New changes to the Minister Of Religion Labour Agreement for religious assistants

The Department of Home Affairs announced important changes to Minister of Religion Labour Agreement (MORLA). The changes facilitate sponsorship of the additional occupation of Religious Assistant (ANZSCO 451816). This broadens the MORLA to sponsorship options outside the current occupation of Minister of Religion.

A major benefit of the new visa is that non-monetary benefits can be counted when assessing whether the annual earnings for the equivalent Australian worker and the nominee are at least at the level of TSMIT.

Currently for Ministers of Religion, the nominee must:

  • have been ‘ordained’ or have ‘professed to a religious life’ as a Minister of Religion (or under an equivalent accreditation process within a religion); and
  • possess the minimum qualifications equivalent to a relevant Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) bachelor’s degree, or
  • have undertaken at least five years of relevant structured training or instruction. Experience does not substitute for this requirement.

For Religious Assistants, the nominee must:

  • possess the relevant qualifications equivalent to a relevant AQF Certificate II or III (ANZSCO Skill Level 4); or
  • have at least two years of relevant experience as substitute for the formal qualification listed above.

Standard Short-term Stream TSS visa requirements apply unless concession awarded on the grounds that the nominee will be operating in a monastic or other cloistered environment.

Employer Nominated Sponsored (ENS) visa applicants must demonstrate English proficiency to the level of IELTS 5 with a score of at least 4.5 in each of the four test components or equivalent unless they meet standard English exemptions available under the ENS program.

There is no age requirement for Temporary Short Stay visa and an age concession of up to 60 years for ENS visas.

ENS visa nominees can be up to 60 years old – i.e. there is an age concession.

This is great news for religious organisations and at FC Lawyers we have assisted a wide range of organisations with their Labour Agreements to enable them to sponsor these occupations.

If you would like to discuss the minister of religion labour agreement for religious assistants or have any other immigration questions, please contact our team of registered migration agents now.

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