EB-4 Eligibility and Filing
To qualify as an EB-4 special immigrant religious worker, you
be a member of a religious denomination that has a non-profit religious
organization in the United States. You must have been a member of this
religious denomination for at least two years before applying for
admission to the United States. You must be entering the United States
- As a minister or priest of the religious denomination;
a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation for the
religious organization (a professional capacity means that a U.S.
baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent is required to do this job);
- In a religious vocation or occupation for the religious
organization or its nonprofit affiliate. (A religious vocation
means a calling or devotion to religious life. Taking vows can prove
that you have a calling to religious life. A religious occupation
is an activity devoted to traditional religious functions. Examples of
religious occupations include (but are not limited to) cantors,
missionaries, and religious instructors.)
have been performing this religious work for the past two years. For
more specific eligibility information, please see 8 CFR § 204.5.
or your employer must submit USCIS Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian,
Widow(er), or Special immigrant). The application must be filed at the
USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you will work.
You must also submit:
- Proof that the religious organization qualifies as a
- A letter from an official of the religious organization in
the United States:
letter should establish that you have been a member of the denomination
for two years, and that you have at least two years of experience in
your religious vocation or occupation.
- If you are a minister,
the letter should establish that you have been authorized to perform
religious duties in general and should specify which duties you are
authorized to perform.
- If you are a religious professional,
the letter should establish that you have a United States baccalaureate
degree or the foreign equivalent that is required for your religious
profession. You must also submit an official academic record.
you are applying to work in the United States in another religious
vocation or occupation, the letter should establish that you are
qualified to work in that religious vocation or occupation. For
instance, if you are applying to work as a nun or a monk, you would
need to provide evidence that you are a nun or a monk.
- If you
are applying to work in the United States in a non-ministerial or
non-professional capacity for a religious organization affiliated with
a religious denomination, the letter should establish how the religious
organization is affiliated with the denomination.
- The letter
should also detail how you will be carrying on the work of a minister,
or how you will be paid if you are working in a professional or other
religious capacity. The letter should indicate that you will not be
dependent upon supplementary income (from a second job) or charity
(funds solicited for your support).
Source: USCIS Website
| Last accessed: February 7, 2009.
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