Minister of Religion Visa

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

How do I qualify?

Applicants may apply for the Minister of Religion visa if they have been offered a job within a faith community such as a missionary, minister of religion, or a member of religious order in the UK.

They must meet the eligibility requirements

  • They must have a certificate of sponsorship
  • They must be able to prove their knowledge of English
  • They must have personal savings in order to support themselves in the UK when they arrive
  • Show travel history for the last 5 years
  • Be 18 or over when apply
  • Have a tuberculosis test result if you are from a listed country

How long can I stay?

You can come to the UK with a Minister of Religion visa for a maximum of up to 3 years and 1 month, or the time given on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

You can extend a Minister of Religion visa for up to 3 years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or the time required to take your total stay in the UK to a maximum of 6 years, whichever time is shorter.

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain, i.e. settlement under the Minster of Religion visa category once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom on this route. You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period prior to making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You must have Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least 12 months before making an application for British Citizenship by naturalisation unless you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen in which case you can apply for citizenship as soon as you are granted settlement.

How much does it cost?

Visa application fee

  • Outside the UK – £625
  • Inside the UK – £719

Immigration Health Surcharge – £624 per annum for the duration of the visa for an adult, and £470 per annum for a child.

Priority Service Receipt (optional) – £220.00 (UK Visas and Immigration (‘UKVI’) aim to process priority visa applications in 5 business days).

Things you can and cannot do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship

  • do a second job – in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible.

You cannot:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares, with the exception if you earn more than £159,600 a year
  • get public funds

How do I apply?

You will need to apply online on the website.

You can only apply for initial entry clearance from your country of residency, and standard processing time is 15-business days for a Minister of Religion Visa. Your passport will be retained by UKVI during this time. We do not recommend booking any travel to the UK until you are in receipt of a valid visa.

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