- What is the Minister of Religion Visa?
- Minister of Religion Visa Eligibility Requirements
- Certificate of sponsorship
- The financial requirements for the UK Religious Visa
- Knowledge of English
- Required documents For The UK Minister of Religion Visa
- What the Minister of Religion Visa allows you to do
- Second Jobs
- How Much Does The UK Religious Visa Cost?
- Application process
- Minister of Religion Visa to ILR
- How We Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Minister of Religion Visa?
After free movement ceased between the UK and EU, changes were made to immigration rules, resulting in the previous Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa being amended to its new name of T2 Minister of Religion Visa.
T2 Minister of Religion Visa allows individuals from overseas the opportunity to practice as a religious worker or religious missionary within the UK.
Individuals can apply for a religious worker visa provided that they have been offered a new job within a faith community that operates in the UK. This can be as a Minister of Religion, a member of a religious order, or a missionary.
Once granted a Minister of Religion Visa, visa holders can live and work in the UK for a maximum of three years.
Minister of Religion Visa Eligibility Requirements
In order to gain a Minister of Religion Visa, you must be able to meet the eligibility requirements set out. To be considered, you are required to obtain 70-points from the immigration system. You will need the following to gain these 70 points:
- You must be offered a job in one of the following fields: Minister of religion, missionary, or religious worker. Your job offer must come from a UK employer with a Religion Visa sponsor licence to employ overseas workers. You will need a certificate of sponsorship- this will provide you with 50 points.
- You must be able to meet the financial requirements for the job you are entering- this will allow an extra 10 points
- You must be able to prove your knowledge of English is up to standard- this will provide you with your final 10 points
Applicants must be over the age of 18 years old and be willing to provide a negative Tuberculosis test result.
Minister of Religion certificate of sponsorship
Religious workers looking to gain a Minister of Religion Visa must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from their employer in the UK. The employer must have a sponsor licence to sponsor you- if they do not, they will need to apply for a Minister of Religion Visa sponsor licence.
The certificate of sponsorship is an online document for which your employer will issue you with a sponsor licence number. The document must include the following information:
- Your full name
- A job description
- Your qualifications to carry out a job as the Minister of Religion
- Confirmation that you will carry out religious duties for your sponsor
If your intended sponsor does not hold the correct sponsor licence, for example, they hold a skilled worker visa sponsor licence, they will need to apply to change their current licence to accommodate religious workers from an overseas business or organisation.
The financial requirements for the UK Religious Visa
You must be able to meet the following financial requirements in order to be eligible for a Minister of Religion Visa. This is money that you will have access to in the UK to support yourself when you first arrive to begin your new venture.
You must have at least £1,270 of available funds in your bank account which will enable you to maintain living in the UK. The money must have been in your possession for at least 28 days consecutively. This must be within 31 days of applying for a Minister of Religion Visa.
You must be able to show proof of personal savings upon submitting your application unless your new employer will be paying for you.
If your employer is covering the amount for you, it is essential that this is stated clearly on your certificate of sponsorship.
The minimum yearly salary requirement varies for different job codes. For SOC code 3239, it’s £20,000, while for SOC code 2444, it aligns with the National Minimum Wage level.
When applying for a sponsorship license for minister of religion visa, you should choose either SOC code 2444 or 3239, and the UK sponsor must show that the job relates to the religious sector.
Knowledge of the English Language
The religion visa category requires those applying for a Minister of Religion Visa to prove their knowledge of the English language. You must be able to read, write, and understand English.
Applicants can prove it with one of the following means:
- Passing an approved English language test with a minimum of CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
- Having an academic qualification that was taught to you in the English language. This must be recognised by ECCTIS as being equivalent to a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degree
There are a few instances where you will not be required to prove your knowledge of the English language. This is if you are a national of any of the following locations:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or, USA.
To apply for a Minister of Religion Visa, you must supply the following documents to the Home Office:
- Certificate of Sponsorship reference number- given to you by your employer
- Proof of your knowledge of the English language
- Proof of sufficient personal savings to support yourself when you arrive in the UK
- A valid passport or alternative documents which show your identity and nationality
- A blank page on your passport for your new Minister of Religion Visa
- Expired passports or travel documents that show your travel history (should you need them)
- Tuberculosis test results (if from a listed country)
If they aren’t already, your documents have to be translated into English or Welsh before being submitted for approval of your visa application.
Should you need to submit any further documents in support of your application, you must do so in a timely manner, so it does not hinder the efficiency of processing your visa application.
What a Minister of Religion Visa allows you to do in the UK
Besides allowing you to perform religious duties in the UK, a Minister of Religion Visa holder can also volunteer or take a second job (in some circumstances). It even allows you to study alongside your work provided that it does not interfere with you working the Minister of Religion job that is specified for you on your certificate of Sponsorship.
In addition, a Minister of Religion Visa allows travel in and out of the UK during your stay. It also allows you to bring a family member with you to the UK as long as they are classed as dependents. If this is the case and they plan on joining you, they must make applications individually- a family member cannot be added to your visa application.
