Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK Guidance and Requirements

This guidance delves into the UK Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Requirements, now succeeded by the T2 Minister of Religion Visa, and answers frequently asked questions. As a points-based visa, applicants must score seventy points, fulfilling the criteria for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), English Language proficiency, and Maintenance Funds. Additionally, this post offers detailed guidance notes on the supporting documents checklist, procedures for visa extension, switching, application fees, processing times, and other relevant aspects of the T2 Minister of Religion Visa application process.

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Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK 2020

1. Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK Requirements

The Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa caters to non-EEA or Swiss nationals intending to undertake religious roles within the UK faith community.

Occupation TypesPreaching, pastoral work, missionary, or a member of a religious order.
Offer of EmploymentWithin a UK faith community in roles like minister, missionary, or religious order member.
Visa ConditionsCannot apply under Tier 2 General or Tier 2 ICT for Minister of Religion roles.
Requirements for Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa

Points Requirements

To apply, candidates need to score seventy points across different criteria.

Points CriteriaPoints Allocation
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)50 points
English Language10 points
Maintenance Funds10 points
Note:No requirement for Appropriate Salary.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Points Requirements

Earning points for CoS depends on specific conditions being met by the sponsor.

CoS ConditionDetails
Labour Market TestConfirmation of the completed test, or role is supernumerary.
Role InvolvementInvolves living within and being part of a religious order.
Sponsor SupportSponsor’s commitment to support the applicant financially.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Applicants need to demonstrate sufficient savings unless supported by their sponsor.

Applicant TypeRequired Savings
Main Applicant£945 for 90 days
Family Application£3,780 for a family of four
Sponsor SupportExemption if sponsor covers cost of living.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Maintenance Funds

Meeting the English requirement can be achieved through various means.

Method of Meeting RequirementCriteria
English TestCEFR Level B1 (Appendix B)
NationalityFrom a majority English-speaking country
Educational QualificationDegree taught in English
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa English Language Requirement

Required Documentation

Essential documents for the application process.

Document TypeDetails
Application FormPrintout of the online visa application
Proof of AncestryCoS reference number, English proficiency proof
Financial EvidenceBank statements or sponsor letter
PassportCurrent and expired passports
Health ScreeningTB test results, if applicable
TranslationsCertified translations for non-English documents
Required Documentation for Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa

    Our multilingual, qualified London-based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, the UK-based law firm may ask for relevant case-specific documents such as refusal letters, deportation orders, application forms, etc. After reviewing the documents and information, the legal advisor may suggest a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

    2. Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Genuineness Test

    The Genuineness Test is a critical aspect of the Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa application process. This test ensures that applicants have a bona fide intention to fulfill the role specified in their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and comply with the conditions of their visa.

    Understanding the Genuineness Test

    The purpose of this test is to confirm that applicants genuinely intend to, and are capable of, undertaking the designated religious role in the UK. It also verifies that applicants will not engage in any employment beyond what is permitted by their visa.

    Additional InformationApplicants may be required to provide extra information or evidence. Failure to comply within 10 business days can lead to application refusal.
    Interview RequirementApplicants may need to attend an interview. Non-compliance without a reasonable explanation can result in refusal.
    Sponsor ComplianceInformation from interviews may be used to assess a sponsor’s adherence to their duties. Non-compliance can lead to Tier 2 license revocation.
    Genuineness Test Criteria

    The decision-maker evaluates several factors on the balance of probabilities, including:

    • Knowledge of the Role: Understanding and familiarity with the religious duties.
    • Relevant Experience: Past experience related to performing religious functions.
    • Knowledge of the Sponsor: Awareness and understanding of the sponsoring organization in the UK.
    • Recruitment Process Explanation: Clarity on how the applicant was selected for the role.
    • Additional Relevant Information: Any other pertinent details that support the genuineness of the application.

    In certain cases, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may request an interview with the applicant. This is particularly common in situations involving:

    • Negative Immigration Background: Past issues with immigration status or visa applications.
    • Criminal Convictions: Existence of prior criminal records.
    • Document Verification: Need to authenticate submitted documents.

    The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate their commitment and suitability for the role. The decision-maker’s assessment during this stage is crucial in determining the outcome of the visa application.

    3. Guidance Notes: Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK

    Understanding the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa is crucial for applicants who intend to undertake roles within a UK faith community. This consolidated guide provides key details on application procedures, fees, family inclusion, processing times, and conditions of stay.

