A religious organization (by itself or in conjunction with another organization) can sponsor you as a religious worker if it is employing you in a position as a minister, a religious occupation, or a religious vocation for at least 20 hours per week. The regulations do list what is not a religious occupation but does not define what it is; therefore, carefully explaining the job duties and title are very important in these applications. A religious vocation is when an individual has made a formal lifetime commitment—through vows, investitures, ceremonies, or similar indicia—to a religious way of life. For example, nuns, monks, brothers, sisters, pastors, ministers, etc.
You must have been a member of the religious denomination or organization for the immediately preceding two years. This classification does not require prior employment with the organization though. Only Special Immigrant Religious Worker classification (green card) require prior employment. The membership requirement requires membership in the denomination—not the specific petitioning organization.
Your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 may be admitted into the United States in R-2 status. R-2 status is granted for the same period of time as you, regardless of the time your spouse and children may have spent in the United States in R-2 status. R-2s cannot accept employment. They are, however, able to change their status to another nonimmigrant category. R-2s may attend post-secondary education but R-2 children lose this status on their 21st birthday.
Initially, you should be granted 30 months regardless of the end date of the passport visa stamp. Your total approved time to remain in the United States is five years. If you were a previous R-1, you cannot be readmitted or receive an extension past the five years unless you have been physically present outside the United States for the immediate prior year. You can usually recapture time outside of the U.S. You may pursue study or training related to the religious work