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Minister of religion and religious assistant visas for Australia

minister of religion religious assistant visa migration australia immigration law visas

Australian government announces new options for Religious Organisations.

Religious organisations that wish to sponsor religious workers to Australia can do so if they have a Labour Agreement which is registered and approved.

The religious organisation is required to provide evidence of Australian business registration and charitable status. The sponsor must also meet salary requirements unless a concession is awarded owing to a vow of poverty. 

The religious institution will still be required to demonstrate that the nominated position cannot be filled by an Australian worker.

People nominated for either visa will still be required to prove they have the relevant qualifications and skills. 

Religious organisations can nominate overseas workers in the following occupations:

  • Skill level 1 occupation of Minister of Religion as defined by Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO 272211). This person must have a senior leadership role in your organisation, or
  • the skill level 4 occupation of Religious Assistant (ANZSCO 451816).

The Department will consider the size of your organisation and workforce if you wish to nominate more than one overseas person.

The skills required for a Minister of Religion are commensurate with a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances, relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Up until recently the Minister of Religion was required to work in the most senior position within the organisation, but now they can work in any position if it is a senior position within the organisation.

The skills required for a Religious Assistant are commensurate with a New Zealand register Level 2 or 3 qualification or Australian qualification certificate II or III. At least one year of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualifications. In some instances, relevant experience may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

The level of experience will be outlined in the conditions that are included in the Labour Agreement for the particular religious organisation.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman in his press release said, “These new measures will help address Australia’s religious-worker skills shortage. Religious freedom is a fundamental tenet of our nation and religious institutions should be supported in their important work.”

This development will allow religious organisations to meet the increasing religious workers skills shortages. The Minister should be congratulated.

At Visa Australia, we have assisted numerous religious organisations and religious workers. It is important to get expert advice when negotiating the Labour Agreement as it will define the type and duration of the visas that you can sponsor the religious workers for.

Contact our team of Registered Migration Agents today to discuss your visa application today.


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