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Religious Worker Visa UK for Nigerians

If you are a Nigerian interested in working in the UK temporarily in a religious role, you may qualify for a Religious Worker Visa. This visa temporarily enables people to work in the UK in the religious field.

Our lawyers can provide guidance and support if you need help with your application. Call us on +23413438882 or our UK office on +44 (0) 3316300929 for immediate assistance. We’re here to help you in person or via the phone.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Work Visa

    Our team of immigration lawyers can provide the right support to ensure you secure a work visa for yourself or your employees.


    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    By working with IAS for your or your employee’s work visa, you make sure that you have an expert eye and hands on your case to boost your chances of success.

    We ensure you are applying for the most suitable work visa to boost your chances of success.

    We provide advice on the appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    You get a personalised approach from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer

    You work with you and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

    Services we Provide

    Want to Practice your Religious Work in the UK? 

    We have assisted many Nigerians in obtaining a Religious Worker Visa to the UK. Our dedicated team will ensure that your visa application meets the highest standards, fulfilling all the requirements set by the Home Office. With us by your side, you can rest assured that your visa application will be successful.

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    What is a Religious Worker Visa?

    The Religious Worker Visa, formerly the Tier 5 Religious Worker Visa, is for temporary workers who want to work in the religious sector, such as those who want to work in a non-pastoral role or join religious orders or communities.

    This visa category is ideal for Nigerians who are religious workers and wish to contribute their skills, expertise, and dedication to the religious sector in the UK.

    This visa category allows you to bring your spouse and children along, ensuring that you can embark on this journey together as a family.

    The Religious Worker Visa allows you to stay in the UK for an initial 2 years, after which you can extend it for another 2 years.

    To be eligible for the Religious Worker Visa, you must meet certain financial and English language requirements, which are necessary for the application process.

    These requirements ensure that you have the means to support yourself and your family while in the UK and possess the language proficiency to communicate within the religious community and wider society.

    Eligibility Requirements for the Religious Worker Visa

    To qualify for a Religious Worker Visa in the UK, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
    • Occupation: You must hold a position within a religious organisation or institution in the UK, performing religious duties such as working in religious orders or communities.
    • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed religious organisation or institution in the UK. The CoS serves as proof of sponsorship.
    • Qualifications and Experience: While there are no specific educational requirements to qualify as a religious worker, you must possess the necessary qualifications, skills, or experience relevant to your religious role. Your experience could include theological training, religious studies, or practical experience in your religious work.
    • Proof of English Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate your proficiency in the English language by providing evidence of passing an approved English language test or holding a qualifying English-speaking nationality.
    • Proof of sufficient Funds: You must have enough funds to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

    Application Process for the Religious Worker Visa

    The application process involves the following steps:

    • Determine Eligibility: Before starting your application, ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria for Religious Worker Visa.
    • Complete Online Application: Visit the official UK government website and complete the online application form. Provide accurate information and double-check for any errors before submitting the form.
    • Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documents to support your visa application. Ensure that all documents are up-to-date and in the required format.
    • Pay the Application Fee: You must pay the application fee to proceed. The application fee is £259 for each person, regardless of whether you are applying from within or outside the UK. This fee applies to both the initial and subsequent applications, such as the visa extension.
    • Book Biometric Appointment: After submitting your online application and paying the visa application fee, you will need to schedule an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Nigeria to provide your biometric information.
    • Attend the Biometric Appointment: On the scheduled date and time, visit the VAC to complete the biometric enrolment process. Bring your appointment confirmation, passport, and any supporting documents required.
    • Submit Supporting Documents: Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to submit additional supporting documents at the VAC or send them by mail to the appropriate visa processing centre.
    • Wait for a Decision: After submitting your application and biometric information, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will process your application. Processing time for applications may vary. It usually takes three weeks or more to process. During this time, regularly check your email for any communication from the UKVI.
    • Collect Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): If your visa application is successful, you will get a decision letter and a 30-day stamp in your passport, allowing you to enter the UK.

    Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the intricate process of obtaining a Religious Worker Visa.

    Document Checklist for the Religious Worker Visa

    To apply for a Religious Worker Visa, you must provide the following documents:

    • Valid passport or travel document: This document proves your identity and nationality.
    • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number: This document is provided by your sponsoring organisation and confirms that they have sponsored your Religious Worker Visa application. The organisation must assess your eligibility for sponsorship and issue a valid certificate of sponsorship for confirmation.
    • Proof of English language proficiency: This demonstrates your ability to communicate in English, typically through an approved English language test.
    • Proof of funds: This shows that you have sufficient funds to support yourself financially during your stay in the UK unless your sponsorship certificate includes provisions for financial support.
    • Tuberculosis test results: This document verifies that you are free from active tuberculosis. Nigeria is on the list of countries for tuberculosis tests.
    • Proof of relationship with partner and children (if applicable): This document provides evidence of your relationship with your partner and children. This document is required if you plan on taking them with you.
    • Criminal record certificate: This document confirms that you have no criminal convictions or provides details of any previous criminal history.
    • Relevant academic qualifications and work experience: These documents validate your educational background and work experience, demonstrating your suitability for Religious Worker Visa and ability to perform the required duties.

    We offer a document-checking service. To ensure that your documents are valid and up-to-date, call us on +23413438882 or our UK office on +44 (0) 3316300929 to assist you.

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    Conditions of Stay on a Temporary Work–Religious Worker Visa

    As a holder of a Religious Worker Visa, you are permitted to engage in activities related to religious work, conducting religious ceremonies, and participating in religious communities.

