Religious Worker Status Approved for a Belorussian Father
Client: An Orthodox Church in Cleveland, Ohio
Location, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Type: I-129 Nonimmigrant Petition (Religious Worker Category)
BACKGROUND: Our client is a sizable and well-run Orthodox church. The church retained us because it found a great Father from Europe. It was eager to replace a retiring priest with an experienced priest from Europe.
Date of Application: October 22, 1997
Date of Approval: October 23, 1997
WE HELPED OUR CLIENT prove that the full time religious worker—
- Had had two years of membership in the denomination, and
- Was hired by a registered church or bona fide religious organization, and
- The church has ability to adequately compensate the full-time worker, AND
- The full-time worker was invited in the U.S. solely for fulfilling religious occupation.
ONE DAY LATER, our client’s new Father received approval.
CHALLENGE: At the time of application, in 1997, religious visa or status have not become a challenging type. Before a string of fraudulent cases of fake monks or missionaries came to light, religious visas tended to receive faster review and quicker approval. Officials, since then, have reviewed religious worker cases with greater scrutiny. Attention is paid to details of each required element. Thus, this type of cases now require legal assistance.