Author Topic: Priests as Legal Aliens?  (Read 780 times)

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Offline Pano

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Priests as Legal Aliens?
« on: June 25, 2018, 07:59:21 AM »
Hi,

As a convert to Orthodoxy in a non-Christian majority country, I have a couple of questions regarding priesthood:

1. In this country, you cannot work as a priest even if you were blessed/ordained by your (arch)bishop (well, you might not even get priesthood education, but say you could).

2. Due to 1, as an ordained priest you would need to work abroad.

3. Because you have no knowledge of Greek or other Slavic languages, you would need to work in an English speaking country.

4. Due to 3, USA would be a choice. UK is too picky in everything and would be no less in that matter I guess. So, can legal aliens be priests in USA? Would you need a work permit or whatever? Plus, does USA lack a lot of priests to the extent that they would need to hire a legal alien as a priest?

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Offline Arachne

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 08:58:44 AM »
UK is too picky in everything and would be no less in that matter I guess.

Guessing is not the way to go about making informed decisions, mate.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 10:11:58 AM »
Due to 3, USA would be a choice. UK is too picky in everything and would be no less in that matter I guess. So, can legal aliens be priests in USA? Would you need a work permit or whatever? Plus, does USA lack a lot of priests to the extent that they would need to hire a legal alien as a priest?

I've had a non-citizen permanent legal resident as a priest in the U.S., and have known others.

A lot of our bishops are immigrants as well.

I assume there's some kind of checkbox on the visa application, but I know Greeks get imported into the U.S. fairly frequently.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 10:42:01 AM »
I don't see why not.  The real questiin is if you are getting paid or not.  Then you need a visa that allows you to work.
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Offline CarolS

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 11:32:21 AM »
It's not at all uncommon for Priests from Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Syria, etc. to come the US and serve as priests.  The bishops are usually familiar with this process - status as a church worker.

You could perhaps apply to come to the US on a Student Visa, to study at a Seminary.  Keep in mind that simply completing a seminary program is not a guarantee that you will be ordained. You must be judged worthy and also not have any impediments to the priesthood.

You need legal permission to permanently live/work in the USA, what is usually called a "green card".  If you enter on a tourist visa (or overstay your visa) you are not allowed to work. Clarification of this can be obtained from the USA State Department.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 02:06:43 PM »
I believe we all get where you're from, although since you preferred not to say I won't. Anyway, there are a couple of people from your country here, and although your jurisdiction will make it pretty difficult for someone of your ethnicy to serve as a priest, there won't be such vile restrictions in most places around the world if you feel to have such a calling. Also, Antioch has jurisdiction in a small fraction of your country, maybe the rules are different, who knows.
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Offline Pano

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 03:24:03 PM »
Dear Brethren in Christ,

Thanks for all your input. You were right in your assumption, RaphaCam.

I would actually like to pose such questions to my spiritual father, yet I would not like to seem pretentious (to think that I am called, which I do not think) as it has not been long enough since my baptism, plus I am too sinful to consider these things - I need to win the spiritual battle first. On the other hand, that I think that I might be called to priesthood or monasticism (I am not saying I am called, but that I might or might not be) due to my sins/temptations. I would not like to elaborate as this is ashaming (and I don't even know how to reveal everything to my spiritual father), but I can say that I do not feel of this life. By that I do not mean I am holy or I am living a holy life, I just mean that everything is too vain/futile, in the sense that I do not enjoy all these materialistic values and pleasures of this life. Yes, I enjoy when I am doing these things, say I make looots of money I like it but I wouldn't be able to relish it were I to be the richest man on earth. Like, I wouldn't have all that zeal to do all the fun things the rich do, if you know what I mean. To talk about the truth, I am quite a successful college student (sorry if too boastful), yet even if I were to be a successful professor I don't think I would be satisfied with that. Moreover, I do not think I will ever be married. I do not think I will have kids. Not that I am holy, as I said, I am just too whatever for anything.

So, as I said, these things make me woner if there might be any hint of calling to me. God forgive if I am being proud in even wondering that.

On the other hand, I fear if I were called - as we know vocation is another hard cross to bear, plus I fear I'd long for all the materialistic pleasures of this earth.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 03:35:48 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Pano.
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Offline Pano

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2018, 04:01:26 PM »
Thank you, Iconodule.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Priests as Legal Aliens?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 04:09:32 PM »
Give it time.
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