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The Minister of Religion Visa
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The Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa in the United Kingdom is designed for religious workers who have been offered a job within a faith-based organization in the UK. To obtain this visa, you will need to meet certain requirements and follow a specific application process. Keep in mind that immigration regulations can change, so it’s essential to check the most up-to-date requirements on the official website of the UK Home Office or consult with a qualified immigration advisor. As of my last update, here were the general requirements for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa:
Certificate of Sponsorship (COS): You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed religious institution or organization in the UK. The institution must be eligible to issue COS.
Genuine Offer of Employment: You must have a genuine job offer for a specific role as a minister of religion, missionary, or similar position within the religious institution. The job must meet the skill and salary requirements for the Tier 2 category.
English Language Proficiency: Depending on your nationality and the specific job, you may need to prove your knowledge of the English language. Exemptions and specific requirements can vary.
Maintenance Funds: You must show that you have enough money to support yourself while in the UK, unless your COS specifies that you are not required to meet this condition.
Tuberculosis (TB) Test: If you are applying for a visa from a country listed as TB high-risk, you will need to provide a TB test certificate as part of your application.
Criminal Record Certificate: You may be required to provide a criminal record certificate, depending on your specific circumstances and the nature of your job.
Visa Application: You will need to submit your visa application online, pay the required application fee, and provide biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) at a visa application center.
How long will it take to process my visa application?
You can submit your visa application up to 3 months before the intended start date of your employment in the UK, as indicated on your certificate of sponsorship.
Typically, if you apply from outside the UK, you can expect to receive a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.
Fee Structure for the Minister of Religion Visa (T2)
The application fees for the Minister of Religion visa (T2) depend on your location and whether you are applying from outside the UK or seeking an extension or change of status within the UK. Here’s the breakdown:
|Applying from Outside the UK
|Extending or Switching in the UK
|Main Applicant (You)
|£719 per person
|£827 per person
In addition to the application fee, you will also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge. Please check the specific amount you need to pay for the healthcare surcharge before submitting your application.
If you are applying for an extension or change of status within the UK, there is an option to expedite the processing of your application for an additional fee:
Priority Service: For an extra £500, you can opt for the priority service, which will result in a decision within 5 working days.
Super Priority Service: For an extra £1,000, you can choose the super priority service, which provides a decision:
- By the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday.
- 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on the weekend.
Please note that working days are defined as Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. Once your application is approved, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to be delivered.
Duration of Stay on a Minister of Religion Visa (T2)
With a Minister of Religion visa (T2), you are permitted to stay in the UK for a maximum period of up to 3 years and 1 month, or the duration specified on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days, whichever is the shorter of the two.
Should you wish to prolong your stay, you have the option to apply for an extension.
Upon completing 5 years on this visa, you may become eligible to apply for permanent settlement in the UK, commonly referred to as ‘indefinite leave to remain.’ This status grants you the freedom to reside, work, study, and access benefits in the UK without any time constraints.
It is crucial to submit your extension application before your current visa expires to ensure continuity of your stay in the UK.
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