Minister of Religion visas

As a Minister of Religion, you can apply for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) for up to four years or an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) which is a permanent visa.

You must be nominated by a Religious Organisation. The Migration Regulations 1994 state that to qualify as a Religious Organisation:

  • the activities reflect that it is a body instituted for the promotion of a religious object
  • the beliefs and practices of the members of which constitute a religion due to those members:
    • believing in a supernatural being, thing or principle
    • accepting the canons of conduct that give effect to that belief, but that do not offend against the ordinary laws
  • meet the requirements of section 50-50 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
  • their income must be exempt from income tax under section 50-1 of that Act.

Religious organisations can only nominate a person in the skill level 1 occupation of Minister of religion (ANZSCO 272211). The person is required to have a leadership role within the organisation and must have been ‘ordained’ or have ‘professed to a religious life’ as a minister of religion (or equivalent accreditation process within the faith tradition).

They must have minimum qualifications equivalent to a relevant Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) bachelor degree or undertaken at least five years of relevant structured training or instruction. Experience does not meet this criterion.

A TSS visa must meet English language requirements in place for the Short-term stream of the TSS visa unless they are awarded a concession on the basis that they are working in a cloistered or monastic environment an ENS visa can be considered to have sufficient English to perform the nominated occupation if they demonstrate an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall test score of at least 5.0 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components, or equivalent.

There is no age requirement for the TSS visa.

For the ENS visa the person must be no more than 60 years of age at time of visa application.

Salary requirements are in place for the TSS visa program, subject to the concession that, non-monetary benefits can be included when calculating the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) and assessing whether salary arrangements will meet Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements.

The Religious Organisation must make an application to the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) for a labour agreement before applying for a Religious Worker applying for the TSS or ENS visa.

If you are wanting to apply for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) or an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186), contact our team of Registered Migration Agents who can assist you with your visa application.

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