The Religious Worker visa (Temporary Work) is a type of visa introduced by the UK government to allow non-UK resident workers to come to the UK for a limited time period to work in the religious sector. This visa enables religious workers to gain valuable work experience in the UK and provides a way for them to contribute their skills and knowledge to the UK religious community.

The Religious Worker visa is available to individuals who are sponsored by a licensed UK religious organization. This may be an organization such as a church, mosque, or synagogue that requires the services of a religious worker.

This visa allows workers to stay in the UK for up to 24 months and can be extended for a further 24 months. Applicants for the Religious Worker visa must provide evidence of their employment contract, and proof of their accommodation arrangements in the UK, and may be required to provide other documentation relating to their work experience and qualifications.

It should be noted that the Religious Worker visa is a temporary visa and does not provide a route to permanent settlement in the UK.

This visa has replaced the T5 (Temporary Worker) Religious Worker visa.

Requirements for Religious Worker visa

To be eligible to apply for a Religious Worker visa, you must:

  • have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • have enough money to support yourself in the UK - you'll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you're exempt)
  • be 18 or over when you apply

You cannot get this visa if you were given a Religious Worker or Charity Worker visa in the last year unless you can prove you were outside the UK for the whole of that time.

You must meet all other requirements depending on your circumstances.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you'll do and your personal details. It's not an actual certificate or paper document. Your sponsor must also give you the information they used on your certificate about your job, for example, your working hours.

Your sponsor must be recognised by the UK government to issue certificates of sponsorship. Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you.

Supporting documents

When you apply you'll need to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this
  • a valid passport or other documents that shows your identity and nationality
  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example, bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they're applying with you
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you're from a country where you have to take the test

This is a general list of documents. You must provide all other supporting documents depending on your circumstances.

Your partner and children

Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your 'dependants' if they're eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

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