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February 27, 2023 RAPID RESPONSE

Foreign-Born (R-1) Religious Workers: Hot Topics, Updates and How You Can Advocate

For decades, nonimmigrant religious workers have been coming to the United States to provide essential services to our U.S. communities. However, in more recent years, religious workers have faced significant delays and challenges. In this webinar, the panelists provide an overview of the R-1 visa process and discuss recent updates affecting religious workers. The webinar also shows attendees how to use CLINIC’s religious worker toolkit to help advocates push for effective policy change and to be treated equally to other employment-based categories. We invite all who are interested in learning more about nonimmigrant religious workers to join the ABA Commission on Immigration, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Services attorneys and its Advocacy team for this training on religious worker immigration.


  • Elnora Bassey, Policy Advocate, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
  • Miguel Naranjo, Religious Immigration Services Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
  • Graciela Mateo, Senior Staff Attorney, Religious Immigration Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
  • Scott D. Pollock, Founding Partner, Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.


  • Robyn McCormick, Senior Paralegal, Religious Immigration Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Joint Sponsor: ABA Commission on Immigration

Co-Sponsor: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.



CLINIC Template Comment for Religious Immigration Service Providers

Policy Brief: The Human Consequences of USCIS Policies and Backlogs on Religious Workers and the Communities They Serve

Immigration Law vs. Religious Freedom: Using The Religious Freedom Restoration Act To Challenge Restrictive Immigration Laws And Practices | Scott D. Pollock, Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion Vol 12 S11-3

AILA Occupational Guidebook: Immigration Options for Religious Workers

Visa delays causing hardships for Church workers in US

Representing Religious Workers and Religious Organizations—A Primer On Religious Immigration Practice | Immigration Briefings

Preparing for a Religious Site Visit

Ruiz-Diaz V. United States: RFRA, Substantial Burden, And The Ninth Circuit’s Causation-Nexus Requirement—A Wrinkle Or A Roadblock For Future Immigration-Related Religious Freedom Challenges? | Albany Law Review

Religious Workers: Best Practices for Winning R-1 and EB-4 Cases

December 20, 2022 Northern District of Illinois district court order denying Government's Motion to Dismiss regarding religious organizations' challenges to USCIS's no-concurrent filing rule

USCIS Memo Allows R-1 Religious Workers To Recapture Time Spent Outside Country | BNA Bloomberg

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