Religious Worker Receives Status

Client: A Church in Solon, Ohio (Suburb of Cleveland, Ohio)
Client’s Country of Origin: Taiwan
Case Type: I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (R Category for Religious Worker)
Date of Application: January 15, 2008
Date of Approval: October 30, 2008

Background:
Herman Legal Group’s client, a church in Solon, Ohio, found a desirable candidate to serve its congregation for specific short-term needs. We were therefore retained to acquire a short-term status for the choice candidate from Taiwan on behalf of our client.

Challenge:
Religious worker is a relatively new nonimmigrant worker category. Unfortunately, a string of fraudulent cases was discovered prior to 2008 and triggered some changes in reviewing practices. Now, U.S.C.I.S (a branch of the Department of Homeland Security) now examines claims and evidenced of each case with higher scrutiny. Requests for evidence, notice that more evidence is required for consideration of an approval, have been issued regularly since such cases were discovered. Please consult a trustworthy immigration attorney before you undertake this time-consuming application.

Action:
We helped our client collect sufficient evidence and prove that the full time worker:

  1. Had two years of membership in the denomination.
  2. Was hired by a registered church or bona fide religious organization.
  3. The church has ability to adequately compensate the full-time worker.
  4. The full-time worker was invited in the U.S. solely for the purpose of conducting religious activities of religion.

 

Result:
After nine months, our client’s minister was able to serve with an official status.

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