I work as a Music Director in an established church which is willing to sponsor the R-1 visa/status for me. What are the chances for the approval if I don't have a degree in religion? I do have a Master's degree in music though. I need to change my status from F-1. Thank you!
There are a lot of requirements that the church must fulfill before they can sponsor you for an R visa.
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Your chance are pretty good if its a real religious institution and a real job offer.
The R-1 Religious Worker category underwent a lot of scrutiny in the last few years due to prevalent fraud. Be forewarned and seek to retain a reputable, experienced immigration attorney. There are a few good ones in NY and you can easily see who is who here on Avvo.
You don't need a theological degree for an R-1 status but there are many other requirements that you, the job and the church must meet. One of the many requirements is that the position must be religious work. The petition should emphasize the religious nature of music in a church context. I tend to quote the psalms which are filled with references to music as worship. All the best.
Malathi Benjamin PLC
(626) 744 1750
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