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Religious Worker


You can apply for a Tier 5 (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) and Switzerland
  • • you meet the other eligibility requirements


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.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

How long you can stay

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.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • • study - for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate
  • • 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.