Religious Worker Visa

The UK offers several Religious Worker Visa for overseas workers. These visa routes aim to bring employees on a short-term or long-term basis to their UK branches. The aim of these visa routes is to simplify the process of hiring talent from outside the UK.
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What is the UK Religious Worker Visa?

The Religious Worker Visa is a type of Religious Worker Visa that allows you to come to the UK for specific religious work. The religious work you can undertake on such a visa includes preaching, non-pastoral activities, or religious work as a part of a religious order.

The maximum duration of the Religious Worker Visa is 2 years. You can also apply for your dependents to join you in the UK on this visa.

You must meet several requirements to be eligible for this visa category. The Religious Worker Visa solicitors at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law firm can help you understand and meet these requirements. Our Religious Worker Visa solicitors also ensure that you submit your visa application with no errors or omissions.

Eligibility Requirements

You must meet several requirements to be eligible for the Religious Worker Visa. These include the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must have a confirmed job offer to work as a religious worker in the UK
  • Your employer must be a licensed sponsor and should have provided you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • You must meet the financial requirements for the visa
  • You must not have received a visa as a Religious Worker or a Charity Worker in the 12 months before your visa application
  • You must prove that you don’t intend to undertake any job other than the one listed on your CoS

You may need to satisfy other requirements as well, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. It is best to consult an immigration lawyer to fully understand these requirements. Our Religious Worker Visa solicitors can advise you on how best to fulfil each criterion before you apply for the visa.

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What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

A CoS is a digital document or reference number provided by your UK sponsor. Only a licensed sponsor can issue a CoS to an overseas employee.

The CoS issued by your sponsor must contain the following details:

  • Your name and identification details
  • Details of the role or job you intend to undertake in the UK. These must include the precise occupation code for the role as well as the annual salary you will be paid.
  • Duration of the job you are going to do, including start date and end date. The end date listed on your CoS, plus 14 days, will be deemed as the deadline for your visa if this date arrives before two years.

A CoS is valid for 3 months unless the issuing sponsor or the Home Office cancels it. This is why you are required to apply for your visa within 3 months of being issued the CoS. If you submit a visa application with a CoS that is more than 3 months old, the Home Office will almost certainly reject it.

Your UK sponsor needs to list the right details on your CoS. The Religious Worker Visa solicitors at our law firm can advise you and your sponsor on the best way to approach a CoS for a Religious Worker job. You can consult an immigration lawyer at Adam Bernard’s to get specific guidance.

Financial Requirements

There is only one notable financial requirement you must meet to be eligible for the Religious Worker Visa.

You must have cash funds of at least £1,270. You must have held this amount for at least 28 consecutive days in the 31 days immediately preceding your visa application.

The availability of these cash funds is to ascertain that you have the financial means to support yourself once you arrive in the UK. It is also based on the understanding that you will only need cash funds for the first month as you will start receiving your salary by the end of the month.

You may seek an exemption from this requirement if you meet specific criteria. If you have already been in the UK for at least 12 months on a valid visa, you don’t have to satisfy the financial requirement. You are also exempt if your UK sponsor agrees to cover your costs for your first month in the UK. In this case, the employer will need to prove the availability of cash funds.

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Applying for Dependents

If you are granted a Religious Worker Visa, you are allowed to apply for your dependents to join you in the UK. The dependents include a spouse or partner who is dependent on you and children under the age of 18 who depend on you.

You will need to produce a valid proof of relationship and dependence when applying for your dependents. In the case of a spouse or partner, you must show that you have a valid marriage or partnership certificate, or that you have been living together for at least 2 years.

If you have dependent children aged 16 or over, you must demonstrate that the child is not married or in a civil partnership, is financially dependent on you, lives with you, and has no children.

You will need to provide several documents to meet the requirements for dependent visas. A reliable immigration lawyer at our law firm can help you with this. With the help of our Religious Worker Visa solicitors, you can rest assured that you know and fulfil all the visa requirements.

Get in touch with our expert Religious Worker Visa Solicitors today.

Visa Fees and Duration

The basic application fee for a Religious Worker Visa is £259. This amount must be paid for each applicant if you are being joined by any dependents on this visa.

In addition to the basic fee, you must also pay an annual healthcare surcharge. The surcharge amount is £624 per year. If your supporting documents are not in English or Welsh, you will also need to pay a small fee to have these professionally translated before submitting them.

The Home Office takes around 3 weeks to process your visa application if you are applying from outside the UK. For applications submitted from inside the UK, the processing time is 8 weeks.

Once you are granted a visa, its duration is one of the following:

  • Up to a maximum of 24 months
  • Up to the ending date listed on your CoS, plus 28 days, as long as the total doesn’t exceed the maximum duration of 24 months

If you want to know the total fees you must pay for your Religious Worker Visa application, you can consult an immigration lawyer at our law firm. Our experienced Religious Worker Visa solicitors can help you chart up an accurate estimate of the expected fees.

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Applying for the Visa

You must submit an online application for the Religious Worker Visa. A part of the visa application is to have your identification details, also known as biometric details, collected.

There are two ways you can submit your biometric details, depending on your home country. You can either use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to submit your details. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment with the nearest visa application centre and submit your biometric information on the spot.

You can apply up to 3 months before the starting date of your job. It is best to apply for the visa as early as possible. This lets you respond to any delays or requests from the Home Office. You can consult an immigration lawyer at Adam Bernard’s to get professional help for a speedy visa application.


Documents Required for Religious Worker Visa Application

You must submit many documents when submitting your visa application. These include the following:

  • A valid passport or travel document. This document must note your name, nationality, and other identification details.
  • A valid CoS reference number. As noted above, this is provided by your UK sponsor. The reference number must not have been issued any more than 3 months before your application.
  • Evidence that you fulfil the financial requirements. You can provide your bank statements to confirm that you have the cash funds required for the visa. You don’t need this if your employer has agreed to shoulder the financial obligations.
  • A valid proof of relationship. This applies only if you are applying to have your dependents join you in the UK.
  • A tuberculosis test certificate. You need the certificate if your home country is on this list by the Home Office.

You can consult our Religious Worker Visa solicitors to get help on how to bring together these supporting documents for your visa application.