You can apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK as a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) if you have been offered employment within your faith community in the UK as a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order.
Tip 1: You need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
Your prospective employer must be a licensed sponsor and must issue you with a valid certificate of sponsorship in order for you to apply in this category. Your employer must show that they can meet a Resident Labour Market test unless certain exemptions apply.
Tip 2: Make sure you can make an in-country switch
You are able to make an application for leave to remain in this category if your previous grant of leave was in one of the categories set out in the Immigration Rules.
Did you know? You cannot make an in-country switch from a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Religious Worker) visa into a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa but you can switch from being a Tier 4 dependant.
Tip 3: Meeting the genuineness test
You need to show that you genuinely intend to undertake, and are capable of undertaking, the role which you are being employed for. In practice, we have a depth of experience in advising clients how to meet this requirement.
Tip 4: Ask your employer to maintain you
If your employer is an A-rated Sponsor they can certify maintenance on your Certificate of Sponsorship and you therefore do not need to provide evidence of available funds.
Tip 5: Minimum salary requirement
Unlike other Tier 2 categories there is no minimum level of salary for your employment but it cannot be less than the National Minimum Wage.
Don't forget: English language and maintenance
All applicants need to meet the English language requirement and if your Sponsor cannot certify maintenance you will need to show a certain level of available funds for you and any dependants.
Advice for employers
If your employer does not yet have a Sponsor License but would like to obtain one in order to sponsor your employment we can provide separate advice on this.
The Immigration team at Drummond Miller are extremely experienced in dealing with entry clearance and leave to remain applications in the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) category. This is a very specialised area and we are skilled in preparing both initial and extension applications. We are also happy to advise on possible avenues of challenge if your application has been refused. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Immigration team should you require any further information.