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Pastor’s R-1 Extension Approved in Three Weeks

Pastor’s R-1 Extension Approved in Three Weeks

Applicant. American Christian Organization
Beneficiaries. Mr. Zhu
Nationality: Chinese
Beneficiary Position. Evangelist
Application Case. R-1 Religious Worker Visa Extension

– The organization that applied for an extension for Mr. Zhu is not a church .
– Mr. Zhu used to be a member of the Chinese house church pastor, not officially recognized.
– Mr. Zhu No fixed salary income
– Mr. Zhu has a wife and three children, and a family of five income is below the average.

Mr. Zhu had engaged Tsang & Associates to handle his initial R-1 visa application two years ago, and was successfully approved. Therefore, two years later, when Mr. Zhu was faced with the issue of an R-1 visa extension, he did not hesitate to contact us to help him obtain another successful extension. It was very important to Mr. Zhu’s family that the extension be approved or not, as if the extension was denied, then the family of five would face deportation. The last time we worked together, Mr. Zhu had a very good impression of us and he trusted us. Although the USCIS is now strict in all aspects of the application, Mr. Zhu’s family was able to stay in the U.S. with the help of Tsang & Associates’ professional strength and proficiency in the policy.

Mr. Zhu’s case presented certain difficulties and challenges. Because he is involved in the non-profit side of the religious field, Mr. Zhu is not financially well off. In addition, the documents that can be used to prove Mr. Zhu’s past missionary service in China documentation There are not many documents to prove Mr. Zhu’s past missionary service in China. However, Tsang & Associates was able to help Mr. Zhu obtain a visa extension by proving five key factors.

Key point 1: How to prove that the applicant institution is a non-profit religious organization
According to USCIS regulations, the petitioner for an R-1 visa on behalf of the beneficiary must be a non-profit organization with a religious mission. Typically, the petitioning organization in most R-1 visa cases is a formal church. Therefore, one of the outstanding difficulties in Mr. Zhu’s extension case is that his petitioning organization is only a Christian organization with a small number of employees. The organization is mainly responsible for assisting other formal churches in organizing events, etc. In response to the unique nature of Mr. Zhu’s application Tsang & Associates decided to focus on establishing that the organization was indeed a 501(c)(3) based nonprofit religious organization that The conditions listed by the USCIS for the applicant organization were fully met.

To better demonstrate this, Tsang & Associates first provided a tax-exempt certificate issued to the organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which indicated the organization’s tax-exempt status. We then presented the founding charter of the applicant organization since its inception in 2004, indicating that it is an organization focused on serving small and medium-sized churches. However, the small number of staff members of the applicant organization was also a difficulty in this case. To downplay this disadvantage We created extensive documentation focusing on the organization’s nonprofit status and its religious mission. For example, Tsang & Associates carefully consolidated the large events the organization had hosted, including seminars that brought together 37 different organizations and 37 formal churches. Not only that We also explain in detail the other outreach events that the organization has held, highlighting the wide range of activities that have taken place across the United States. In addition In addition, by presenting the chronology of years on the official website, we let the visa officer know that this is a long-established religious organization with a good reputation and cultural heritage. Finally, we provided on-site photos of the organization’s events to make them appear more authentic, professional and responsible. Thus, even though Mr. Zhu’s application was different from the norm, Tsang & Associates was able to confirm that the organization met the legal requirements despite the differences.

Key point 2: How to prove the religious background of the beneficiary
An extremely important aspect of the R-1 visa application is a detailed account of the beneficiary’s faith upbringing. Tsang & Associates explained the background of Mr. Zhu’s decision to become a Christian. He also mentions that he went to an international seminary to further his education and received a diploma in Bible study.

Tsang & Associates then explained how, after graduating, Mr. Zhu returned to China to establish a house church where he served as the primary pastor for over a decade. In addition, by displaying flyers and invitations from various churches, we emphasized that Mr. Zhu is an internationally acclaimed witness, pastor and evangelist who is frequently invited to Israel, Hong Kong and the United States to preach to congregations, lead worship and discuss the development of Christianity in China. With this, we clearly demonstrated that he has gradually built up a deep-rooted faith and a solid background of faith in the past ten years of hard work in ministry.

