Religious Worker Visa

The Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa is designed for individuals seeking to assist UK religious institutions through religious duties, including work within a religious order or non-pastoral tasks, for a maximum duration of 2 years.

  • The visa does not lead to settlement, but allows for dependents under 18 to accompany the Religious Worker.
  • Ministers of Religion leading congregations in performing religious rites and preaching should apply for a Minister of Religion (T2) Visa.

To qualify for this visa, you must:


  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Have a job offer as a religious worker from a sponsor with a valid Temporary Work – Religious Worker sponsor license.
  • Demonstrate genuine intent and ability to undertake the sponsored role exclusively.
  • Meet financial requirements.
  • Not have held permission as a Religious Worker or Charity Worker in the past 12 months.
  • Satisfy general grounds for refusal and provide a valid TB certificate if required.

To qualify for a Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa, you need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an ‘A-rated’ licensed sponsor approved by the Home Office for the Religious Worker route. The CoS must meet specific criteria:

  1. Sponsor Authorization: Your sponsor must be authorized by the Home Office to sponsor roles under the Religious Worker route.
  2. Role Confirmation: The CoS should confirm that your intended role aligns with religious worker requirements, and if your sponsor is a religious order, whether you are a member of that order.
  3. Validity Period: The CoS start date must be within 3 months before your application date and not used in previous successful or unsuccessful applications. It remains valid for 3 months from the assignment date. Applying after this validity period may lead to rejection.
  4. Non-Cancellation: The CoS should not have been withdrawn or canceled since its assignment.


These requirements ensure that your sponsorship is legitimate and meets the necessary standards for the Religious Worker Visa application

The Religious Worker Visa is open to individuals who are qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of a Religious Worker.


As a Religious Worker, your duties should primarily involve conducting religious activities within, or under the guidance of, your sponsor’s organization to assist in the operations of the religious institution.


Your responsibilities should not encompass tasks typically associated with a Minister of Religion. This means you should not be leading congregations in religious ceremonies or delivering sermons on the fundamental beliefs of the faith.


Furthermore, you must be compensated and provided with conditions of employment that are at least equivalent to those received by settled workers in similar roles. Your remuneration should adhere to, or be exempt from, the National Minimum Wage regulations.

To be eligible for the Religious Worker Visa in the UK, unless you’ve already been residing in the country with a valid visa for a minimum of 12 months, or your sponsor commits to covering your expenses during your initial month in the UK (as confirmed on your Certificate of Sponsorship), you’ll need to demonstrate financial capability. Specifically, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account, maintained for a minimum of 28 consecutive days, with the period ending no more than 31 days prior to the date of your Religious Worker Visa application.

The Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa has no English language requirement.

If approved, you can stay for up to 24 months or the duration specified on your CoS plus 14 days before and after, whichever is shorter.

If your application for a Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa is approved, you can work in the sponsored role. You’re allowed supplementary employment (up to 20 hours per week) in the same sector or on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list. Studying is permitted, possibly requiring an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate for certain courses. You cannot access public funds.

When applying to extend your stay in the Religious Worker route, your new period of leave will be determined by either the time remaining since your last permission as a Religious Worker, up to a maximum of 24 months, or the duration specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus an additional 14 days, whichever is shorter.


It’s important to note that sponsorship under the Religious Worker route is limited to a maximum period of 24 months.

 To apply for a Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa, you must submit your application from outside the UK. If you’ve been on this visa or the Charity Worker route in the past 12 months, you need to prove you haven’t been in the UK during that time.


You might need to provide a tuberculosis certificate, depending on requirements.


The application fee is £244, but it’s reduced by £55 automatically if you’re from certain countries, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, and others.


Processing times for most Temporary Work – Religious Worker Visa applications are typically within 3 weeks. Some visa application centers offer a priority service for faster decisions.


For Religious Workers extending their stay, decisions are usually made within 8 weeks. You can opt for faster processing, with decisions within 5 days using the Priority Service, or by the end of the next working day with the Super Priority Service.

Dependent partners and children under 18 can accompany or join you.

If refused, options include reapplication, Administrative Review, or Judicial Review.

Our experienced team provides tailored support to religious workers, ensuring alignment with immigration goals and career progression. We offer clear, reliable advice in a friendly and professional manner.

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