The Tier 2 visa allows you to come and undertake religious work within a religious organisation. You will not be able to conduct any other forms of work whilst in the UK as a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) worker.
Further to this, you will not be able to access public funds nor study in the UK. As part of the immigration application, the Home Office will conduct genuine employment checks, to make sure that you will be able to undertake the role and have been genuinely employed by the religious worker.
The visa is granted with a maximum period of 6 years and after a period of continuous residency of 5 years, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Employment as a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
As part of your application, you must not fall for refusal under general grounds of refusal and will need to demonstrate that you would be employed in the following roles:
preaching or performing pastoral duties;
work as a missionary; or
work in a religious order within a community which involves a permanent commitment, like a monastery or a convent.
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);
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.
Applying as a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
The application for a Tier 2 Minister of Religion can be made once your religious organisation have assigned a valid certificate of sponsorship. You will also need to meet the English language requirement and also the maintenance requirement.
The visa application is applied online; this is whether you are in the UK or outside of the UK. Once you have completed your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa application, you will be able to pay for the visa fees and book the visa appointment. As part of the submission, you will need to submit your legal representation and also the evidences to support your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) application.
The decision making of a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa does not take more than 15 working days however this would depend on individual applications and country of application. Once a decision is served, the Home Office can issue up to 5 years Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa. Your visa validity will depend on the certificate of sponsorship issued by your religious organisation.
Your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa comes with a number of conditions, which includes no recourse to public funds, may require registering with the police and will need permission to study in the UK unless the exception policies apply.
Extension applications for Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visas
You will need to have been issued with a new Certificate of Sponsorship for your continued employment. The maximum period of employment under this visa is for 6 years.
Bringing dependants to the UK under the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
The Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa allows you to bring dependants to the UK and they will need to apply for their visa separately to yours. Your visa application will list your dependant details and link their applications to you.
When your partner is applying for the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) dependant visa, you both must demonstrate that you are legally married or have lived together 2 years prior to the relocation. You must also provide evidences to show the relationship is genuine and subsisting. Evidence of the intention to live together as partner must also be demonstrated. They will also require you to show adequate maintenance.
For the children, both parents must be present in the UK unless one parent holds sole parental rights or there are serious and compelling grounds. The dependant child must be living as part of the household and be financially dependent on you.
Refusal of your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa
Where your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) application is refused, you will be able to appeal against the decision, however this can be done only through administrative review. Your decision letter will explain the reasons why the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) application has been refused.
Depending on whether you have applied in the UK or outside of the UK, the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) comes with a limited to challenge against the decision. Please check the date of service. The appeal process does not go before the First Tier Tribunal.
At ICS Legal, we will assess your refusal merits and advise you on the best course of action. Please email us a copy of your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) refusal letter to email@example.com.
Applying for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
Where you have lived in the UK under the Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa for a period of 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The immigration policy allows you to use period of leave under other immigration categories to be combined, such as a Tier 1 visa, Tier 2 General visa as examples of categories.
The application requires you to be a person of good character and must demonstrate that you do not fall for refusal under the general grounds of refusal. Further to this, you must prove that you meet the salary threshold and have met the financial adequacy test. The knowledge of life requirement must also be met.
Taking legal advice on the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
At ICS Legal, we will advise you on the correct process of applying under the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) working visa and support you throughout the visa application process.
You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa requirements by sending us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 0207 237 3388.