UK Minister of Religion Visa
A UK Minister of Religion visa is intended for ministers from overseas who wish to hold a leading role within a faith organisation in the UK, carrying out tasks such as conducting services or religious meetings and carrying out pastoral duties.
Previously referred to as a Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa and now known as a Minister of Religion visa (T2), it grants permission for an eligible individual to take up a job they have been offered within their religious community and to bring their partner and children aged under 18 to the UK with them.
Those with a UK Minister of Religion visa (T2) can remain in the country for up to three years and one month unless a shorter time is stated on the certificate of sponsorship. You can also apply to extend your stay and there is the opportunity to apply to settle in the UK.
IBB Law’s immigration experts have helped ministers of religion from around the world come to the UK to live and work. We have an in-depth understanding of the process and the details that UK Visas and Immigration require in respect of both applications and accompanying documents.
We can work with you to ensure that your application and those for your family members are as strong as they can be, giving you the best possible chance of success. In the event that your application has been rejected or refused, we will advise you of your options.
Would you like to check whether a Minister of Religion visa is the right option for you? We can advise you of the best immigration route to the UK and discuss other possible types of UK work visas.
Complete support for UK Minister of Religion visa applications
We represent individuals from across the globe in putting together applications for Minister of Religion visas enabling them to move to the UK to work. Our services include:
- Ensuring you are eligible to apply for a UK Minister of Religion visa
- Preparing your UK Minister of Religion visa application
- Putting together the correct documents to accompany your application
- Dealing with UK Minister of Religion visa rejections and refusals, to include advising you of your options and requesting an Administrative Review
- Renewing a UK Minister of Religion visa
We also advise churches and other religious bodies in respect of bringing in overseas Ministers of Religion, to include representation and advice in obtaining a T2 Minister of Religion visa sponsorship licence. This is the licence that enables a religious organisation to issue a valid job offer to a potential minister from overseas.
Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a Minister of Religion visa UK?
Our UK immigration lawyers at IBB Law provide the following expertise and service:
- In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
- Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
- A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
- Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.
Looking for immediate help with a UK Minister of Religion visa application?
If you want to make an application to move to the UK under a T2 Minister of Religion visa, we will be happy to help.
How to apply for a Minister of Religion visa for the UK
In the following guide, we set out more information in the following areas:
- Making a Minister of Religion visa application
- Minister of Religion visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a Minister of Religion visa
- Alternatives to a Minister of Religion visa
- Minister of Religion visa fees
- What rights does a Minister of Religion visa give you?
- Minister of Religion visa requirements
- Supporting documents for Minister of Religion visa application
- How long does it take to get a Minister of Religion visa?
You can apply for a Minister of Religion visa if you hold an eligible offer of a job within a faith community. This will need to include pastoral care and leadership activities. If your role will be administrative or based wholly around teaching you will not qualify for a T2 Minister of Religion visa and you should consider a different visa. We can advise you whether your role will qualify you to apply and explain your options if it does not.
Your employer will need to be licensed to sponsor you so that they can provide a valid certificate of sponsorship to accompany your visa application. Our immigration team works with religious organisations to help with applications for sponsorship licences where necessary.
UK Visas and Immigration will need to be satisfied that the job is genuine and that you are qualified and capable of undertaking it. They will look at matters such as your experience, your knowledge of the role and the recruitment process. You might be invited to attend an interview. Our immigration experts can advise you as to how you can demonstrate that you are applying for a genuine role and how to deal with an immigration interview.
In the event that you have received a refusal of your Minister of Religion visa application or your application has been rejected, it is recommended that you seek legal advice. You may be able to challenge the refusal by requesting an administrative review if UK Visas and Immigration have made an error in the processing of your application.
If you have made an error in the application, then you can reapply, but it is important to explain the error and state it was a genuine mistake.
If your Minister of Religion visa has been refused, you can contact our team at IBB Law and we will be happy to provide clear, expert advice as to your options.
To renew a T2 Minister of Religion visa, you will need to make an application, providing proof of identity, accompanying documentation and the application fee of £704 per person. You will need to show that you are still in an eligible job, provide a new certificate of sponsorship for the extended period and show that you can support yourself financially.
If you wish to renew your Minister of Religion visa, our immigration experts will be happy to prepare an application on your behalf and ensure that you have the correct accompanying evidence.
If you are not offered a Minister of Religion visa, you may be eligible for an alternative visa such as:
- Skilled worker visa
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- Sole Representative visa
- Temporary work – Religious Worker visa
For more information regarding our services, see UK business immigration lawyers.
If you are applying for a T2 Minister of Religion visa from outside of the UK, the fee is £610. If you will be bringing dependants with you, each of them will also need to pay £610.
If you are applying from within the UK or asking for an extension of your visa or switching visas, the fee is £704. Again, this will also be payable by each dependant who will be applying.
There is also the option to request a priority service so that you are given a decision within five working days. This is an extra £500 for each application.
A super priority service is also available at a cost of an extra £800. This will give you a decision by the end of the next working day after you provide your biometric information, or within two working days if the information is provided at the weekend.
You will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge at the time that you apply.
Once you hold a Minister of Religion visa, you will be able to stay in the country for up to six years, if you are able to renew the visa. After five years, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If indefinite leave to remain is granted, UK citizenship can be applied for after a further year.
As well as working full-time for your employer, you may also be able to take a second job. You can also do voluntary work and study, where this does not interfere with your main employment.
You will be able to travel to and from the UK freely and apply for your eligible dependants (partner and children aged under 18) to live in the UK with you.
In applying for a UK Minister of Religion visa, you will need to prove the following points to UK Visas and Immigration:
- You are at least 18 years old
- You have been offered a job as a minister of religion from a sponsor who holds a T2 Minister of Religion visa sponsor licence. The sponsor will need to provide a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
- Adequate knowledge of English, for example, you have passed an approved English language test or hold a recognised academic qualification in English
- You have at least £1,270 in your bank, or your potential employer confirms they will support you
- You are not prohibited from travelling
- You are able to provide a tuberculosis test if you are from an affected country
The system is points-based, with a total of 70 points needed for the visa. A valid job offer is 50 points, while meeting the English language requirement and the financial requirement both provide 10 points.
You will also need to provide biometric identity information.
It is crucial to supply the right documentation along with your application. We can go through what is required with you and ensure that you have adequate evidence in respect of the visa requirements.
The following should accompany your application:
- The certificate of sponsorship reference number, available from your employer
- Evidence that your English is at the required standard
- Proof of your personal savings showing that you have funds to support yourself or confirmation that your employer will be doing this
- Valid passport or other identity document; your passport should have a blank page available for the visa to be added
- Previous passports or travel documents where necessary to provide evidence of your travel history
- Tuberculosis test results if you are from an affected country
Other documents may be required in some circumstances. You will also need to provide certified translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
You should receive a decision in respect of your visa application within three weeks of applying if you have applied from outside of the UK. You can apply for the visa up to three months before the date on which you are due to start work.
There is also an option to pay for a faster decision.
An application to renew a Minister of Religion visa may take around two months to be processed, although you will be permitted to continue working while you are waiting for a response.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Minister of Religion visa
If you need expert advice and support with a T2 UK Minister of Religion visa application, our highly experienced business immigration team will be happy to assist.