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Minister of Religion Visa

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    Apply for a Minister of Religion Visa

    If you are looking to move to the UK to work full-time as a religious worker or religious missionary, then you can apply for a T2 Minister of Religion Visa.

    The T2 Minister of Religion Visa has replaced what was previously known as the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa as part of the UK’s news immigration changes following the end of free movement between the UK and EU.

    The T2 Minister of Religion Visa allows both EEA and non-EEA nationals to enter and live in the UK on the grounds that they take on a position as a minister of religion, missionary or religious worker. Once granted, the visa lasts a maximum of three years and one month.

    T2 Minister of Religion Visa requirements

    To be eligible for a Minister of Religion, you must score 70 points under the points-based immigration system. You can score 50 points if you have been offered a position in one of the following roles:

    • minister of religion;
    • missionary; or
    • religious worker.

    Your job offer must have come from a registered UK Sponsor who is licensed to hire foreign nationals. You will need to receive a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer to be able to meet this requirement.

    You can score a further 10 points by meeting the English language requirements, you must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. You can prove this by either sitting an accredited English language test with at least CEFR level B2, or by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, master’s degree or PhD.

    The final 10 points can be scored by meeting the financial requirements. There is no minimum salary for this route but you will have to show that you have the funds to support yourself financially whilst in the UK. To do this you must have at least £1270 in your bank account for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must fall within 31 days of your visa application.

    What can you do on a Minister of Religion Visa?

    With the Minister of Religion Visa you can live in the UK for up to 3 years and one month, whilst you are here you can work for your sponsor in the job that is described on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You can also volunteer, take on a second job in certain circumstances and study as long as it doesn’t interfere with your job.

    The Minister of Religion visa also allows you to travel abroad and return to the UK and you can also bring family members with you whilst you are living here. The family members that you can bring with your include your partner, children under the age of 18 and children over the age of 18 if they are eligible. If you do wish to bring family members with you, they will have to make separate visa applications.

    It’s worth noting that this visa does not allow you to access public funds whilst you are in the UK.

    Minister of Religion Visa

    Requirements for Obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship

    There are certain criteria you must meet in order to qualify for the Minister of Religion visa:

    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Possess a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) corresponding to the role you will perform in the UK.
    • Hold a job offer as a Minister of Religion from a licensed sponsor within the UK (the sponsoring employer must possess a T2 Minister of Religion Visa sponsor license).
    • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself while in the UK.
    • Satisfy the English language proficiency requirements.
    • Provide documented proof of your travel history from the last 5 years prior to your application.
    • Not own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless your annual earnings exceed £159,600).
    • Present a clear tuberculosis test result (applicable only if you originate from a country on the specified list).

    Salary Criteria

    Your salary for the Minister of Religion visa must meet two conditions: it should match what other workers in the same job earn and comply with the UK’s national minimum wage regulations.

    Criteria for Financial Eligibility

    Regarding the financial requirement, you can meet it by living legally in the UK for at least 12 months when you apply, being sponsored by an A-rated sponsor who covers your initial living costs, or showing proof of having £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before applying.

    If you have dependents coming with you, you’ll also need to show additional funds: £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.

    Criteria for English Language Proficiency

    To successfully apply for a Minister of Religion visa, you need to meet English Language requirements. You can do this by demonstrating:

    • Proficiency in English (reading, writing, speaking, and understanding) at level B2 on the CEFR scale, backed by an English language test, or
    • Holding a degree taught in English, or
    • Hailing from one of the exempt countries listed, which include 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 the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA.

    Visa Eligibility for Dependents of a Minister of Religion

    As a Minister of Religion visa holder, you can bring your partner and dependent children with you to the UK. Each family member must apply separately online before coming to the UK.

    Eligible dependents include your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, or legal partner, as well as children under 18. If your child is over 18 and already in the UK as your dependent, they can also apply, provided they are not financially independent or leading a separate life, unless they are in boarding school or university.

    All visas for your dependents will have the same expiration date as your visa.

    Requirements for Employers

    • Have a valid sponsor license for the specific routes.
    • Understand general worker sponsorship requirements.
    • Know the religious work routes and eligible individuals.
    • Consider resident labour requirements for Religious Workers.
    • Offer fair pay and conditions like settled workers.
    • Confirm worker’s eligibility for the chosen route.
    • Issue a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and pay the fee.
    • Appoint eligible Key Personnel for license management.
    • Keep thorough records, including recruitment details.
    • Follow all sponsor obligations.

    How to sponsor someone on the Minister of Religion visa

    To obtain a sponsor licence as a business, you must:

    • Ensure your business qualifies for a certificate of sponsorship.
    • Check if your job position can be sponsored.
    • Choose the right license type.
    • Appoint someone to manage sponsorship.
    • Apply online and pay the fee.

    The CoS should be issues to each Minister of Religion worker you employ on the visa. It is valid for 3 months, and will include an electronic number code that you prospective employees can use to apply for their visa.

    How can IAS help with a Religious Worker Visa application?

    The dedicated lawyers at IAS can assist you with your inquiries and application for a Religious Worker Visa UK, as well as assisting businesses with sponsoring individuals on the Minister of Religion visa. For applicants, we will check that the role you are applying for qualifies for this category of T2 Visa, organise the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your UK Sponsor and perform an extensive document check.

    We can fill in the application form and submit it on your behalf. As well as this, we can liaise with the Home Office to stay updated about your applications progress.

    We will also prepare a Letter of Representation to accompany your application that will increase your chances of success. Our lawyers will also be here to answer any questions that you may have about the Minister of Religion visa application process for applicants, and employers looking to sponsor on the visa.

    Contact us today on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online for more information on how to obtain your T2 Minister of Religion Visa UK.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have trained for a year full-time with a ministry, you will be able to come to the UK to work as a Minister of Religion with a Religious Worker Visa. In order to do this, you need to be able to prove that you have trained for a year for this role.

    Yes, you may be able to apply for a Minister of Religion Visa extension to stay for an additional three years.

    To be able to extend your visa you will have to demonstrate that you are still needed in your minister of religion or religious worker position and must prove that you can meet the same requirements as when you applied for your T2 Minister of Religion Visa.

    You can take a second job but this job needs to be either in the same profession, a profession on the UK Shortage Occupation List or unpaid voluntary work. This job cannot negatively affect your visa sponsored job.

    The Minister of Religion visa is specifically for ordained religious leaders and ministers, while the Religious Worker visa encompasses a broader range of roles within religious organisations, including those who are not ordained.

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