective or existing employer.

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Extension of R-1 status

Detailed question:

My current R-1 visa is valid for only 30 months. Will I be able to renew this visa?

Answer:

An extension of an R-1 status may be granted for up to an additional 30 months. The total stay in the United States in an R-1 status cannot exceed 60 months (5 years).

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Premium Processing for R-1

Detailed question:

Will I be able to file my R-1 petition using premium processing?

Answer:

Premium Processing will be permitted only for those petitioners who have previously completed a successful on-site inspection at the location where the beneficiary will be employed.

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