The Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa is for people who have been offered employment or a position as a:

  • Minister
  • Missionary
  • A member of a religious order (monk, nun or similar)

The role of minister may include:

  • Leading religious services
  • Giving religious instruction to children and adults
  • Officiating at weddings, funerals and other ceremonies
  • Counselling and supporting members of the community
  • Organising and coordinating the work of local volunteers

The work of a missionary may include:

  • Missionary, evangelical work
  • The organisation of missionary activity (but not menial clerical work)
  • Supervising staff
  • Being ‘in charge of’ a particular activity for your church (e.g. accountancy, IT)
  • Translating religious texts
 Working in a religious order must be either
  • Work within the order itself or
  • Outside work as directed by the order
Members of religious orders who want to come to the UK to study at an academic institution should apply for a Tier 4 visa.
Working as a full time teacher in a school run by a religious or missionary organisation is not missionary work. A teacher in a school run by a religious organisation should apply as a teacher under the Tier 2 (General) visa stream.
Religious workers who want to come to the UK for a short period should consider coming under the Tier 5 (Temporary worker – religious worker) visa.

Summary of Employer Requirements

If a UK-based religious body wants to employ a skilled worker from outside the European Economic Area on a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa it must first:

  • Register with the UK Border Agency and obtain a Sponsorship License
  • Advertise the job in the UK in accordance with the terms of the Resident Labour Market Test
  • Issue a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant
If you are responsible for recruitment for a UK-based religious organisation and need assistance with obtaining a Tier 2 Sponsorship License then please complete a free evaluation form.

Summary of Applicant Requirements

In order to be eligible for a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa you must score 70 points in the test set out below.
Tier 2 Points Test for Ministers of Religion
  • You must meet the Tier 2 Maintenance Requirement for which 10 points are awarded
  • You must meet the Tier 2 English Language Requirement for which you also get 10 points. Ministers of religion are generally required to speak better English than many other Tier 2 applicants.
  • You must be in possession of a valid Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship for which you score 50 points.

Extension Applications for Tier 2 (Ministers of religion) Visas

An applicant will need to have been issued with a new Certificate of Sponsorship for his or her continued employment.

After a continuous period of residency in the UK for five years under a Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain providing you meet the conditions put in place by UK immigration at the time of your application. Indefinite leave to remain is permission to remain in the UK indefinitely. It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen.