Minister of Religion Visa

Who is this visa for?

This route is for a person who has a key leading role within their faith-based organisation or a religious order in the UK.

What are the basic eligibility requirements? 

  • The applicant must have a job offer from a faith community.
  • The applicant would need a Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’) from a licensed sponsor in the UK, the list of which can be found here.
  • The applicant must meet the English language requirement by passing an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level B2 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening or they must have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English and your qualification is recognised by Ecctis as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher. The applicant will need to send a certificate from Ecctis confirming this when they apply. An applicant not need to prove their knowledge of English if they are a national of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; the British Overseas Territories; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Malta; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America.
  • The applicant must evidence that they have at least £1,270.00, in their personal bank account for 28 consecutive days prior to the date of submission. They will not be required to show proof of funds if they have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of application, or their employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270.00, and this is confirmed on the CoS.

How long can I stay in the UK?

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance, permission will be granted for whichever is the shorter of:

  • up to 14 days after the period of employment stated on their Certificate of Sponsorship; or
  • 3 years and 1 month.

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay, it will be granted for whichever is the shorter of:

  • up to 14 days after the period of employment stated on their Certificate of Sponsorship; or
  • 3 years; or
  • the difference between 6 years and the period they have already been granted permission as a T2 Minister of Religion, International Sportsperson, or Skilled Worker (or any combination of these routes).

For more information on our legal services, please get in contact so that we can provide you with a quote for the same.

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Can dependants join me on this route?

Family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife, or partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Your partner and children must have a certain amount of money available to support themselves while they’re in the UK.
You – or your partner or child – will need:

  • £285 for your partner
  • £315 for one child
  • £200 for each additional child

You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will cover your family’s costs during your first month in the UK – this must be confirmed on your certificate of sponsorship.

How much does it cost?

  • Application fee if you are applying from outside of the UK – £719.00
  • Application fee if you are applying from within the UK – £827.00
  • Immigration Health Surcharge – £1,035.00 per annum for applicants 18 years of age and over, and £776.00 per annum for applicants under the age of 18.

How long does it take?

You can only apply for initial entry clearance from your country of residency, and standard processing time is 3-weeks as at today’s date for a Minister of Religion Visa.

When should I apply?

The earliest date that you can submit the application, is 3-months before the start date on your CoS. Entry clearance will take effect from either the date of decision on the application, or your preferred date of entry as specified on the application form, whichever is later. The expiry date of the visa will be 14 days after the end date stated on your CoS.

What you can and cannot do:

You can:

You cannot:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
  • get public funds

If you require assistance with applying for the Minister of Religion, please contact us for a quote.

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Get in Touch

With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.