A religious organisation can sponsor a religious worker to come to the UK for temporary work under the T5 Religious worker route or for longer term work under the T2 Minister of Religion visa.
Your organisation will need a sponsor licence if it wishes to employ an overseas religious worker to come to the UK.
In addition to the general sponsor licence requirements, the religious organisation must meet additional requirements including demonstrating that it has charitable status and that it is a structure for a faith-based community.
T2 – Minister of Religion
This route is for those coming to fill mainly pastoral roles in organisations, or the Ministry of Defence. It includes, but not limited to, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams etc.
Individuals applying in this category will need to meet the English Language Requirement and Financial Requirement.
You can sponsor an individual in this category for a maximum period of 6 years after which they will be eligible for settlement.
T5 – Religious Worker
This route is for those who want to come to come to the UK for a temporary period to support the activities of religious institutions in the UK.
If you wish to sponsor a religious worker you will need to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test however in some cases this is not needed.
The religious worker can stay in this category for a maximum of 2 years.