    AspectDetails and Requirements
    Application ProcessApply online, attend a biometrics appointment, and collect the BRP within 10 days of UK arrival. (Note: North Korean applicants must apply via a physical form.)
    Visa FeesStandard application fee is £625, with a £55 discount for Turkish or Macedonian citizens. Excludes the IHS, refundable in case of refusal.
    Family MembersDependants (spouse, partner, children) eligible for Tier 2 dependent visa.
    Processing TimeStandard processing within 15 working days, up to 30 days in some cases. Priority service available for faster processing.
    Conditions of StayEngage in work, second jobs under certain conditions, volunteer, study, travel, and bring family members. Restrictions include no access to public funds, no work before visa issuance, and shareholding limitations.
    Starting WorkPermitted to start work 14 days before the CoS start date.
    Maximum StayInitially up to 3 years plus 1 month, extendable under specific conditions for up to 6 years in total.
    Children Born in the UKApply for permission to travel with UK-born children.
    Second Job RulesAllowed to work up to 20 hours per week in specific professions or shortage list roles, plus voluntary work.
    Fresh Application for Changing EmployersRequired after commencing work with the first sponsor and must be approved before starting with a new sponsor.
    Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK: Comprehensive Guidance

    This table encapsulates the essential aspects of the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK, offering a clear and concise overview for potential applicants. It covers the application steps, financial requirements, family inclusion, processing durations, conditions for staying in the UK, and guidelines for starting work and undertaking additional employment.

    4. Visa Extension and Switching Guidance

    Understanding the process for extending, switching, and the timing for the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa is crucial for staying compliant with UK immigration rules.

    AspectDetails and Requirements
    Extension of StayMigrants can extend their visa if they meet eligibility criteria, have a new CoS, and apply before current visa expiry. Dependents, including children who turned 18 during the stay, can be included.
    Application and FeesApply online for leave to remain. The fee is £704, with a £55 discount for Turkish or Macedonian citizens. Excludes the IHS (refundable if refused). Biometrics fee: £19.20.
    Eligibility for SwitchingMigrants on visas such as PBS Tier 1, Tier 2 Sportsperson, Tier 2 General, Pre-2010 Tier 2 ICT, PBS Tier 4 (with eligible qualification), Start-up, Innovator, Dependent Partner of Tier 4, or Overseas Business Representative can switch to this visa.
    Switching from Tier 4 VisaRequires a UK bachelor’s, master’s degree, PGCE, PGDE, or completion of 12 months’ PhD study in the UK.
    Maximum Duration of StayExtension possible for up to 3 years, the duration in CoS plus 14 days, or to a maximum total stay of 6 years.
    Wait TimeStandard processing within 8 weeks after biometrics. Priority service (5 working days) costs an extra £500; Super-priority service (next working day) costs £800.
    Priority ServicesPriority and super-priority services available for straightforward applications but do not guarantee faster decision-making.
    Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa: Extension, Switching, and Processing

    5. Understanding the Cooling-Off Period

    The cooling-off period is a crucial aspect of the Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa, dictating when a migrant can reapply for entry into the UK after their visa ends.

    AspectDetails and Conditions
    Cooling-Off Period DurationMigrants must leave the UK after their visa ends and can typically reapply after 12 months, known as the cooling-off period.
    Exemptions to Cooling-Off PeriodExempt if the migrant was not in the UK under a Tier 2 visa in the 12 months prior to reapplication or if the salary for the new job is £159,600 or more.
    Early Departure NotificationMigrants should notify the Home Office if they leave their job early, affecting the start date of the cooling-off period.
    Evidence for Early DepartureTravel tickets, boarding passes, exit/entry stamps, or a letter from a foreign employer can serve as evidence of leaving the UK.
    Calculating Cooling-Off Start DateThe Home Office calculates the start from the earliest evidence of leaving the UK.
    Applicability of Cooling-Off PeriodApplies even if the actual stay is less than 3 months, provided the CoS is for more than 3 months.
    Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK: Understanding the Cooling-Off Period

    This table clearly outlines the rules and conditions of the cooling-off period for the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK, including exemptions and the implications of early departure. It provides a comprehensive understanding of how the cooling-off period is determined and what migrants need to consider when planning to reapply for the visa.

    6. FAQs on Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK

    1. Who can apply for the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa UK?

      Individuals who have been offered a role in a UK faith community, such as ministers, missionaries, or religious order members, and are not EEA or Swiss nationals.

    2. What are the main requirements for this visa?

      Applicants must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role, meet the English language requirements (CEFR B2), and have sufficient personal savings to support themselves in the UK.

    3. Can family members accompany a Tier 2 Minister of Religion migrant to the UK?

      Yes, dependents including a spouse, partner, and children under 18 (or over 18 if they are already in the UK as dependents) can apply to join the main applicant.

    4. What is the application fee for this visa?

      The fee is £625 for the main applicant, with a £55 discount for Turkish or Macedonian citizens. This does not include the Immigration Health Surcharge.

    5. How long can a migrant stay in the UK on this visa?

      The maximum duration is 3 years plus 1 month, or as per the time given on the CoS, whichever is shorter. It’s extendable under specific conditions.

    6. Is there a cooling-off period for the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa?

      Yes, after the visa expires, migrants typically have a 12-month cooling-off period before they can reapply, unless exempted under certain conditions.

    7. Can migrants switch to this visa from another UK visa category?

      Yes, switching is possible from certain visa categories like PBS Tier 1, Tier 2 Sportsperson, Tier 2 General, pre-2010 Tier 2 ICT, PBS Tier 4 with an eligible qualification, Start-up visa, Innovator visa, a dependent partner of a Tier 4 visa, or a representative of an overseas business.

    8. What is the processing time for the Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa?

      Standard processing is usually within 3 weeks after biometrics. Priority services are available for faster processing at an additional cost.