On March 20, 2009, President Obama extended the special immigrant religious worker program for non-ministers, including their spouses and children, through September 29, 2009. The program had expired on March 6, 2009. Individuals entering the U.S. only to continue to work as religious ministers are not affected by the expiration date.  

Beginning September 30, 2009, however, USCIS will suspend processing of any pending petitions and applications (Forms I-360, I-485, and I-824) for non-minister religious workers and reject any new petitions and applications, unless Congress passes new legislation to extend the expiration date.