Immigration Solutions to Advance Strong Cases

The EB-4 category is available to religious workers in religious vocations and occupations who will work in full-time in a paid position for either a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the U.S. or a bona fide organization that is affiliated with the religious denomination in the U.S.  The religious worker needs to have worked in a qualifying religious position for two years immediately before filing the EB-4 petition with USCIS.  It is important to note that the EB-4 category for religious workers is divided into non-ministers and minister.  Non-minister special immigrant religious workers may have a religious vocation or occupation engaged in either a professional or non-professional capacity.

For religious workers, the EB-4 petition is a two-step consecutive process.  First, the I-360 petition must be filed.  Once it is approved, the religious worker may file a I-485 application.

Important Legal Development Affecting Non-ministers Seeking Lawful Permanent Residence Through the EB-4 Category

The Visa Bulletin for October 2016  announces that the EB-4 program for non-ministers is set to expire on September 30, 2016.  All non-ministers who seek EB-4 visas or visa renewals from outside the U.S. must have applied for the visa, travel, and be admitted to the U.S. before midnight September 29, 2016.  If an adjustment of status case is pending for a EB-4 non-minister on September 30, 2016, it will be held in abeyance until possible future legislative action.

  • What happens next?

There may be legislative action.  If so, the final action dates for non-minister visas in the EB-4 category would become current and consulates could resume issuing EB-4 immigrant visas oversees.  Furthermore, USCIS could resume adjudicating EB-4 adjustment of status applications for non-ministers.

  • Why is this important?

If you are a non-minister with a pending EB-4 petition, the current unavailability of a visa may affect your travel abroad or your path to lawful permanent residence, if this category is not extended.

We have extensive experience with these cases and would be happy to assist you.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this webpage is provided for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or the formation of an attorney/client relationship.