Qualifications of both the petitioning organization and the prospective religious worker are reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Italy Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICIS) when the required petition is filed and by a consular officer during the prospective religious worker’s visa interview at an Italy embassy or consulate. To qualify as an immigrant religious worker for at least two years before a petition may be filed on your behalf, you must:
Have been a member of the religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in Italy for which you are coming to work, and Have been continuously carrying out the religious vocation or occupation that you intend to carry out in Italy.
What is Religion?
Religion is typically defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations that generally relate humanity to supernatural, metaphysical, and spiritual elements; however, there is no scholarly agreement on what exactly constitutes a religion.
What is Work Visa?
A work visa is an official stamp in your passport that allows you to visit, work, or study in that nation for a set period. For international workers, all countries, including the United States, require a work permit visa; businesses will not hire you if you do not have one.
For a foreign national to be eligible for a Religious work visa in Italy, you must possess the following:
- Have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your country’s sponsor.
- .Have enough money to support yourself in Italy- you’ll usually need at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt) 18 or over during the application.
You could not get this visa if you were given a Religious Worker or Charity Worker visa in the last year unless you can prove you were outside Italy for the whole time.
Visa Refusal (Denied):
Certain conditions and activities may cause an applicant to be denied this visa. Except been told by the consulate, the applicant will not understand why the visa was denied to him/her. Examples of causes of visa denial are as follows:
Applicant involved in drug trafficking:
You overstay a previous visa and submit fraudulent documents, causing visa denial or refusal. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the consular officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility available to you and what the waiver process is.
The Requires Documents for the Visa:
Before considering how to apply for Italy Religious Work Visa, you must consider the following documents, as seen below.
- Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into Italy unless the Italy Embassy/Consulate specifically requests longer validity in your country. Please review the instructions for guidance.
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, completed by the applicant.
- Two (2) 2×2 photographs.
- The consular officer may ask for more information during your visa interview. Bring your original civil documents (or certified copies), such as birth and marriage certificates, legible photocopies of the original civil documents, and any required translations to your immigrant visa interview. Original documents and translations can then be returned to you.
- Financial Support: At your immigrant visa interview, you must demonstrate to the consular officer that you will not likely become a public charge in Italy.
Completed Medical Examination Forms: The panel physician provides these after you have completed your medical examination and vaccinations.
Supporting documents are only one of many factors a consular officer will consider in your interview. Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural, and other factors during adjudication. Consular officers may look at your specific intentions, family situation, and long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality concerns you, you should bring your documents to the Embassy or Consulate in a sealed envelope. The Embassy/Consulate will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.
You should bring the following documents to your interview as supporting documents:
- A letter from an authorized official of the specific unit of your employing organization certifies that if your religious membership was maintained outside Italy, in whole or in part, that the foreign and Italy religious organizations belong to the same religious denomination and that, immediately before your application for an R visa, you have been a member of the religious denomination for the required two-year period.
- If you are a minister, you are authorized to conduct religious worship for that denomination. The duties should be described in detail; or
- If you are a religious professional, you have at least a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent, and such a degree is required for entry into the religious profession; or
- If you are to work in a nonprofessional vocation or occupation, you are qualified if the type of work to be done relates to a traditional religious function.
- The arrangements for remuneration, including the amount and source of salary, other types of compensation such as food and housing, and any other benefits to which a monetary value may be affixed, and a statement whether such remuneration shall be in exchange for services rendered.
- The name and location of the specific organizational unit of the religious denomination or affiliate to which you will provide services.
- If you work for an organization affiliated with a religious denomination, describe the relationship between the two organizations.
- Evidence of your religious organization’s assets and methods of operation.
- Your organization’s papers of incorporation under applicable state law.
How to Apply for this Visa:
To apply for this visa, you must meet the requirements mentioned above; as part of your application, you must prove your identity. How you do this depends on your country of origin and passport type.
- Have your fingerprints and photographs taken at a visa application center – this is to get a biometric residence permit
- Use the ‘Italy Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document – you’ll also create or sign into your Visas and Immigration account. However, you’ll be told what to do when applying.
If you do need an appointment:
- The center may need to keep your passport and documents while they process your application.
- You may have to travel to get to your nearest visa application center (this could be in another country)
If you’ve applied through a visa application center, find out if you can pay to get a faster decision – this depends on where you’re applying from.
The Duration of the Visa:
Employment-based immigrant visa cases, including for Religious Workers, take additional time because they are in numerically-limited visa categories. The length of time varies from case to case and cannot be predicted for individual cases with any accuracy. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the consular officer interviews the applicant.
For applicants traveling with partner and children:
Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in Italy as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on your date.
A dependent partner or child is any of the following:
- your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner
- your child under 18 – including if they were born in Italy during your stay
- your child over 18 if they’re currently in as your dependant
You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply.
You must be able to prove that either:
- You’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognized in Italy.
- You’ve been living together in a relationship for at least two years when you apply.
If your child is 16 or over:
- live with you (unless they’re in full-time education at boarding school, college, or university)
- not be married, in a civil partnership, or have any children
- be financially supported by you.
If your child lives with you, you’ll need to provide evidence of their address, such as:
- a bank statement
- credit card bills
- driving license
- NHS registration document
- an official letter from their university or college
Certificate of sponsorship:
A certificate of sponsorship is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you’ll do and your details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.
- Your sponsor will give you the certificate of sponsorship.
- Your sponsor must also give you the information they used on your certificate about your job, for example, your working hours.
- Your sponsor must be recognized by Italy government to issue certificates of sponsorship.
- Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for three months from the date it is assigned to you.
Read Italy Business visa here.
The Italy Religious Work Visa and its Requirements is an article that details what the clergy and other men of God may think when they want to relocate and work in Italy.
The article further explains the meaning of Religion, work visa, eligibility, the requirements for the visa, how to apply, the visa refusal, and the certificate of sponsorship.