The EB-4 visa, referred to as the “special immigrant religious worker” or “Fourth Preference” visa gives immigrants who wish to live and work in the U.S. a permanent residence. Qualified applicants will require that they are employed in religious occupations. Religious institutions or tax-exempt, non-profit faith denominations are the only organizations that may employ workers under the EB-4 visa.
Individuals such as missionaries and priests, or other degree-holding professionals may hold an EB-4 visa.
EB-4 Visa Benefits
An EB-4 visa holder can be employed and begin to establish permanent residence in the U.S. before completing their application process for full citizenship. They are allowed to begin the citizenship application at their convenience. Those who apply for an EB-4 visa under their “fourth preference” application have higher consideration above those who qualify for an EB-5 visa, however they still hold a lower priority status below those who apply under an EB-1 visa, EB-2 visa, or EB-3 visa status. A primary benefit of applying for an EB-4 visa is the expedited application process. EB-4 visa applications are processed in a quick time frame. Additionally, those approved for an EB-4 can also apply for family visas if their family includes a spouse or children dependents.
EB-4 Visa requirements
Applicants who seek to obtain an EB-4 visa must be in compliance with numerous requirements and prohibitions regarding the immigration and behavior of R-1 immigrants. R-1 visa holders often choose to apply for an EB-4 visa after they have decided to establish permanent residency in the U.S. Applicants must also be recognized as members of a religious body and provide proof that they have worked for at least a two year period before they are eligible to apply. Documentation that includes proof of employment and a list of responsibilities and detailed duties required must be included in the application.
Considering an EB-4 Visa
Though the application process for obtaining an EB-4 visa can be quick, recent policy changes in relation to specific classes of clerical professionals have complicated the process of obtaining one. The application process may also hurt prospective applicants’ chances of obtaining an EB-4 visa should their religious organization have its non-profit status stripped.
Request EB-4 Visa Assistance
Our immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi are here to help guide you through understanding the details of the EB-4 requirements and application process if you wish to establish permanent residency in the U.S. as an immigrant religious worker. We will help you supply the right documentation needed to successfully manage your unique case and offer you the best chances of obtaining an EB-4 visa. Call our offices or contact us online today to schedule your consultation.