The tier 2 Minister of Religion category is specifically reserved for candidates who are coming to the UK to perform pastoral duties. Coming to the UK in the capacity of a monk, nun, priest or a member of similar religious community entitles the candidate to stay in the country for a maximum of 3 years.
Eligibility for applying
Those applying under the tier 2 Minister of Religion category should:
Be over 16 years of age
Not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
Want to enter or work in the UK under the tier 2 Points Based System (PBS)
Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister of Religion) Requirements
The essential requirement of this visa is to score a minimum of 70 points in the sponsorship, maintenance and English language categories. Candidates applying as a Minister of Religion are to carry out duties which can include:
- Acting as a leader of a religious ceremony
- Education, preaching and teaching religion
- Performing rituals of marriages, funerals and other religious activities
- Counselling or providing welfare support to members of a congregation
- Conducting missionary activities
- Monitoring and coordinating the work of local preachers and volunteers
- Initially a prospective sponsor will apply with the UKBA for a license. Once acquired, they can apply for a number of certificates of sponsorship and subsequently use them for sponsoring Ministers of Religion.
Time frame for Tier 2 (Ministry of Religion) Visa
This visa is issued for an initial period of 3 years, which can be further extended. Upon successful completion of a total of 5 years, the person can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. ILR status holders can even go on to sponsor their non-British dependents to come to the UK and become eligible to apply for naturalisation and UK citizenship.