EB-4 Visa: Special Immigrants
The EB-4 visa is specified as a special immigrant religious workers category. It is generally intended for members of a non-profit religious denomination in the United States, however, the category can cover a broad range of applicants:
- Iraqi and Afghan translators
- Iraqis who have provided aid to the U.S.
- Employees of an International Organization
- Members of Armed Forces
- Employees of the Panama Canal
- Retired employees of NATO-6
- If NATO-6 employee is deceased, spouse and children are still eligible
EB-4 Visa Requirements:
The requirements differ for each EB-4 Visa applicant due to the amount of eligible participants, but the general requirements include:
- The petition must be filed on Form I-360 with supplementary documentation
- The petitioner is able to file without an employer
EB-4 Religious Worker Requirements:
For applicants wanting to file under the EB-4 religious workers category, it mandates precise requirements and qualifications in order to be eligible.
- Must have been a worker for the religious denomination for a minimum of two years.
The applicant is required to be entering the United States as:
- A priest or minister of religious denomination
- A professional or nonprofessional religious occupation. This also includes religious vocation which is a calling/devotion to a religious lifestyle. The applicant must have taken vows and devoted him/herself to specific religious tradition.
EB-4 Religious Worker Application Procedure:
- Employer is required to submit form I-360 to the USCIS.
- A PERM is not required for the EB-4 religious workers, however, the applicant must provide evidence of the religious organization.
- The applicant is required to submit proof that the religious organization is a non-profit organization.
- The applicant is obligated to obtain a letter from a superior within the religious organization in the United States.
EB-4 Religious Worker Letter:
- The letter must provide evidence that the applicant has been a member of the organization for a minimum of two years. It should also demonstrate that you have had at least two years of religious occupation/ vocation experience
- If the applicant is a minister, the letter is obligated to provide proof of authorization and the duties entailed with the occupation.
- If the applicant is a religious professional, he/she must have a bachelor’s degree for the EB-4 religious worker occupation. The professional must also have a letter stating the applicant’s U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. It is mandatory to submit an official transcript or academic record.
- If the applicant is seeking religious employment in the United States, the letter is obligated to provide proof of applicant’s qualifications for the religious occupation/vocation.
- If the applicant intends to work with a religious organization in the United States but as a non-professional or non-ministerial, the letter is meant to demonstrate how the organization is associated with the religious denomination.
- The applicant’s letter must explain at length, the duties of the minister or the wages the applicant is expected to receive while working as a professional or other religious occupation. The letter should explain that the applicant will not rely on a secondary occupation or charity for financial support.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifications must one have to be considered a minister/member of clergy?
To be considered a minister or member of the clergy, U.S. law states that the person must be recognized by a religious denomination to perform certain religious ceremonies or activities. Examples include: priests, Buddhist monks, commissioned offices of the Salvation Army, deacons, rabbis, etc. It’s important to mention that there are limitations on who can consider themselves a minister. They must have some sort of certification of ordination, licence or other documentation from a formal institution.
What is a religious denomination?
A religious denomination is a community or group o religious believes that have some formal structure include a doctrine, form of worship, specific ceremonies and established worship locations.
What are some advantages of EB4?
One big advantage is the that the process is quite speedy. You can obtain a visa/ change of status immediately after the petition is approved. No test of the job market is necessary in this case. so the entire process can take only a few months.
EB4 Visa Recap
To recap, there are two groups of foreign nationals within the EB4 category. The first is religious workers (commonly ministers) and the second is employees and former workers of the U.S. Government overseas (foreign nationals). The process is relatively fast since you can obtain a visa/ change of status immediately after the petition is approved and there are no job market tests which must be completed in advance. Review the aforementioned list of documents necessary and consult an immigration attorney for more specific details.
How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help:
- Our immigration lawyers have successfully handled cases regarding EB-4 Religious Workers and other applicants eligible under the EB-4 Visa category.
- Our Miami lawyers are experts at delivering quality service and filings to properly complete forms and supplementary documentation.
- Our immigration lawyers are capable of assisting clients with the I-360 petition for Amerasian, Widow, or Special Immigrant and the EB-4 Religious Worker letter.