UK Border Agency | Tier 2 (Minister of religion)

UK Border Agency | Tier 2 (Minister of religion)

This section explains whether and how you can apply to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 2 (Minister of religion) of our points-based system.

Increased funds required for Tier 2 applications from 14 June 2012

On 15 March 2012, a written ministerial statement was laid in Parliament outlining a number of changes to the Immigration Rules.

From 14 June 2012, the personal savings you must have to support your application will increase. If you plan to make a Tier 2 application on or after 14 June 2012, you mustensure the correct funds are held in your account as soon as possible.

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The Tier 2 (Minister of religion) category is for people who have been offered employment or posts or roles within their faith communities in the UK as:

  • ministers of religion undertaking preaching and pastoral work;
  • missionaries; or
  • members of religious orders.

Pastoral duties include:

  • leading worship regularly and on special occasions;
  • giving religious education to children and adults by preaching or teaching;
  • officiating at marriages, funerals and other special services; and
  • offering counselling and welfare support to members of the congregation; and
  • recruiting, training and co-ordinating the work of any local volunteers and lay preachers.

Work as a missionary is not just preaching and teaching. It can include:

  • the organisation of missionary activity (but should not be administrative or clerical, unless filling a senior post);
  • supervising staff;
  • co-ordinating the organisation of missionary work;
  • being in charge of a particular activity such as accounts/finance, personnel management or IT; and
  • translating religious texts – this is missionary work, not clerical work.

The work in a religious order must be in the order itself, or outside work directed by the order.

If you are a member of a religious order and you want to study for a qualification, a formal full-time course of study or training in an academic institution not looked after by the order, you should not apply to Tier 2 (Minister of religion. Instead, you should apply as a student under Tier 4 of the points-based system – the Studying in the UKsection contains more information.

Working full-time as a teacher in a school run by a church or missionary organisation does not count as missionary work. If this is the work that you will be doing, you must apply as a teacher under the Tier 2 (General) category. The Tier 2 (General)section contains more information.

If you want to come to the UK as a religious worker for a shorter time, you should apply under Tier 5 (temporary worker – religious worker). The Tier 5section contains more information.

Before you apply under Tier 2 (Minister of religion), you must read the Tier 2 policy guidance, which you can download from the right side of this page.

Do you need a Tier2 visa to come to the UK?

Tier2 is part of our points-based system, which is for migrants from outside Europe. You do not need to apply under the points-based system if:

  • you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland – the European nationalssection describes your right to work in the UK;
  • you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
  • you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here – the UK ancestrysection explains how you can apply;
  • your partner or (if you are under 18) one of your parents has permission to stay in the UK under Tier 2 of the points-based system- you should apply as their dependant; or
  • you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.

More information

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