Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa allows people who are coming to the United Kingdom as religious workers within religious organisations. Your role in the Minister of Religion category can include:
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.
Tier 2 - Minister of Religion Visa Entitlements
The Tier 2 - Minister of Religion visa is issued for an initial maximum period of three (3) years or the period granted as reflected in the certificate of sponsorship whichever is shorter. Upon successfully holding a Tier 2 - Minister of Religion visa for a total of five (5) years, individuals may be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR entitles individuals to permanent residency in as well as visa-free travel to and from the UK. ILR holders may also be able to sponsor their relatives to the UK and may also ultimately be eligible to apply for British citizenship. Eligible dependents may also be included and upon obtaining the visa, may be entitled to work or study without any restrictions.
Meeting the requirements of Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
In order to be eligible for a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa, you must score 70 points in the test set out below.
Tier 2 Points Test for Ministers of Religion
English Language Skills Requirement
10 points are awarded for English language skills. To stay in the UK as a Minister of Religion, you must speak English to the Council of European Level B2.
Certificate of sponsorship
You must be sponsored by an organisation who is licensed to do so by the UK government. This will earn you 50 points towards your Tier 2 Ministers of Religion visa. You can only be issued a certificate of sponsorship if you:
are qualified to do the job;
intend to base yourself in the UK;
comply with the conditions to stay in the UK and leave the UK once your leave expires.
Meeting the maintenance requirements
You must earn 10 points for Maintenance, which states that you have enough funds to support yourself and any dependants during your stay in the UK. You must have £800 in a bank account at the time of your application and an additional £600 for each dependant that you intend to bring with you.
Extension applications for Tier 2 (Ministers of religion) visas
An applicant will need to have been issued with a new Certificate of Sponsorship for his or her continued employment.
After a continuous period of residency in the UK for five years under a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain providing you meet the conditions put in place by UK immigration at the time of your application. Indefinite leave to remain is permission to remain in the UK indefinitely. It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen.
To check whether you meet the requirements, use our visa assessment form, click here.