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What is a Religious Worker visa?

A Religious Worker visa is for those who wish to do religious work on a temporary basis.

You must have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor before you can apply to work in the UK and the work you do must relate to your sponsor’s organisations work.

What is the difference between a Religious Worker visa and a Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa?

The UK has two sponsored work routes for religious workers:

  1. The Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa for those with key leading roles in their faith-based organisations or religious orders and
  2. The Temporary Religious Worker visa for those who support the activities of religious institutions in the UK.

The Minister of Religion route leads to settlement after 5 years.

The religious worker route is a temporary worker route for a maximum of 2 years and does not lead to settlement.

How long can I stay on a Religious Worker visa?

You will be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months and you can enter the UK 14 days before the start of the job.

What can I do on a Religious Worker visa?

You can study, work for the sponsor in the job described in the certificate of sponsorship, do a second job in the same sector at the same level as the main job for up to 20 hours per week do a job on a skilled worker shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week outside the work of the main job. You cannot get public funds.

If you are granted entry clearance leave to remain you can be joined or accompanied by a dependent adult and dependent children under the age of 18.

What are the requirements for a Religious Worker visa?

The applicant must show evidence of at least £1,270 held for at least 28 days prior to the date of the application.

If applying with dependants, additional funds must be shown for partners and children.

No financial evidence is required if the applicant has lived in the UK with permission under any route for 12 months or more prior to the date of the application or if their sponsor has certified on the certificate of sponsorship that if necessary they will maintain and accommodate the applicant and dependents for the first month of employment in the UK.

There is no language requirement that applies for the religious worker visa.

Do I need to earn a minimum salary for a Religious Worker visa?

There is no stipulated minimum salary or hourly wage. Instead, a certificate of sponsorship must confirm that the applicant will receive pay and conditions that are no less favourable than those given to settled workers in the same role.

How long will it take to obtain a Religious Worker visa?

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. You will get a decision within 3 weeks if you are outside the UK and 8 weeks if you are inside the UK.

Applicants who have been in the UK as a religious worker or charity worker within 12 months of the date of the application will be subject to a 12-month cooling off period before they can re-apply for entry clearance.

Can I extend my stay as a Religious Worker?

If you make a successful application to extend your stay under this route you will be granted further leave to remain for a period of either the difference between the period, you have already spent in the UK and the 24 months of the period of the role. However, 24 months is the maximum length of time you will be permitted to be sponsored as a Religious Worker route.

This route does not lead to settlement but you may be able to switch into another immigration route that can lead to settlement.

Can I switch into a Religious Worker route in-country?

Switching into this route from within the UK is not permitted. You must make an entry clearance application from overseas.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

If you have any questions about the process or would like to apply for a Religious Worker visa please contact Danielle or call on 020 7267 4133. Danielle will only charge you for the first consultation if you decide to become her client and if she can assist you.

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