Client: A Sizable Orthodox Church in Cleveland, Ohio
Client’s Country of Origin: Belarus
Case Type:I-129 Nonimmigrant Petition (Religious Worker Category)
Date of Application: October 22, 1997
Date of Approval: October 23, 1997

Our client is a sizable and well-run Orthodox church. The church retained us because it found a great Father from Europe, and it was eager to replace a retiring priest with the experienced priest from Europe.

At the time of application, in 1997, religious visa or status had not been that challenging. Before a string of fraudulent cases of fake monks and missionaries came to light, religious visas tended to receive faster review and quicker approval. Since then, officials now review religious worker cases with greater scrutiny. Closer attention is paid to the details of each required element. Thus, this type of case now requires legal assistance.

Herman Legal Group helped our client prove that the full-time religious worker:

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

One day later, our client’s Father received approval.

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