Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa
The Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa is designed to allow religious ministers to enter the UK and take up employment in a religious role within a faith community.
The definition of 'Minister of Religion' includes missionaries or other members of religious orders. It is expected that such ministers will undertake duties such as leading religious services, worship, weddings or funerals, providing religious instruction whether through teaching or preaching, and providing support and counselling to a faith community. But the definition of a religious minister would exclude someone working as a regular teacher within a school owned and run by a faith group, for example.
The Minister of Religion visa is designed for people outwith the EEA and Switzerland who meet various other eligibility criteria - many of which overlap with the Tier 2 (General) Visa. For example you must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed Sponsor organisation before you are eligible to apply for your visa, and the work you plan on undertaking in the UK must be connected to the work of your sponsoring organisation.
Five Star International is Glasgow's premier firm of immigration specialists, and our family-run team of immigration lawyers and advisers have a wealth of experience in handling all types of visa applications and other immigration problems. Our helpful and knowledgeable solicitors can advise you on all aspects of immigration law, and also guide you through the practical aspects of the immigration process. And we work with clients throughout Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and all across Scotland.
For expert and personalised legal advice about your UK Minister of Religion Visa application please call us today on +44 (0) 141 339 7373 or get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa Requirements
The main eligibility criteria for Minister of Religion Visa applications are very similar to the Tier 2 (General) Visa requirements. You will need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your Sponsor organisation. You need to meet the English language requirement. And unless your Sponsor confirms during your application that they will maintain and accommodate you during your stay, you may need to prove you have adequate savings to support yourself and any dependants you plan on bringing with you to the UK.
As with the General Tier 2 Visa, you may submit your application no more than 3 months before your date of travel to the UK, and you will usually receive notification of the result of your application about 3 weeks later. There is a visa processing fee, which will depend on what country you apply from, how you apply and the number of dependants. You will also have to pay a healthcare surcharge.
The maximum duration of your Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa may be specified in your Certificate of Sponsorship, otherwise your stay will usually be limited to 3 years and 1 month. You are allowed to arrive in the UK a maximum of 2 weeks before the start date of your Certificate of Sponsorship. And you have the right to apply to extend your visa for up to a further 3 years, or up to a maximum of 6 years in total.
Just as with the general Tier 2 Visa, you will have the right to work for your sponsor organisation to carry out the role stated in your Certificate of Sponsorship and application. You may also undertake a second post in the same sector as your main post, though if you want to work in a completely different type of job you would have to submit another visa application. Under this type of visa you are also allowed to carry out voluntary work, to study, to travel to and from the UK, and bring family members and dependants with you.
The usual Tier 2 restrictions apply - namely that you cannot access public funds during your stay in the UK, you cannot start work until you have received your visa, and you cannot apply for a second job until your first post has commenced. You are not allowed to own more than 10% of your sponsor organisation's shares, unless your annual income exceeds £155,300.
Expert Legal Advice for Minister of Religion Visa Applications
Five Star International is a specialist firm of immigration solicitors and advisers based in Glasgow's West End, and our team have the knowledge and experience required to handle every kind of immigration case - from providing initial advice to document preparation and application submission.
We regularly take on cases that other immigration firms have been unable to progress, and have a very high success rate because we combine expertise in both the legal and practical facets of immigration procedures. We believe in providing a flexible legal service, and are open six days a week - from 8am until late.
To discuss your Tier 2 Minister of Religion application directly with one of our highly trained lawyers and give you the best possible chance of successfully obtaining your visa please call us today on +44 (0) 141 339 7373 or by email at email@example.com.