The Minister of Religion Visa allows a person with a job offer in the UK faith community to work as a minister of religion, a missionary or a member of a religious order.
How to qualify for the Minster of Religion Visa
To qualify for a Minister of Religion visa, you must get a job offer from a licensed UK sponsor or employer, which must be a bona fide religious organisation. Your sponsor will check that you can do the job they need to hire you for and that the job meets the Home Office requirements. They will also check that you qualify for the visa. If they are satisfied, they will issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship.
Other criteria include that you have to be 18 years and older and must be able to fulfil an English language and Maintenance requirement to qualify.
Length of Stay
The Home Office will issue the successful applicant with an initial Minister of Religion visa for a maximum period of three years and one month. Alternatively, the time on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days.
It will be possible to extend your Minister of Religion visa. You must apply for your visa extension before your current visa expires.
Right to Work and Study
You will be allowed to do the work for your sponsor as specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship.
You can also take up a second job if you are working up to 20 hours a week in either the same profession as your main job or in a profession on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation list.
Voluntary work is allowed as long as it is unpaid.
Ministers or Religions can study if it does not interfere with the sponsored job. Certain courses will, however, require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate to be issued, providing permission for the applicant to study their chosen subject.
Spouses and Dependants
Your dependants will be able to apply to accompany or join you in the UK.
The Home Office classify the following persons as dependants;
- Your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner (provided you can show you have lived together for at least 2 years).
- Children under the age of 18 years. This will include children born in the UK during your stay.
- Children over the age of 18 years, if they are currently in the UK as your dependant.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The Immigration Health Surcharge is payable as part of the Minister of Religion visa application. It is payable for the length of the visa.
Dependants also have to pay the immigration health surcharge with their application.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
The good news is that the Minister of Religion visa leads to settlement in the UK. After five years in this visa category, you should be able to qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
How Breytenbachs can help you
The Breytenbachs consultants are highly qualified and have successfully assisted many religious workers in obtaining their Minister of Religion visas. We also assist religious organisations with their Sponsorship applications.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information, or should you wish to proceed with your application for the T2 Minister of Religion Visa.