AAO: No Such Thing as a Part-Time Nun

"The AAO agrees with counsel's argument.  Unlike the definition of a religious occupation under 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(m)(5), the definition of religious vocation includes no requirements regarding the qualifying nature of the beneficiary's duties or the amount of time spent perfonning religious versus administrative duties.  Rather, the regulations require that a beneficiary must have made a formal lifetime commitment to a religious way of life and the denomination must have a class of individuals whose lives are dedicated to religious practices and functions, as distinguished from the secular members of the religion.  As the regulations do not specify that only certain activities qualify as performance of the religious vocation, the AAO agrees with Counsel's interpretation that under the regulations ''there is no such thing as a part-time nun." ... Accordingly, although her role as chaplain was only a part-time position, the AAO finds that the petitioner has established that the beneficiary has the requisite two years of continuous, qualifying work experience immediately preceding the filing of the petition." - Matter of X-, Sept. 25, 2012.  [Hats off to Alex G. Isbell!]