    You will be able to engage in various activities. These include pursuing studies, taking up a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week, and working in a role listed on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List for up to 20 hours per week. You also have the right to bring your spouse and children as dependents.

    However, as a temporary worker, you cannot access public funds, get a job outside your religious role, or switch to another visa category within the UK at the same time.

    Bringing Family Members on the Religious Worker Visa

    Your family members, including spouses and children under the age of 18, can accompany you to the UK. However, they must apply for their dependent visas and meet specific requirements.

    These requirements include proof of a relationship with you, financial capability, and evidence of suitable accommodation for the family in the UK.


    A dependant partner or child refers to any of the following relationships:

    • Your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
    • Your child who is under the age of 18 years old, including those born in the UK during your stay
    • Your child who is over the age of 18 years old and currently dependent on you in the UK

    You will be required to provide evidence of your relationship during the application process.

    Financial Support

    Both you and your partner or children need to have a specific amount of money to support yourselves while in the UK. The required amounts are £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.

    We specialize in Religious Worker Visa applications for Nigerians, making your dream a reality. Contact us Today!

    What are the Financial Requirements for the Religious Worker Visa?

    To meet the financial requirement for the Religious Worker visa, you must have a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account. The required sum of £1,270 must be accessible in your bank account for 28 consecutive days.

    Below are further details regarding this requirement:

    • Ensure the amount remains in your account until you submit your visa application.
    • Provide proof of these funds as part of your visa application process unless you meet one of the following exceptions:
    • If you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months, you may not be required to show proof of funds.
    • If your employer is willing to cover your living costs during your initial month in the UK, up to £1,270, you may also be exempt from demonstrating personal funds.

    Note that the financial requirement applies to you and your partner and child(ren) accompanying you to the UK. Each person must prove their ability to support themselves during their stay.

    English Language Requirement for a Religious Worker Visa

    To be eligible for the Religious Worker Visa, you have to prove that you are proficient in English. You can demonstrate your English language proficiency in either of the following ways:

    • Provide evidence of your English language skills through an approved English language test like IELTS
    • Possess a qualification recognised as equivalent to a UK degree taught in English.

    Exemptions from the English language requirement may apply in certain situations, such as if you’re a national of a majority English-speaking country or have completed a degree-level course taught in English.

    Fortunately, as a Nigerian, you can easily prove this and be exempted from the language requirements.

    Resident Labour Market Test for the Religious Worker Visa

    The Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) is a requirement for sponsors in the UK when recruiting for certain positions, including within this visa category.

    Its purpose is to ensure that employers try to hire from the domestic labour market before considering non-EEA migrants. The RLMT may be waived or modified for the religious worker visa, depending on the applicant’s situation.

    Religious Worker Visa vs Minister of Religion Visa

    The main difference between both is that the Religious Worker Visa is for religious workers who support religious organisations but do not lead congregations or perform ministerial duties.

    While the Minister of Religion Visa is for religious leaders like ministers, priests, or pastors who have the authority to lead congregations, perform religious ceremonies, and carry out ministerial duties.

    Fulfill your calling to the United Kingdom with our expert guidance on the Religious Worker Visa application!

    Settlement and Switching into the Religious Worker Visa

    Settling in the UK after Arriving with a Religious Worker Visa

    It is not possible to apply for settlement with a Religious Worker visa. The Religious Worker visa is a temporary worker visa with a maximum duration of two years.

    If you intend to remain in the UK permanently, you have to explore other visa options. Here are some visas that may lead to settlement:

    • Skilled Worker visa: This visa is suitable for individuals with a job offer in the UK that meets the requirements for the Skilled Worker visa. Eligibility criteria include having a job offer from a licensed sponsor and meeting the minimum salary range.
    • Family visa: If you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or a settled person in the UK, you may qualify for a Family visa. This visa requires providing evidence of your relationship and undergoing a criminal record check.
    • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): Indefinite Leave to Remain is a visa category for individuals who have resided continuously in the UK for five years. To be eligible, you must hold a valid visa, pass a criminal record check, and meet the English language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements.

    If you need further assistance to ensure that you meet the requirement for settlement, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice. Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 today.

    Switching To a Religious Worker Visa

    You cannot switch to the Religious Worker Visa if you’re already in the UK. You may be able to switch to the Minister of Religion Visa instead of the Religion Worker Visa. You would need to apply for a visa from outside the UK, meet the eligibility criteria, and provide the required supporting documents.

    Holding British passport

    How Can IAS Help?

    It can be challenging to apply for a Religious Worker Visa from Nigeria. This is because it is competitive and even the slightest error could lead to your application being rejected. The best way to overcome this challenge is to work with a qualified immigration lawyer.

    Our immigration lawyers have years of expertise practising UK immigration law and are fully aware of the requirements for a successful application. Your lawyer will completely manage your application and ensure you stand the best chance of success.

    Call us today on +44 (0) 3316300929 to speak with our immigration lawyers to assist you.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our Lagos office, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    People who qualify as religious workers are religious workers in a non-pastoral role. You are not qualified for a religious worker visa if your position requires essential duties like overseeing a congregation. As a minister of a religious group, you can apply for a minister of religion visa catering to leading roles.

    If your application is refused, you can appeal the decision or reapply, depending on the circumstances. With IAS’ expert services, you can avoid visa refusal.

    If you want to extend your visa, you will need to apply for it before the existing one’s validity expires. You must continue to meet all of the requirements to be able to apply for an extension.

    The maximum duration of the visa extension is 24 months or the time specified on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

    Note that the total stay on a Religious Worker Visa cannot exceed six years. This extension doesn’t affect your partner’s or your child’s current visa. They will have to apply for an extension of their visa too.

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