Key point 3: How to prove the beneficiary’s qualifications and duties as a pastor
In the third step, Tsang & Associates proceeded to address Mr. Zhu’s qualifications and responsibilities as a pastor, including his long training in a professional seminary according to the standards of the Church, not just as an ordinary clergyman, but as a full-fledged pastor and key staff member of the applicant organization in the United States. In this section, we have also included Mr. Zhu’s International Seminary graduation certificate and a list of his ministry in mainland China over the past decade or so as evidence to submit to USCIS.

On this basis, Tsang & Associates further confirmed that Mr. Chu’s job duties were closely tied to his qualifications and experience and that it would be difficult for others to replace him in his position. We presented a list of Mr. Zhu’s daily tasks within the applicant organization, including training pastors in preaching, teaching ministry staff on internal church affairs, organizing discipleship programs and leadership seminars, and more. Through these materials, we pointed out that these tasks could only be carried out by someone of Mr. Chu’s solid faith and experience.

Key point 4: How to prove that the beneficiary is adequately compensated
Another key to the approval of an R-1 visa is whether the beneficiary will receive sufficient compensation from the petitioning organization or if the beneficiary demonstrates sufficient sponsorship to not be a burden on society. This is a major hurdle for many R-1 beneficiaries, as most pastors do not receive a sufficient salary to support their families. Mr. Zhu’s petitioning organization offered him a salary of $36,000 a year. The problem, however, is that this compensation is not paid on a fixed monthly basis through a U.S. company. Therefore, Tsang & Associates needed to prove exactly how Mr. Zhu was paid. On the one hand On the one hand, we need to prove that Mr. Zhu received the payment by comparing his W-2 form with his bank statements. On the other hand On the other hand, we also confirmed the organization’s ability to pay Mr. Zhu by presenting his bank statements and tax returns from the applicant organization. To better eliminate the negative effects of low pay , Mr. Zhu’s bank statement also shows that he has enough private savings to meet the basic needs of his entire family. Although the pastor’s salary was not high, Tsang & Associates took a different approach Mr. Zhu’s applicant organization drafted a brief statement that they would provide room and board for his family, which largely alleviated his financial stress.

Key point 5: How to prove that the beneficiary belongs to the same denomination as the applicant organization
Finally, Tsang & Associates needed to argue the compatibility of beliefs between the beneficiary and the applicant organization. Mr. Chu and the applicant organization must share a common faith, form of worship, and support the same doctrine, and, in order to comply with federal regulations This compatibility of beliefs must last for at least two years.

Tsang & Associates then proceeded to prove that both the house church Mr. Chu had established in the past and the organization he was currently applying for were affiliated with the Protestant Church of Christ. We submitted statements of faith from both organizations, highlighting and comparing key points so that the immigration officer could see at a glance that Mr. Zhu had indeed complied with the “faith conformity” requirement.

Tsang & Associates submitted the R-1 extension petition to USCIS on February 21, 2018, and just three weeks later, on March 15, we Just three weeks later, on March 15, we received an approval notice, and no additional instructions were required. Mr. Zhu was overjoyed to receive the news, as he was already aware of the more stringent visa review and was concerned that the unique nature of the applicant organization and his below-average income would pose insurmountable obstacles to his case. He thanked Tsang & Associates for all the preparations they had made to get his visa application approved twice in a row. At the same time, Mr. Zhu also confirmed our professionalism and said that he would definitely continue to work with us in the future if he has any questions.

*For more success stories and related science on R-1 religious visas, please click on the following link.
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Taiwan Pastor Granted Two-Year R-1 Visa as U.S. Church Does Not Pay
R-1 Visa for Religious Workers with Irregular and Unpaid Job
Chinese pastor’s application for R-1 religious work visa approved in 3 days
Changing Employers After Obtaining R-1 Religious Visa

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Tsang & Associates is ready to accompany you and provide you with efficient and quality legal services in a timely manner.

*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.

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