What is a Religious Worker Work Visa?

The Religious Worker Work Visa is for people who are offered a job to do religious work in New Zealand by a recognised religious group. If you work in this role for three years in a row, you might be able to stay in New Zealand permanently.

Visa Charges (NZ Immigration)

Starts from NZD $700

Processing Time

Around 9 weeks for 80% of applications

Length of Stay

Up to 2 years

Things to Note

  • Your partner and kids can’t be part of your visa, but they can apply separately based on their relationship with you.
  • Your kids can get visas if you earn at least NZ$43,322.76 yearly or if your religious group sponsoring you also sponsors them.

Benefits of the Religious Worker Work Visa

  • Work in New Zealand: Be involved in religious work throughout New Zealand.
  • Chance to Study: Study for up to 3 months within any 12 months.
  • Pathway to Residency: You get a chance to apply for residency after working for three years under this visa.

Note: The cost and availability of New Zealand visas can change because of decisions made by the New Zealand Immigration authorities.

Reach out to us today, to find out how we can assist you in reaching your immigration goals.

Application Requirements

Your Religious Worker Work Visa application needs the documents listed below.

Identity proof

Valid proof of Identity is required to be submitted in the application.

Health Check

Make sure you meet health requirements.

Good Character

Show proof of good character.

Genuine Intentions

You must genuinely fulfil the conditions required by the visa.

Religious Training and Experience

Need 2 years of religious training and experience.


Must be sponsored by an approved religious organisation.

Religious Work

You should have a job offer for religious work from your sponsoring organisation.

Application Process

The application process for the Religious Worker Work Visa is different for each country. Below are instructions on how you can apply for the visa from your country of origin.

Steps and Fees

Just fill in your country information on the website here to see how to apply, how long it takes, and what it costs.

How to Submit

After you enter your country info on the site linked above, you’ll get details on how to submit, pay, and where to send your application.

Ready to Begin Your Kiwi Journey?

Book My Free Consultation


Years of Expertise


Visa Success Rate

Flat Fee

& Transparent Pricing

Conditions for the Visa

There are certain conditions that you would need to follow as a holder of the Religious Worker Work Visa in New Zealand.

Entry Permission

When you get to New Zealand, fill out a New Zealand Traveller Declaration to get permission to enter.


A religious organisation registered as a charity must sponsor you to do religious work in New Zealand.


You can only do the religious work listed in your job contract and at the place specified.


You can have this visa for up to 2 years, and you might be able to extend it later.


You can study for up to 3 months every year.


You can come and go from New Zealand as many times as you want while your visa is valid.

Visa Expiry

Make sure you leave New Zealand before your visa expires.

Important Rules:

  1. You can apply for a longer stay with another Religious Workers visa, which can last up to 4 years. After 3 years of religious work in New Zealand, you can also apply for a Religious Worker Residence from Work visa.
  2. Remember, you may only be allowed into New Zealand if you meet character requirements, your situation has changed, or if you completely follow entry procedures like providing biometric info when asked.

Religious Worker Work Visa Process at ICL

At ICL Immigration, we understand that navigating the Religious Worker Work Visa can be hard. This is why we help you with our tried and tested step-by-step method in helping you get a Religious Worker Work Visa successfully.

Step 1: Initial Consultation and Eligibility Check

We check if you are eligible, review your job offer, and ensure you meet the necessary criteria, including health, character, and experience requirements.

Step 2: Gathering Documents

We assist in gathering and organising all needed documents, like IDs, health and character certifications, and proof of your religious training and job offer.

Step 3: Submitting Your Application

We help you fill out the application correctly and manage the payment of the necessary fees as per Immigration New Zealand’s rules.

Step 4: Keeping You Posted

We keep an eye on your application, updating you on its progress and handling any communication with immigration officials, sorting out questions and adding more info when required.

Step 5: After Approval

Once your visa’s approved, we’ll let you know right away and help you get set for your journey to New Zealand, including making sure you meet the entry rules.

Step 6: After You Arrive

When you land, we’re still here to help, making sure you’re all good as you start your religious work and making sure you follow your visa rules.


years of experience


satisfied clients


visa approval rate

Flat Fee


Client Testimonials


Success Stories


What qualifications are needed to apply for a Religious Worker Work Visa?

You must have at least 2 years of religious training or work experience and an offer of employment from a registered New Zealand religious organization.

How long can I stay in New Zealand with this visa?

The visa allows you to stay for up to 2 years, and after three years, you can apply for subsequent visas or residency under the Religious Worker Residence from Work visa.

Can my family accompany me to New Zealand?

While you cannot include partners or dependent children in your visa application, they can apply for their visas based on their relationship with you, provided certain conditions are met.

What are the costs involved in applying for this visa?

The application starts from NZD 700, but additional costs may include health checks, police clearances, and possible legal fees.

What are the main reasons a Religious Worker Work Visa application might be declined?

Common reasons include incomplete applications, failure to meet health and character requirements, or insufficient evidence of genuine religious work and intentions.

Can I study while on a Religious Worker Work Visa?

Yes, you can study for up to three months in any 12 months.

What happens if my job with the sponsoring organization ends?

If your employment ends, you must notify Immigration New Zealand, as this may affect your visa status. You may need to find another eligible sponsor or apply for a different type of visa.

Can I travel outside New Zealand and return on this visa?

Yes, you can travel in and out of New Zealand while awaiting the validity of your visa. If you plan to travel frequently, ensure your visa is a multiple-entry visa.

How do I prove my intent to fulfil the conditions of the visa?

You should provide evidence of your religious training, previous religious work, and a detailed description of your proposed activities in New Zealand.

What happens after I complete three years of work on a Religious Worker Work Visa?

After three years, you may be eligible to apply for a Religious Worker Residence from Work visa, which can lead to permanent residency in New Zealand.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

Connect with Us

Free Consultation Booking Form

Please note: We are committed to responding to your query as quickly as possible. Please provide complete and accurate information about your situation and needs. We appreciate your help.