EB-4—Fourth Employment-Based Preference for Religious Workers
The EB-4 visa may be obtained by ministers and other people with religious occupations or vocations that plan to perform religious work in a full-time compensated position. It should be noted, however, that there is a limit of 5,000 workers who may be issued this visa during each fiscal year, so there is a chance that it may be unavailable at the time you want to apply.
To be considered for this visa as a religious worker, an individual must be able to prove that he or she is authorized by a religious denomination that is recognized by the U.S. to perform religious worship and conduct various other religious duties that would otherwise be conducted by clergy members. As such, individuals considered to be “lay” preachers will not qualify.
Religious occupations involve the habitual engagement in some activity that directly relates to some traditional religious function—these include religious instructors, liturgical workers, and religious counselors. On the other hand, religious vocations involve some intrinsic calling to some aspect of religious life as demonstrated through a lifelong commitment to their work—this will include monks, nuns, and any other people who have taken a vow to perform their works.
Before any person may qualify for the EB-4 visa as a religious worker, he or she must satisfy the following conditions:
- Have been a member of the same religious denomination for at least the last 2 years
- Have held a religious occupation or vocation for at least the last 2 years
- The religious denomination that is petitioning on your behalf must have already received the 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.
Under the derivative status of the EB-4 visa, the spouse and children of the primary beneficiary will be eligible to obtain green cards so that they may enter and remain in the United States so long as the primary beneficiary’s visa remains active.
The Austin immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC will charge the following for a normal case when it is filed from within the United States and with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please take a moment to look over this disclaimer), in addition to the filing fee that is currently charged by the USCIS:
- $6,000 for the attorney’s fees associated with the principal beneficiary’s petition
- $405 for the main petition filing fee with the USCIS
- $1,070 for every person, or $635 for every person younger than 14
At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration lawyers understand what you will need to do in order to obtain your EB-4 fourth-preference permanent residency that exists for religious workers—please take a moment to look over a sample of approved cases. To discuss the particulars of your situation with one or our Austin immigration attorneys, please call our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333 today.