Working a second job whilst in the UK
If you are on a Minister of Religion Visa, there may become circumstances which allow you to work a second job. You may be able to get a second job if you are working 20 hours per week in any of the following scenarios:
- In the same profession as your main UK job you were granted a Minister of Religion Visa for
- A profession that appears on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list
Minister of Religion Visa holders are permitted to commit to voluntary work outside of their usual job if they wish to do so whilst staying in the UK.
How much will it cost?
If you are applying for your visa from outside of the United Kingdom, you will be required to pay the full application fee of £625. Each applicant, including dependents, will have to pay a separate fee.
As well as application fees, immigration rules mean you must pay the specified healthcare surcharge. Again, this applies to each person entering the United Kingdom.
You can check how much you will need to pay online.
If you are applying to extend your Minister of Religion Visa, there is an application fee of £719 per person.
Applicants can also pay additional fees for priority services which will allow a quicker decision on your application.
You can apply online for your Minister of Religion Visa with all of the relevant supporting documents.
Your application will need to be submitted with every document requested from you and the appropriate fee too. Failure to supply the correct documentation can mean that your application can be severely delayed.
After you have applied, you will be required to attend an in-person appointment at a biometric information centre to have photographs and fingerprints taken. These will help the Home Office to verify your identity. If successful, you will receive a biometric residence permit promptly after being issued with your new Minister of Religion Visa. You must collect your permit within ten days of the date you intend to enter the United Kingdom.
If there are any components of the application process that aren’t clear to you, you can contact a trained immigration lawyer to assist you further with any queries you may have.
Minister of Religion Visa to ILR
To go from a Minister of Religion Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, individuals will need to continue to meet certain ILR requirements to qualify.
To be eligible for ILR, you usually need to have lived and worked in the UK continuously for a specific period. The exact duration can vary depending on your specific circumstances, but it is often five years. The Minister of Religion visa is valid for 3 years, with the possibility of extension, so the continuous residence criteria could be met by staying on the same visa for a period of 5 years. However, this requires your Minister of Religion Visa to be consistently renewed and maintained compliance with all visa conditions during your time in the UK. Any gaps or violations in your immigration history can affect your ILR application.
Individuals will need to continue to meet the English language requirements, as well as continuing to meet the financial criteria and pass the life in the UK test. Individuals will also need to maintain continuous employment in a religious role throughout their stay in the UK. They should have the same sponsor (religious organisation) that originally sponsored them for the Minister of Religion Visa.
How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help you?
Applying for a Minister of Religion Visa can seem like a daunting task, but our team of trained immigration lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.
Birmingham Immigration Lawyers have expert knowledge of UK visas and immigration rules, meaning we can provide you with a first-class service supporting you right from when you submit your application to when it may be time to renew it.
For more information on how we can help you with your religious worker visa UK, call our friendly team today on 0121 667 6530.
Last modified on September 6th, 2023 at 9:45 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Those with a Minister of Religion Visa are permitted to apply for their partner and children to live with them in the UK for the duration of their stay. In order to do so, they must apply separately from the main applicant.
Partners and children planning to join you must be deemed as a dependent. For a partner, this will mean being married, in a civil partnership or living together in a relationship for at least two years before applying.
Children must be under the age of 18 and have no children of their own. They must also be unmarried.
Once your application is submitted, you can typically expect to get a response from the Home Office within three weeks of applying if applying from outside of the United Kingdom.
You can apply for your Minster of Religion Visa three months before your start date listed on your certificate of sponsorship.
If you require a faster decision from the Home Office, you can opt for priority service. However, this comes at an additional cost of £500, which will prompt a decision to be made within 5 working days of receiving your application.
There is also an option to receive an outcome of your Minister of Religion Visa the next working day if your biometric information appointment is on a weekday, but this will come at an extra cost of £800.
It may be possible to extend your Minister of Religion Visa. You should ensure that you apply to extend before your valid visa is due to expire.
You must ensure that you still meet all of the eligibility requirements and still have access to the correct documentation. It should be noted that you will need to acquire a new certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
You can do so provided that you have trained with the ministry for a minimum of one year full-time. You must have proof that you have trained for the length of time you say you have in the specified role.
The Minister of Religion Visa is for individuals who will serve as religious leaders in recognised religious organisations, while the Religious Worker Visa is for those who will engage in religious work but do not hold ministerial positions.
The Minister of Religion visa is for individuals who have been offered a job or a role as a minister of religion in a recognised religious organisation in the UK. It is intended for those who will engage in religious duties such as leading religious ceremonies, preaching, and providing pastoral care to the religious community. The duration of the visa is 3 years with the possibility of extension.
The Religious Worker visa is for individuals who want to come to the UK temporarily to perform religious work but not as ministers. This includes roles such as religious missionaries, religious educators, and members of religious orders. This visa is valid for 2 years without the possibility for extension.