Ministers of Religion

An alien entering the United States to carry on the voca tion of minister of a religious denomination, and the spouse or child of such an alien, accompanying or following to join him, are designated as special immigrants.

The statute does not define “minister of a religious de nomination,” but the regulations declare that this term means a person duly authorized by a recognized religious sect or denomination to conduct religious worship, and to perform other duties usually performed by a regularly ordained pastor or clergyman.

The statute prescribes three conditions for achieving special classification under this section: (1) the applicant has been carrying his vocation of minister continuously for at least two years prior to his application for admission to the United States.

However, a minister will not be disqualified if he has been prevented from meeting this 2-year requirement by circumstances beyond his control, e.g. con finement in a concentration camp or flight as a refugee; (2) the applicant must seek to enter the United States solely  to carry on his vocation as minister; and (3) his services must be needed and requested by a bona fide religious organization in the United States.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez