If you wish to apply for a visa in this category then our team at Hunter Stone Law will be able to guide and assist you throughout every step of the process. In order to qualify for this visa you would have to meet the requirement of the relevant section of the Immigration Rules. However we have attempted to simplify the requirements below.
You can apply for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa if:
You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work. The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa for a maximum of up to 3 years and 1 month, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. You can apply to extend your stay. However you must apply before your visa expires.
Your time in the UK must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.
You need all of the following to be eligible for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa:
There are some additional rules if you’re currently in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa and you want to switch to a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa.
You won’t need to provide proof of funds if you’re in the UK and you have a visa in one of the following categories:
You won’t need £945n savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.
Certificate of sponsorship
A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document. Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number. They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid. You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form - you can only use it once. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of receiving your certificate of sponsorship.
Knowledge of English
You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.
You can prove your knowledge of English by either:
You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways.
English Language Exceptions
You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of majority English speaking country. The full list of countries is available from the Home Office website.
Documents you must provide
When you apply you’ll need to provide:
You won’t need £945 if you’re exempt or your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.
You must provide the original plus a photocopy of every document you provide.
If applying from outside the UK then you must apply online for a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
If applying in the UK, you can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.
Extend your visa
You may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa. You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend - including children who have turned 18 during your stay.
You should apply before your current visa expires.
You’ll still need to meet the eligibility criteria and provide the right documents. You’ll also need a new certificate of sponsorship from your sponsor.
Switch to this visa
You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa. You should apply before your current visa expires.
You must meet the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) eligibility requirements and must already be in the UK under any of the following visas:
You can also switch to a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re:
Switch from a Tier 4 or other student visa
You must have received 1 of the following under your Tier 4 or other student visa if you want to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa:
The other student visa categories are:
You must have completed at least 12 months’ study for your PhD during your most recent stay in the UK and had permission to take the qualification.
You must have got your qualification at a UK recognised body or an institution that has a Tier 4 sponsor licence.
Your family members (‘dependants’) must apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
Savings to show your dependants can be supported
You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.
Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself. You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.
Please note that you won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a letter from your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor saying they’ll provide 1 month’s funding of at least £630 for each of your dependants.
If your dependants applying outside the UK then your family members must apply online. They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.
Dependants applying in the UK
Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. They should apply using the dependant application form. It’s best to send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours. It should be noted that members of your family can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.
Taking a second job
You’ll need to make a new Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa application if you want to do a second job that isn’t in the same sector as your main job or isn’t voluntary work. You can do a second job (up to 20 hours a week) that is on the shortage list without making a new application. You’ll need to be sponsored by your second employer and get a new certificate of sponsorship if you make a new application.
Documents you must provide
You’ll need to provide some documents with your application.
You must also include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay.
Your letter must state:
What you can and can’t do
You’ll need to make a new application to the Home Office if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same sector as your main job.