thinley paljor wrote:
Concerning the religious visa...I'll be looking into this further with an immigration lawyer...(i was hoping to find a Buddhist-friendly immigration lawyer on this site) but i think you have to be bringing some very specialized input to be accepted on the religious visa eg. be a Tibetan Lama etc.. otherwise the authorities are very wary of you. I know one highly competent translator who was hardly able to get the religious visa so i don't think they give it easily at all, probably not just for doing extensive retreat.
For example, R1 religious visa is no good as i won't
be fulfilling a remunerated religious function i.e. "to perform duties in a religious organization".
Hi there. I know at Pema Osel Ling the Drupta folks are often doing prayers and pujas upon request / donation from the extended sangha-- so it is actually completely truthful to say you will be "performing duties in a religious organization". I also believe that actual physical labor is often involved improving the center... regardless of the details I am sure that if you spoke to Lama Tharchin he would assure you that you'd be doing plenty of "performing duties in a religious organization" over the course of three years. Anyway, I will defer to the immigration lawyers but I thought I should add that 2cents.