This visa is a great pathway to residence for people who are experienced or trained in religious work. To be granted an initial work visa, an individual will need to have an offer of religious work from a religious organisation as well as their sponsorship. If their offer of work and sponsorship continues, the applicant can apply for a second work visa, then after 3 years in New Zealand, for a resident visa.
This visa allows to:
- Do religious work in New Zealand.
- Stay in New Zealand for a period of 2 years.
- Travel in and out of New Zealand for 2 years.
- Study for up to 3 months in any 12-month period.
Visa eligibility conditions
- Entry permission: An individual must apply for entry permission when arrive in New Zealand.
- Sponsorship: The applicant must have an Acceptable Sponsor or must be sponsored by a religious organisation that’s:
- Registered as a charity
- Main purpose is to advance religion.
- Work: The applicant can only do the specific religious work, for the specific sponsoring religious organisation, in the specific location detailed in the employment agreement.
- Duration: With this visa an individual can stay in New Zealand for a period of 2 years.
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.
First of all the applicant has to meet the following minimum requirements:
- Must be in good health
- Must be of good character
- Must have good English language capabilities
- Must be 55 years old or less
- Must provide a proof of identity
- Paid or unpaid work that’s in one or more of the following activities:
- Teaching religious scripture or philosophy
- Leading religious ceremonies, worship or prayer
- Ordaining new religious leaders, initiating new members into a religious community, carrying out religious ceremonies
- Providing spiritual guidance and care.
Acceptable sponsors: A sponsor can be any one of the following:
- An individual New Zealand citizen
- An individual New Zealand residence class visa holder
- An organisation registered in New Zealand as a company, incorporated society or charitable trust
- A government agency, including agents and entities like tertiary institutions and school boards of trustees.
Organisations: For considering sponsoring organisation an acceptable sponsor, it must:
- Be registered in New Zealand as a company, incorporated society or charitable trust
- Show a clear link between its activities and the reason the sponsored person is coming to New Zealand
- Not be sponsoring for a financial reward or fee
- Never have been convicted of an offence under immigration law
- Not have any listed directors, trustees or management who have been convicted of an offence under immigration law
- Not have an outstanding debt to the Crown or other third parties because of another sponsorship arrangement
- Not have previously breached sponsorship obligations
- Not be in receivership or liquidation
- Authorize a contact person to represent them who will be responsible for the sponsorship undertakings.
The applicant can’t include a partner or dependent children in the application, but they can apply for visas based on their relationship to the principal applicant.
Dependent children will only be eligible for visas, if the applicant’s earning will be at least NZ $36,850.44 a year, or the religious organisation sponsoring agrees to sponsor the children too.