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EB-4 Visa | Fourth Preference

EB-4 Visa | Fourth Preference

Workers in religious occupation/vocation

Serving San Antonio, Austin, McAllen, Texas

What is an EB-4 Visa?

Also known as the “Fourth Preference” or “special immigrant religious worker” permanent resident visa, the EB-4 work clearance is set aside for immigrants who wish to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. To qualify for this certification, applicants must work in certain religious occupations. The applicant’s employer must be a religious institution or denomination that enjoys tax-exempt, non-profit recognition under U.S. law. Most EB-4 visa holders are ministers, priests, degree-holding professionals, missionaries or church functionaries.


Like all permanent resident work authorizations, the EB-4 “Fourth Preference” visa permits its holders to remain in the United States on a permanent basis. Individuals who hold it may initiate a citizenship application at any time. Although these applications are not considered before the applications of EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 visa holders, they are given preference over the applications of EB-5 visa holders. In addition, EB-4 immigrants are permitted to apply for family visas for their spouses and dependent children. Finally, the EB-4 application process is typically expedited. In other words, applicants may not need to wait for years to receive approval. An EB-4 visa lawyer at the Gutierrez Law Firm can tell you more about the benefits and uses of this type of credential. Contact our law office today.


EB-4 visa applicants must adhere to many of the restrictions and requirements that govern the behavior and movements of R-1 non-immigrant visa applicants. In fact, many R-1 visa holders choose to apply for EB-4 visas after deciding to remain in the United States permanently. Among other requirements, an EB-4 visa applicant must have been a member of his or her current denomination for at least two years prior to putting in his or her application. In addition, he or she must have been employed by this denomination for at least 24 months. In order to apply, the prospective visa holder must furnish a proof-of-employment document issued by his or her denomination. This document must describe the applicant’s job duties in some detail. To find out if you qualify, schedule a consultation with an EB-4 visa lawyer.


Recent rule changes have made it somewhat more difficult to obtain EB-4 visas. Certain classes of clerical staff members or other religious workers may no longer be eligible for these permanent resident clearances. In addition, changes in a religious organization’s nonprofit status could make it more difficult for members of that denomination to secure EB-4 visas.

How We Can Help

The EB-4 visa attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm are committed to helping immigrants from all walks of life realize their own personal “American Dreams.” We have helped to secure permanent residency documentation for foreign nationals from dozens of countries around the world.

Call an EB-4 visa lawyer today at 210.225.7114 to learn about the different types of visas that are available to foreign nationals.

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