You work in a religious community or center and have a job offer from a British employer. You need a Minister of Religion visa to move to the country.
This article will explain who is eligible for a Religion visa, requirements, the application process, validity, fees, FAQs, and many more to know.
Who is eligible for a Minister of Religion visa?
The UK officials want you to be eligible for a Minister of Religion visa. If you don’t qualify them, they will reject your application. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
The first and foremost condition is to have a job offer from a religious organization or center.
Certificate of sponsorship
The employer must provide a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You need its unique code in your application form.
The employer needs to take the Resident Labour Market Test. He/she will advertise the job offer for 28 days. If found no one, then the employee is eligible to accept the offer. However, religious organizations can take advantage of exemptions.
Language proficiency requirement
You need to provide your language proficiency through:
- An academic qualification that was in English
- An approved language test with a CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
In case you are from one of the below countries, you DO NOT NEED a language proficiency certificate:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Having enough funds to cover your initial expenses is mandatory. The British officials want you to have at least £1,270 for your expenses. Remember that you need bank statements to prove the money has been in your account for 28 days.
You are exempt from this precondition unless:
- Your employer has committed to cover your expenses in the first months. If so, he/she needs to confirm it in the CoS.
- You have been in the UK for the latest 12 months.
- You work for a Jewish organization.
In case you have had other passports, you need to provide a copy of them.
The nationals of a few countries need a TB test to enter the UK. They have to take the test in an authorized center. If you are one of them, take the test and provide the result for your application.
You need to prove that you have no criminal record before. If you have tried to deceive the immigration authorities, provide false information, etc., you will become ineligible.
Non-EEA or Switzerland national
The EEA and Swiss nationals need to follow a different route to work in the UK. You can not be among them and apply for a Minister of Religion visa.
What are the requirements for a Minister of Religion visa?
The required supporting documents for a Minister of Religion visa are as follows:
Certificate of Sponsorship
Your potential employer has to provide CoS to you. You need the code for your online application.
Proof of language proficiency
You can take a certified language test or provide a course certificate taught in English. Determine if you are one of the exempted countries or not.
Proof to have enough funds
You need to have at least £1,270 in your bank account to prove you can support yourself. Providing that your sponsor will cover you, he/she must state it in the CoS.
Your passport must hold one blank page. It must be valid at the time of application and hold enough validity.
TB test result
If you are from one of the listed countries, you need a TB test result. See the above section to find the link for a list of required countries.
Proof of accommodation
Make it clear where will you stay in the UK.
Provide any form of document that states you have enough work experience in the job. It can prove you can undertake the proposed job.
Note: Your original documents must be in English. If not, have them translated by a verified translator.
The officials always have the right to ask for further documents.
How to apply for a Minister of Religion visa?
The application process for a Minister of Religion visa is as follows:
1. Are you eligible?
The British government is strict with its work visa rules. It is true with the Minister of Religion visa. Before you do anything, see if you are eligible for the visa or not. In case not, the authorities will reject your application right away. You shouldn’t waste your time and effort. So do your research.
2. Job offer
The hear of the Minister of Religion visa is to have a job offer. You may not apply without a job offer from a certified religious organization in the UK. To find a job offer according to the guideline before you do anything.
3. Application form
Once you have the job offer and meet the eligibility principles, you can begin the application. The application process for a Minister of Religion visa is online.
You need to begin with the UK visa and immigration website. Before you enter the site, you need an email address. You need to have full access to the email and its password. You can leave the application process in the middle and come back again. You also need to visit your email as the British officials will contact you through it.
Keep in mind to have the CoS as you need to put it on the application form. Complete the form with the true and accurate form of your information. In the end, print the receipt that shows you have completed the form and the meeting’s scheduled date.
4. Schedule a meeting with the visa center
You also need to choose a place to submit your requirements. You need to do it on the UK visa and immigration website. You choose it in the country you live in.
Depending on the center, you might have to set a meeting by phone, online or in-person.
When you picked a vise center or British embassy, schedule a meeting with them. Keep in mind that you have to collect all the requirements by then. Can you gather all of them on time?
You need to collect all the requirements for a Minister of Religion visa. See the section above to get familiar with them. The officials might require further documents. You need to provide whatever they want.
6. Visa meeting
Get to your meeting on the reserved date. Bring with yourself all the collected supporting documents. Keep in mind that you need to get there at least half an hour early.
You submit all the documents to the officials. If you have never visited the UK or in the last five years, you need to submit your biometrics. It includes your digital photo and fingerprints.
Then pay the fee for visa processing. In case the center or embassy provides further services, you have to pay more.
There might be an interview. You need to answer a few questions about your background and the job you will do. Try to be prepared.
7. Processing the visa
When you leave the British embassy or visa center, the officials will begin working on it. They evaluate everything and see if you are qualified or not. It takes some time until they assess everything. If everything is so, they inform you to pick up your visa through your email address.
If your application gets rejected, you know why through your email. The embassy will post your original documents and passport.
How long can you stay in the UK under a Minister of Religion visa?
a Minister of Religion visa is valid for three years. During this period, you need to work for the same employer who got your CoS. You may not receive any form of public funds. Also, you can not have a second job.
Tier2 Minister of Religion visa extension
The initial validity of a Minister of Religion visa is three years. Yet, you can extend it for another three years. When you live in the UK for FIVE years, you will become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). You have the authorization to stay in the UK without any time limit under the ILR.
Can you switch to a Minister of Religion visa?
In case you fulfill the eligibility criteria, you can switch to a Minister of Religion visa from inside the country.
First, you need to fulfill the general preconditions for a Minister of Religion visa. You must be in the UK under one of the below visas:
- Start-up visa
- Tier 2 (General) visa
- Innovator visa
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer
- Tier 1 visa
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
Are you allowed to bring your family to the UK under a Minister of Religion visa?
Yes, the Minister of Religion visa permits you to bring your family to the UK. Yet, they need to apply separately. Each family member has to begin his/her own application.
Your family includes:
- Spouse or law partner.
- Children under 18, single, and live with the family.
- Children over 18 must be already in the UK.
Keep in mind that you need to provide proof of relationship for your family. Do not forget to provide proof of enough funds for your family. If you only bring your spouse, you need £285 and £315 for one child.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa fees
The Minister of Religion visa’s fees depends on whether you are inside or outside of the UK. Providing that you are outside of the UK, you have to pay £610. In case of being inside the country to switch or extend your visa, you need to pay £704.
If your family accompanies you, you have to pay the same amount for each family member. The amount for inside or outside of the UK is the same as mentioned.
Let’s sum up…
You can get a job with a religious organization in the UK if you are qualified. You need a job offer and enough work experience. You can work to get other eligibility principles.
This article brought you who is eligible for a Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa, requirements, the application process, validity, fees, FAQs, and whatever you need to know.
If you should know about other types of UK visas, visit the left sidebar. Go to the home page of the Visa Library to know about other country’s visas.
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