The EB4 Green Card for Special Immigrants and Religious Workers

Young woman smiling and giving tickets, passport with visa to tourists

There are many benefits to obtaining an EB4 Green Card for Special Immigrants & Religious Workers. EB-4 is a nonimmigrant visa classification for certain special immigrants, as well as religious workers. The classification was created to allow certain individuals who might not typically qualify for other visa classifications to come to the United States.

Some of the benefits of obtaining an EB-4 visa include:

  • Permanent Residence in the United States.
  • No requirement to maintain a foreign residence.
  • No need for labor certification.
  • May apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident from within the United States.

What is an EB4 Green Card?

Foreign citizens who belong to religious denominations can enter the United States using the EB-4 Special Immigrant Religious Workers visa to seek permanent residency.

The visa is also available to foreign nationals who can apply for a green card under the EB4 category and who often do not need a labor certification. The procedure for receiving an EB4 green card can be drawn-out and complicated, it can be a smooth process with the aid of an expert immigration lawyer.

Who Qualifies for the EB4 Green Card?

The EB4 visa is a special category for immigrants who are religious workers or employees of a non-profit organization. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed by a qualifying non-profit organization.
  • Your work must be in a religious occupation or activity.
  • You must have been working in the U.S. for at least two years in the last five years.
  • Your work must fall within one of the following categories: 
  1. Minister
  2. Priest
  3. Rabbi
  4. Imam
  5. Nun
  6. Brother
  7. Sister
  8. Layperson working in a religious occupation or activity
  • The EB4 visa is a great option for those who want to live and work in the United States permanently. It offers many benefits, including:
    • A shorter visa processing time than other categories.
    • No requirement to have a job offer in the United States before applying.
    • No requirement to have a family in the United States.
    • The ability to self-petition, which means you don’t need an employer to sponsor you.

EB4 Benefits & Advantages

The EB4 visa category offers several benefits and advantages to those who qualify. These include:

  1. Permanent residence in the United States: Once you have been approved for an EB4 visa, you will receive permanent residence in the United States. This allows you to live and work in the country indefinitely and provides many of the same benefits as being a U.S. citizen.
  2. Freedom to travel: Unlike some other visa categories, an EB4 visa does not restrict your ability to travel overseas. You are free to leave and enter the United States at any time, without needing prior approval from USCIS.
  3. No cap on visas available: Unlike the popular EB5 program, there is no cap on the number of EB4 visas that can be issued each year. This means that there is no waiting list and no chance of running out of visas.
  4. Fast processing times: USCIS typically processes EB4 applications within six months, which is much faster than the typical processing time for most other visa categories.

The EB4 Green Card Application Process

The EB4 Green Card application process is relatively straightforward, though it may vary depending on the country of origin. Generally, the first step is to file an I-360 petition in USCIS and submit the necessary supporting documents to show that applicants qualify for special immigrant status.

In some cases, applicants are also required to appear for an interview with a USCIS officer. Once the petition is approved, applicants will then be able to apply for a permanent resident visa with their home embassy or consulate. Finally, after the visa has been approved, applicants will be eligible to enter the U.S. and reside as permanent residents with all of the associated benefits.

Required Documentation for an EB4 Green Card

To obtain an EB4 Green Card as a special immigrant or religious worker, you must provide all the required documentation:

  • Proof of your status as a special immigrant or religious worker, a copy of your passport containing your photograph and biographical information, evidence of any necessary vaccinations and medical examinations, and any other documents required by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • You must submit an Employment Authorization Document if you plan to work in the United States. You may also need to provide additional documentation depending on your situation.

Relevant FAQs on the EB4 Green Card

There are a few important FAQs regarding the EB4 Green Card for Special Immigrants & Religious Workers that need to be answered. 

  1. The most frequent question is whether the beneficiary must have their employer apply on their behalf. 
  • The beneficiary may file on their behalf, hence the answer is no. Moreover, the recipient may be required to pay the application fee if the employer does not fund it.
  1. How long it takes to get an EB4 Green Card is another commonly asked query.
  • It often takes 8 to 18 months, depending on the circumstances. There are some restrictions that specific nations are exempt from, such as passing language tests and FBI background checks. This can greatly speed up the application process. 

The EB4 visa is an excellent choice for those looking to become legal permanent residents in the United States. With its low annual fees and fast processing time, it is one of the most cost-effective visa options available. The visa also offers numerous benefits to special immigrants and religious workers, such as priority access to employment and short-term visas. This visa allows applicants to pursue their dreams of living and working in the United States without facing excessive expenses or long delays.

For those trying to obtain a green card in the US, the EB4 visa for special immigrants and religious employees comes with a variety of advantages. Many other types of persons can apply for the visa, including employees of religious organizations, staff members of international organizations, and specific family members of US residents or people who have green cards.

The visa has a variety of benefits, including a quicker application procedure, no obligation to demonstrate ties to the United States, and a suspension of the need for a work certification. The visa also permits self-petitioning, which is advantageous for those who lack sponsoring employment. The EB4 visa is a valuable opportunity for those looking to secure a green card in the United States and offers several benefits that can be helpful for those looking to obtain permanent residency.