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Points Based System

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa


Applicants who are non-EEA nationals residing overseas may be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa if they have been offered a job within a faith community in the UK. This could be as a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order for example. Additionally, they must meet the eligibility requirements.

An Applicant may also be able to apply to switch into the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa if they are currently residing in the UK with another visa category.


An Applicant will need to demonstrate the following to be eligible to apply for a visa in this category:

1) That they have a valid certificate of sponsorship reference number from a valid and accredited sponsor

2) That they meet the English language requirement

3) That they have held an amount of at least £945 in their bank account for at least 90 days before they apply.

Certificate of Sponsorship

This is in fact not a paper certificate but a digital reference number which holds information in respect of the employer, the job and the Applicant’s details.

The Applicant’s employer will apply for the certificate of sponsorship. They will provide the reference number to the Applicant before the application. The reference number can only be used once and is only valid for 3 months from the date that it is assigned to an individual Applicant.



An Applicant will not be required to demonstrate they have savings of £945 if their sponsor is approved by the Home Office as being an “A-rated” sponsor or the certificate of sponsorship provides that the sponsor will be maintaining the Applicant.

If the Applicant is switching into this visa from within the UK, they will not need to evidence their savings if they are in the UK in one of the following categories:

  • Tier 2
  • work permit holder
  • Jewish agency employee
  • ground staff for an overseas airline
  • minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order
  • representative an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

Length of Stay

Upon submitting a successful application, the Applicant will be granted a period of 3 years and 30 days or the time given on the Applicant’s certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month – whichever comes first.

The Applicant may be able to extend their stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa. The Applicant will be required to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship from their sponsor.

Upon a successful application for an extension of leave within this category, an Applicant will be granted a further 3 years, or the time given on the Applicant’s certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days or up until the time it would take the Applicant to complete a maximum of 6 years stay in the UK.

Contact Us

DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team works closely applicants and their employers to ensure a seamless process.

For advice and assistance with Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) application, please contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail