Sample compensatory agreement between employer and employee for R1 Visa application

We have covered in previous articles the steps involved in applying for an R1 American visa. The basic requirements include specific documentation from the sponsoring religious body (church or other organization otherwise known as the Petitioner) where the applicant will be employed for the duration of his stay.

On his own end, the applicant himself must provide certain requirements as well. These include filling out a Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form; having a valid travel passport; paying the necessary visa application fees and visa issuance fees where applicable.

The petitioner must provide certain documentation including-

  • A valid determination letter from the IRS establishing that they are a bona fide non-profit religious organization recognized as tax-exempt under a group tax exemption.
  • Where a petitioning organization is not classified under “religious organizations” by the Internal Revenue Service, they may establish that they are affiliated with a religious denomination by completing the Religious Denomination Certification in the revised Form I-129. The religious denomination certification should be signed by an organization other than the petitioning organization, and attest that the petitioning organization is part of the same religious denomination as the attesting organization. For instance, a branch of the Lutheran church must certify that another branch is actually part of the greater body- e.g the Lutheran World Federation. They must also present:

–                 A currently valid determination letter from the IRS establishing that the organization is tax-exempt;

–                 Documents establishing the religious nature and purpose of the organization;

–                 Organizational literature describing the religious purpose and nature of the activities of the organization;

–                 A religious denomination certification stating that the petitioning organization is affiliated with the religious denomination.

  • Proof of compensation. Religious workers generally must be compensated. Compensation may include either salaried or non-salaried compensation.


The Compensatory Agreement

An agreement is a negotiated and typically legally binding arrangement between parties as to a course of action. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to drafting agreements. Generally though, all agreements should be appropriately dated, preferably at the top of the page, and anywhere else a date is needed. The names of the parties involved should be clearly stated. Other ancillary descriptions needed to identify the parties in addition to their names, should be included.

It is important to use plain language. In a court of law, a judge will judge the case based on how the contract would be interpreted by the average person. Use concise language. Your language should explain the terms of the agreement clearly and what is expected of each party.

Other things to be included are dispute resolution clauses- how conflicts will be resolved if/when they arise. And termination clauses- how the agreement will come to an end.

A sample compensatory agreement between the Petitioner and Beneficiary (religious worker) could look something like this-

Sample Agreement

This Compensation Agreement, between Lutheran Episcopal Bible Centre (“hereafter referred to as the Petitioner”) and John Doe (“hereafter referred to as the Beneficiary”), is made this 30th day of May, 2018.

WHEREAS, the Petitioner has requested the Beneficiary to serve as the Assistant Minister of the Lutheran Episcopal Bible Centre, Oak Parish;

WHEREAS, the Petitioner’s Board of Directors have approved that, for services, as an Assistant Minister they shall pay to the Beneficiary:

  • $35,000 per annum (salary basic), in addition to the provision of accommodation located on the Centre’s premises (for full details of accommodation, see Annex. II),
  • OR an allowance of $5,000 per annum in lieu of accommodation.

WHEREAS payments shall be made in cash, in equal parts in installments, at the end of every month until the expiration of the Beneficiary’s tenure.

WHEREAS, the Petitioner has accepted the appointment as Assistant Minister and agreed to serve in that capacity for 1 calendar year (12 months) starting from the 1st of January, 2018 to the 31st of December, 2018.

WHEREAS, upon mutual Agreement of the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, the Petitioner agreed to pay, and the Beneficiary agreed to accept, the payments set forth in this Compensation Agreement.


  1. This Agreement shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the internal laws of the State of New York without regard to principles of conflict of laws.
  2. This Agreement may not be extended, renewed, amended or modified other than by a written agreement executed by the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, and assented to by the Petitioner’s Board.
  3. This Agreement will terminate at the expiration of the Beneficiary’s tenure as stipulated above. Otherwise, either party may terminate this Agreement on thirty (30) calendar days written notice, or if prior to such action, the other party materially breaches any of its representations, warranties or obligations under this Agreement. The defaulting party shall be responsible to reimburse the non-defaulting party for all costs incurred directly as a result of the breach of this Agreement.
  4. In the event of any disputes arising from this agreement, parties should exhaust all amicable means of conflict resolution, including mediation and arbitration, to be facilitated by a qualified arbitrator. If such proceedings fail, parties may resort to a court of competent jurisdiction.
  5. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, and all of which together shall constitute one and the same original instrument.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement.

John Stu
Church Secretary

John Doe

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.