The Office for Externs and International Priests, together with the counsel for immigration matters in the Legal Department, arrange for the international priest to obtain an R-1 Visa at the U.S. Consulate in his home country. In some cases, the extern may be attending one of the universities and has a Student Visa. There are strict regulations regarding the compensation of priests with R-1 Visas and Student Visas. We are happy to clarify the appropriate compensation in light of the priest's immigration status. There is increasing scrutiny of R-1 Visas. Violations of these provisions can result in the priest having to abruptly return home, if government policies are not followed.
Immigration laws are always changing therefore, it is important that the Office for Externs and International Priests be contacted before a diocesan extern or international priest arrives or leaves the Archdiocese of Chicago.
When the sending bishop or superior identifies the length of time they are allowing the priest to be in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the religious worker visa that international priests must obtain can be extended for a maximum of five years. After five years, a diocesan extern or international priest should return to the diocese of his incardination. The Archdiocese does not support priests for green cards unless they are candidates for incardination.