The United States offers lots of opportunities for foreign nationals. One way is through the R-1 nonimmigrant visa. This is mainly for religious workers who want to work temporarily with non-profit religious organizations. As these individuals establish their lives in the U.S., it’s natural for them to wish for their families to join them.
Fortunately, the U.S. immigration system has ways to make this possible.
Bringing the family together
Religious workers with an R-1 nonimmigrant visa often want their families to experience life in the U.S. with them. To make this possible, the U.S. allows R-1 visa holders to petition for their immediate family members. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can apply for R-2 nonimmigrant status. This allows them to live in the U.S. with the primary visa holder. The U.S. immigration system can process these R-2 applications at the same time as the R-1 visa application.
Once family members secure their R-2 status, they can live in the U.S., experience local culture and lifestyle and even attend school or college.
Limitations and conditions
Despite its benefits, the R-2 visa does have limitations. Holders cannot become permanent residents or find work in the U.S. This makes the R-1 visa holder the main income source. Also, the R-1 visa holder must maintain their employment to preserve the R-2 visa status of their family members. This means that if the R-1 visa holder loses their job, family members with R-2 visas could also lose their status.
The R-1 and R-2 visas come with challenges and limitations, like employment restrictions. The process can get even more complex when you consider things like application timelines and keeping your status valid. But these challenges shouldn’t discourage people from applying to bring their family over. With the right guidance and preparation, you can work through the complexities of the immigration system and reunite with your family in the U.S.
If you’re thinking about petitioning for your family to get an R-2 visa, consider consulting with an immigration attorney. They can provide assistance with filing your application.