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Minister of Religion

Entry Clearance As Tier 2 Minister Of Religion

The Tier 2 (Minister of religion) category is for people who have been offered employment or posts or roles within their faith communities in the UK as:

  • ministers of religion undertaking preaching and pastoral work;

  • missionaries; or

  • members of religious orders.

Pastoral duties include:

  • leading worship regularly and on special occasions;

  • giving religious education to children and adults by preaching or teaching;

  • officiating at marriages, funerals and other special services; and

  • offering counselling and welfare support to members of the congregation; and

  • recruiting, training and coordinating the work of any local volunteers and lay preachers.

Work as a missionary is not just preaching and teaching. It can include:

  • the organisation of missionary activity (but should not be administrative or clerical, unless filling a senior post);

  • supervising staff;

  • coordinating the organisation of missionary work;

  • being in charge of a particular activity such as accounts/finance, personnel management or IT; and

  • translating religious texts - this is missionary work, not clerical work.

The work in a religious order must be in the order itself, or outside work directed by the order.

If you are a member of a religious order and you want to study for a qualification, a formal full-time course of study or training in an academic institution not looked after by the order, you should not apply to Tier 2 (Minister of religion. Instead, you should apply as a student under Tier 4 of the points-based system.

Working full-time as a teacher in a school run by a church or missionary organisation does not count as missionary work. If this is the work that you will be doing, you must apply as a teacher under the Tier 2 (General) category.

If your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned on or after 6 April 2012, you should confirm with your sponsor that they have indicated that a resident labour market test has been completed on the Certificate of Sponsorship, or that they have justified that the role you will be undertaking is supernumerary and you will not be filling a vacant position that could otherwise be filled by a settled worker and you intend to be based in the UK for the duration of your permission to stay.

In order for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be assigned on or after the 6 April 2012, your sponsor will need to have confirmed that they will support you through funds and/or accommodation that is/are sufficient for you to maintain yourself throughout the period of employment stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship, and that you will receive pay and conditions at least equal to, or excess of those normally given to a settled worker in the same role. This may be a traditional salary, stipend, customary offering, board and lodgings or a combination of these.

Challenging Refusal Of Entry Clearance As Tier 2 Minister Of Religion

A refusal of an entry clearance application as a Tier 2 Minister of Religion is challenged by way of Administrative Request to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). If the refusal is maintained by the Entry Clearance Manager, then the same can be challenged by way of Judicial Review in High Court.

To check whether you meet the requirements, use our visa assessment form, click here.  

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