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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.


This is a category of religious immigrant workers for foreign national ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations. It is an EB-4 visa preference visa category with no cap on ministers and a 5,000 annual visa cap limitation for non-ministers. Ministers of Religion are in a "SD-category" and Non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations are in the "SR-category".


The worker must work full time, at least 35 hours per week. And have 2 years previous experience in the classification in which they intend to work in the same religious denomination for which they are to be now hired and demonstrate that they are members of a religious denomination non-profit, tax exempt organization existing in the U.S. for at least the two prior years acting as the type of worker they intent to further work as in the U.S. A minister must have a Certificate of Ordination and proof of completing any prescribed courses of theological education or has fulfilled the requirements of the organization's ordainment.


The employing organization must prove its non-profit tax exempt 501(c)(3) status with its Authorizing Determination Letter, proof of the employees salaried or non-salaried compensation, any required missionary evidence and an Attestation of the employees qualifications, nature of the job offered and the legitimacy of the organization. The USCIS may conduct onsite inspections of the employer's organization. A Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) with appeal rights may follow if the organization is sub-standard.


The application process requires that the employer file USCIS form I-360 with all accompanying documentation and pay all required filing fees. It should not be filed earlier than 6 months before the start date for the employment.


Family members can also attend on separately filed USCIS form I-360 with similar documentation and upon paying all required filing fees.

This visa is available to spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 (immediate family members) of holders of a "SD" & "SD" category immigrant visas (EB-4) to lawfully come to and stay in the U.S. It is also available for adopted children.

Spouses and children will need a passport from their country of origin. Spouses will need to provide Marriage Certificates and all applicants will need to have valid (translated if necessary) Birth Certificates, provide accompanying documentation and pay all required filing fees. Interviews will be conducted at their local home U.S. Embassy or Consulate. We can assist you in processing your visa application.

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