The Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK, or the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa, is granted for citizens of countries outside EEA and Switzerland who were offered a job inside the faith community (for example, working as a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order) in the country. Just like for the Tier 2 visa for skilled workers, the visa candidate needs to be sponsored – meaning, he or she must have a certificate of sponsorship from a UK licensed sponsor. Our team of immigration solicitors in London can offer the necessary legal support and advice when applying for such visa.
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Duration of stay in UK
With this type of visa, the applicant can live for a maximum of three years and one month, or the period of time stated in the sponsorship certificate, if it is shorter than three years, plus one month. After that period, the candidate can apply to extend the visa. This means you must apply before the visa expires, and you should keep in mind that the eligibility criteria are still available, even if it is a visa extension. Moreover, the decision upon the visa extension may take up to eight weeks for an online application, several days if you choose the priority service, or just one day if ask for legal support offered by a UK immigration lawyer.
Requirements for the Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK
In order to be granted the Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK, you have to meet the following criteria:
- possess a valid certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK sponsor (see below);
- have satisfactory English knowledge. Our immigration solicitors in London can give you more information on this matter.
Another important condition when applying for a Tier 2 Visa for religious workers is related to the financial status of the citizen. This means that the individual must possess GBP 945 for at least 90 days before the actual application for such type of visa. A bank statement in this matter can be solicited by the authorities who issue visas for UK. If you have a sponsor, then it is not necessary to consider the above-mentioned requirement, as your agent can cover the sum. Also, if you are already living in UK, and you need to exchange your existing visa with the Tier 2 visa for religious workers, you won’t need to provide a financial statement. Our UK immigration lawyer can tell you more.
No English requirements for certain countries
The Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK can also be granted to persons who do not have to meet the English language requirements. Citizens from countries like Canada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Australia, or the Bahamas can apply for a Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK and respect the conditions mentioned earlier, except the language requirements. Talk to our London immigration lawyer for extra details.
Certificate of sponsorship in the UK
A certificate of sponsorship represents a reference number that contains data about the position you are hired for in the UK and your personal information. It is issued by your sponsor in the country. The sponsorship certificate is valid for three months from the date it is delivered. If you do not meet these requirements, you might qualify for a Tier 2 Visa for employees of multinational companies.
What you are allowed to do and what you cannot do in the UK
With the Tier 2 visa for members of religious orders in UK, you are allowed to:
- work for your UK sponsor in the position mentioned in the sponsorship certificate;
- perform a second job;
- work as a volunteer;
- study without interrupting the work you are sponsored for;
- travel overseas and come back in the UK;
- take your family members – your partner, your child under 18 years of age, or a child over 18 if he/she already lives in the UK as a dependant.
At the same time, with this type of visa you cannot:
- possess more than 10% of the shares of your sponsor (except for the case when you earn more than GBP 155,300 per year);
- have access to public funds;
- begin to work before you are granted your visa;
- apply for a second job until the date you start the job for your sponsor.
In case you have more questions that were not answered by the information above, please feel free to contact our London immigration lawyer.