Sections

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa.

If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa if:

  • you want to do religious work - eg preaching or working in a religious order
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Obtaining Sponsorship

You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work.  The work you do in the UK must relate to your sponsor organisation’s work.

You’ll be given a visa to live and work in the UK for up to 24 months, or up to 28 days more than the time on your certificate of sponsorship. You may be sponsored for a shorter period. You can enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date of your job.

Eligibility

You must have both of the following:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor
  • £945 - to prove you can support yourself (you must have had it in your bank account for 90 days before you apply)

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

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 will give you the certificate of sponsorship.  Your sponsor must also give you the information they used on your certificate about your job, eg your working hours.  Your sponsor must be recognised by the UK government to issue certificates of sponsorship.  You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.

Multiple entry

Your sponsor can give you a multiple entry certificate of sponsorship so you can leave and return to the UK.

Documents you must provide when making the application

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport size colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 continuously for 90 days before you apply - this is to prove you can support yourself and you must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
  • your tuberculosis (TB) test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

Applying for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa.

If you’re applying outside the UK then you must apply online for this visa. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

If you’re in the UK then you can only extend your existing Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa.  You cannot switch into this category.

When you apply to extend your Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa.  You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay.  You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility for extension

You must continue to meet the eligibility rules. You must apply again if you want to change your job within the same organisation or move to a new organisation.

You can apply to take your stay in the UK up to a maximum of 24 months, or the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days - whichever is shorter.

Family members/Dependants

Your family members (‘dependants’) must apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

A dependant is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child aged under 18 years old
  • your child aged 18 or older if they’re already in the UK as dependants

Savings to show that you can maintain your dependants

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.  Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.  You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

If your dependants are applying from outside the UK then your family members must apply online. They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.

If your dependants applying in the UK then they can apply online or by post.  It is advisable to send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours but they can apply at a later date by post or in person at a premium service centre.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in the same sector at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week outside the hours of your main job
  • do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week outside the hours of your main job
  • bring family members with you

You can’t :

  • get public funds.