Employment-based Fourth Preference Category Special Immigrant Religious Workers (EB-4)
EB-4 Special immigrant religious workers are not subject to labor certification.
Unlike most categories, EB-4 Visas are currently available for all countries.
About 5,000 people qualify as special immigrants each year as religious ministers or workers. This number includes professional or ''other'' religious workers, spouses and children. Ministers are exempt from this limitation. The visa quota for this category is not typically all used in any given year and are currently immediately available for all countries.
All special immigrant religious workers must demonstrate that they are a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States. A petition for admission as a religious professional or ''other worker'' must be accompanied by evidence:
- That the religious worker has two years of membership in the denomination and in the religious profession or vocation immediately before the filing of the petition;
- That the religious worker has carried on the professional work or vocation continuously for at least two years immediately preceding the admission application.
- That the religious worker, if seeking to enter as a religious professional, has at least a U.S. bachelor's degree or its foreign equivalent;
- That the required affiliation between the denomination and the petitioning organization exists.
A ''religious denomination'' is defined as a religious group or community of believers having some form of ecclesiastical government, a creed or statement of faith, some form of worship, a code of doctrine and discipline, religious services, established places of religious worship, and religious congregations. A inter-denominational religious organization recognized under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is also treated as a religious denomination
Family Members May Accompany
A noncitizen spouse or child of a special immigrant religious worker, who is accompanying or following to join the principal noncitizen, may receive derivative status.
Please call our office if you feel that you qualify for a permanent immigrant visa as a religious worker or if you are a religious organization that seeks to hire a non-citizen as a religious worker. We will assist you with the application process.