Religious Worker Visa Program Due to Expire on September 29

By David North on September 20, 2022

The little-known and little-used program granting certain religious workers green cards is scheduled to expire at midnight, September 29, unless Congress acts to extend it, according to the October Visa Bulletin published by the Department of State.

Religious workers are covered by the fourth of the employment-based visas (EB-4), a catch-all category of special immigrants. The program is used primarily by religious organizations outside the mainstream Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths.

In FY 2019, there were 38 admissions from overseas and 406 adjustments, according to the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. There is a somewhat similar, also small, program for ministers of religion -- this program is for non-minister religious workers..

The program was last extended for six months in March of this year. It is not clear to me why the extension was for such a short time period. I suspect that Congress will again extend the program sooner or later.

For an earlier report on some of the problems with applications for this program, see here.