I'm a religious nun and was on an R1 visa for 5 years and then once it expired I left for 1 year. Can I reapply in the US now?
3 attorney answers
Hello Sister. I think it be ok. According to the FAM, "If the alien has previously spent five years in this classification, he or she must have resided and been physically present outside the United States for the immediate prior year, except for brief visits for business or pleasure (see 9 FAM 41.58 N19)."
The time spent in the United States during each of your brief visits does not count towards fulfilling the one-year abroad requirement. Therefore, you must spend one complete year outside the U.S., with time deducted for the days inside the U.S. For example, if you spent a total of 28 days in the U.S. during your "brief visits", then the total time residing outside the U.S. must be 1 year and 28 days.
You are eligible to re-apply for the R-1 with the condition that you must present evidence that your visits to the U.S. during the past year were in fact short ( brief and casual ) and you were not employed in the U.S. in any way.