What is the Employment-based, Fourth Preference Category?

The fourth employment-based category is reserved for  “special immigrant” status.  The Act provides approximately 10,000 visas annually for this category. 

The category is for the benefit of three sub-groups:

  1. ministers of religion;
  2. professionals working in religious vocations or occupations; and
  3. workers in religious vocations who work for United States non-profit religious organizations or non-profit religious organizations affiliated with qualified religious denominations.  

The alien must have been a member of a religious denomination which has had a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately preceding the application.  The alien must be entering the United States to work as a minister of religion for an organization in a religious capacity, or for the organization or a related non-profit entity in another professional capacity.  The alien must have been carrying on such work as a minister, professional or other worker for at least two years preceding the application.

The alien must have at least a baccalaureate degree to qualify as a religious professional.  A combination of experience and education may not be substituted for a baccalaureate degree.

IMMLAW Attorneys who practice in this area include…