The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a final rule in the Federal Register amending various aspects of the religious workers program. The final rule amends the regulations to improve the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) ability to detect and deter fraud and other abuses in the religious worker program. The final rule applies to both special immigrants and nonimmigrant religious workers . The published rule requires that religious organizations seeking the admission to the U.S. of nonimmigrant religious workers must file formal petitions with USCIS on behalf of such workers, and under the rule, the USCIS is obligated to conduct inspections, evaluations, verifications and compliance reviews of religious organizations to ensure the legitimacy of the petitioner and statements made in the petitions. Forms I-360 and I-129 have been revised and now require an employer attestation. These updated forms have been made available on the USCIS website.
Read the final rule as published in the Federal Register.