Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
The Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa was first introduced in the UK in 2008, and it is part of the point-based system for skilled individuals. To qualify for this visa, you will need to score 70 points: 50 for attributes, 10 for performance, and 10 for English.
This visa route is for the purpose of religious workers who wish to come to the UK under the Tier 2 or Tier 5 immigration path. Applicants need a job offer from an employer (sponsor) based in the UK, which will require a Certificate of Sponsorship.
To learn more about the Tier 2 Visa Minister of Religion route, you can get in touch with our immigration lawyers in London.
Minister of Religion Visa overview
This visa type is for skilled workers that have been offered a job in a faith community, such as minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order.
Each applicant needs to hold a valid offer from a UK sponsor, which is an organisation that is willing to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship. Your assigned CoS will require the right SCO code, which shows all the key information on your work dates, salary, job description, work location and employment hours.
Tier 2 MoR requirements
To qualify for this visa, you need to:
- Have a certificate of sponsorship for your job
- Prove your knowledge of English
- Have adequate personal savings to support yourself while you are in the UK
- Demonstrate your travel history over the last 5 years
- Have your tuberculosis test results (if required)
What is the Tier 2 Minister of Religion application process?
You can apply for your visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start your job in the UK. This date will be listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
As part of your application, you need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre.
You should get a decision from the Home Office within 3 weeks if you applied from outside the UK. However, you can apply for the Home Office’s Priority and Super Priority services. If your application is successful, you will need to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you need to enter the UK.
How long can I stay in the UK?
Your Tier 2 MoR visa will be valid for a maximum of up to 3 years and 1 month, or the time given on your CoS plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
Extending your visa
At the end of your stay, you may be able to apply to extend your visa. To qualify, you still need to meet all the eligibility requirements and provide a new bundle of documents about your situation in the UK. You will also need a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer.
Your visa extension will be valid for up to 3 years or the time given in your new CoS plus 14 days.
How do I meet the Knowledge of English requirement?
You may need to prove your English proficiency to qualify for a skilled worker visa. You can do this by either:
- Passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIS as being equivalent to a UK degree.
- Demonstrating that you are a national of an English-speaking country.
What are the required supporting documents?
When you apply for your visa, you must provide a bundle of supporting documents, including:
- Your CoS reference number
- Proof of your knowledge of English
- A bank statement or letter showing you have enough personal savings
- Your passport or any other valid travel document (and with a blank page for your visa)
- Any expired passport or travel document to show your travel history
- Your tuberculosis test results (if needed)
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You need to receive a job offer from a UK licensed sponsor. Your employer will check that you can do the job they are hiring you for and that you meet all the relevant visa requirements. If you satisfy these criteria, your sponsor will assign you a Certificate of Sponsorship and give you additional information about your application.
If you are currently holding a different permit, you may be able to switch your status to a Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa.
To qualify, you must already be in the UK one of the following immigration statuses:
You can take a second job on your Tier 2 MoR visa if you are going to work up to 20 hours a week in either:
- The same profession as your main job
- A profession on the shortage occupation list
You are also free to do any unpaid voluntary work. If you wish to take up a second job that does not meet these requirements, you will need to apply for a new visa and obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship.
If you are applying from outside the UK, it will cost £610 to submit your forms to the Home Office. If you are applying with your dependants, you must pay an additional fee of £610 for each family member.
Depending on your personal circumstances, you will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge and an additional fee of £19.20 to have your biometric information taken.
Your dependants can apply to join you or remain in the UK with you if they are from outside the EEA or Switzerland. You must be able to support yourself and your family financially while in the UK. For this reason, each family member must have £630 available to them.
Based on the Home Office guidelines, a dependant is one of the following:
- Your partner
- Your child under 18
- Your child over 18 who is currently living in the UK as a dependant