What Is The Role | Minister Of Religion
Ministers of Religion are spiritual leaders tasked with performing the duties ascribed to them by particular religions or faith traditions. They may be responsible for performing services, providing spiritual formation for members of their congregation, acting in social justice or poverty alleviation programs, or liaising with members of the wider community.
They lead the members of their religious organisation in acts of worship, officiate at weddings, funerals and other religious ceremonies, and offer a range of other community services, both in conjunction with the organisation they work for, and through their own personal day to day activities.
Ministers of religion may operate within any of a number of religions, the beliefs and practices of which vary significantly.
A Minister of Religion for immigration purposes includes; Chaplains, Imams, Monks, Priests, Rabbis and Salvation Army Officers.
They usually have to have a skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. The occupation in this unit group requires high levels of personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications or experience.
The tasks that they undertake must show experience in the following:
Preparing and conducting services of public worship and acknowledgments of faith
Preparing and delivering sermons, homilies and special talks, and planning music for services
Participating in the social and welfare activities of communities, encouraging people to be aware of their responsibilities, and organising participation in community projects
Conducting classes of religious instruction, and supervising prayer and discussion groups, retreats and seminars
Conducting premarital and family counselling and referring people to professional service agencies where necessary
Performing marriages, funerals and special memorial services according to tradition and ecclesiastical and civil law
Visiting members of the community in their homes, hospitals and other institutions to provide advice and religious comfort
Developing, coordinating, or working for social outreach or social justice programs
May proselytize or evangelize, depending on the religion
Occupation | 272211 MINISTER OF RELIGION
• Performs spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of a religious faith, and provides motivation, guidance and training in religious life for the people of a congregation or parish, and the wider community. This occupation requires high levels of personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications or experience. Registration or licensing may be required.
Aboriginal Ceremonial Celebrant (Aus)
Salvation Army Officer
Religious organisations must sign up to the Minister of Religion Industry Labour Agreement before lodging a nomination for the Agreements Stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme, or to become a sponsor for the Subclass 457 visa temporary work visa.
A minister of religion labour agreement is the only pathway which allows overseas skilled workers to work in the occupation of minister of religion. The minister of religion labour agreement allows Australian religious organisations to sponsor the temporary and permanent entry of overseas skilled workers.
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186), either where an overseas worker has held a subclass 457 visa as a primary visa holder, for a minimum period of two years, or through the subclass 186 Agreement stream.
The final decision on which visa pathway is appropriate will be made based on the religious organisation’s business case
English Language Ability
A concession to the English language proficiency requirement applies. Overseas skilled workers must meet one of the following English language proficiency requirements:
• demonstrate an average test score of at least 5.0 in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or an equivalent accepted test
• hold a valid passport from one of the following countries:
The Republic of Ireland
The United Kingdom
The United States of America
In addition must have completed at least five cumulative years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where instruction was conducted in English.
A further concession to English language proficiency requirements might be considered where the visa holder will be directly serving the needs of an ethnic group and interaction within the wider Australian society will be limited – for example they are working in a cloistered or monastic environment.
Occupation | Minister Of Religion
Religious organisations can only nominate the occupation of minister of religion.
The nominee is required to have a leadership role within the organisation. We will consider the size of the organisation and its workforce composition if more than one overseas nominee is proposed by the Australian employer.
Religious organisations must provide, with their request, the following supporting information:
Title of position within their faith tradition
Duty statement for the position
Copy of an employment contract.
Skills Qualifications & Experience
Ministers of religion must have:
Been 'ordained' or have ‘professed to a religious life’ as a minister of religion (or equivalent accreditation process within the faith tradition), and
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.
Religious organisations must provide, with their request, details of the ordination process, training structure and minimum qualifications for the role of minister of religion.
Visa applicants must be no more than 60 years of age at time of visa application for a subclass 186 visa.
Further concessions might be considered where there is not a tradition of retirement within the faith tradition and where the needs of aged religious workers continue to be met by the religious organisation without recourse to the aged pension.
No age requirements apply when applying for a subclass 457 visa only.
Salary | Minister Of Religion
Overseas ministers of religion must receive terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than that provided to an Australian minister of religion working in the same role in the same location.
The minimum salary (for both subclasses 457 and 186) must be either:
No less than the temporary skilled migration income threshold (TSMIT) - monetary or non-monetary benefits might be considered in the calculation of TSMIT
Where a vow of poverty is required by the wider religious organisation for the occupation, the sponsor attests that overseas workers will be provided equivalent terms and conditions to that of Australians in the same occupation in the sponsoring organisation and will provide all living needs, including board and lodging, health, education, welfare and any other costs incurred by the minister of religion.
Religious organisations must provide evidence of remuneration that is paid to, or would be paid to, an Australian in the same role and location.
Minister Of Religion | What Visas May I Be Eligible For?
As your occupation is on the MLTSSL occupations list, you may be eligible to apply for any of the visas below. When granted you may live and work in Australia on a permanent basis and you may included immediate family members. State/Territory or Family nomination may be a viable option to consider.
Australian General Skilled Migration Program
Subclass 189 | Skilled Independent
Subclass 190 | Skilled Nominated
Subclass 186 | Employer Nomination Scheme
Subclass 187 | Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Subclass 457 | Temporary Work - Skilled
Subclass 489 | Skilled Regional
Subclass 408 | Temporary Activity Visa
Religious organisations who wish to sponsor applicants should sign up to the available Minister of Religion Industry Labour Agreement before nominating a Minister of Religion for a Subclass 186, Subclass 187 or Subclass 457 Visa. This new streamlining process will take out previous hiccups in the system, thus ensuring a speedier visa grant.
What Is Next?
If you wish to sponsor an applicant through nomination process we can of course assist with this. For applicants who wish to remain in Australia long term the 457/186 route is probably the most advantageous. If the applicant intends to work in Australia for short term then the Temporary Activity visa may be appropriate.
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