UK Minister of Religion Visa from Canada
Foreign nationals who have been offered a job in the UK as an ordained minister, missionary, or another member of a religious order or religious organization will need to apply for the Minister of Religion Visa.
If you would like more information on applying for the Minister of Religion Visa as a Canadian citizen, contact Total Law for assistance with your application. Speak to one of our expert immigration advisers today. Call +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch.
What is the Minister of Religion Visa?
The Minister of Religion visa is a travel document and type of work permit that allows religious workers to travel to another country to perform work that is of a religious nature.
This can include activities such as delivering sermons and providing spiritual and moral guidance for a particular religious community or religious group as well as other duties in certain circumstances.
The visa is not dependent on a particular religious denomination or doctrine of faith. It is open to all religious vocations.
Benefits of the Minister of Religion Visa
There are a number of benefits to obtaining a Minister of Religion visa:
- You will be able to work for your UK-licensed employer who is listed on your certificate of sponsorship
- You will be able to freely travel abroad and return to the UK during the time of your visa
- You will be able to do a second job up to 20 hours per week if it meets certain eligibility requirements
- You will be able to do voluntary or unpaid work of your choosing
- You will be able to study, as long as it is not considered to interfere with the job listed on your certificate of sponsorship
- You will be able to bring your immediate family including a spouse or children with you to the UK as your dependents if they meet eligibility requirements
You must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the Minister of Religion visa:
- You must be age 18 or over at the time of your application
- You must have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor in the UK
- The employment and services you are sponsored for must meet the terms of the Minister of Religion visa
- You must be able to prove your knowledge of English if required
- You must be able to meet minimum financial requirements to prove that you can support yourself during your time in the UK
- You must be able to prove that you can travel and show a record of your travel history (such as expired passports) over the 5 years prior to your visa application
- You may be required to provide a visitor record including former visas held
You must be able to prove that you have a minimum amount of £1,270 in your bank account prior to your application. The funds must have been available in your bank account for 28 consecutive days in the 31 days prior to your visa application. This is to provide evidence that shows you can support yourself while you are in the UK.
In the event that you do not meet the financial requirement for the Minister of Religion visa, or you do not want to provide your financial records for the visa, you can have your sponsoring employer/ petitioning organization state that they will support you financially in the UK.
They will need to complete the sponsor certifies maintenance section on your certificate of sponsorship. This will be stating that they will support you up to the same financial requirements as would be required of the applicant.
You may also be exempt from the financial requirement in the event that you have already been in the UK on a valid visa for 12 months and have previously met financial eligibility requirements.
When you apply you will need to submit the following documents along with your application and fees:
- Your reference number from your certificate of sponsorship (this will be supplied by your employer following your job offer)
- Evidence that you meet the minimum financial requirements in order to be eligible. This can include bank statements and pay stubs
- Evidence that your employer will support you in the UK if you do not meet the minimum financial requirements yourself
- A current and valid passport that has at least one blank page
- Your past expired passports or other travel documentation that shows your travel history over the 5-year period prior to your visa application
- Certified translated copies of any documents that are not originally in English
- Biometric information (you will make an appointment at a visa application center to have this taken)
How To Apply
First, you must obtain a job offer that is of a religious nature, as well as a certificate of sponsorship from a sponsor in the UK who maintains a valid license to employ religious workers. The petitioning organization will make sure that you possess the necessary qualifications to do the job you are applying for and that it meets the criteria necessary for the visa.
Your sponsoring organization will provide you with details on your start date, salary, work schedule, and job expectations as well as any other information you need to fill out your visa application such as the reference number from your certificate of sponsorship.
You can only use the reference number from this particular certificate of sponsorship one time. When you apply for a new visa or extend your visa, you will need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship. The certificate of sponsorship is a digital record of your personal details and other information about the job that you have been offered in the UK.
Once you have your certificate of sponsorship, you can begin gathering your documentation to submit with your visa application. Any documents that are not originally in English will be required to have a certified translated copy made.
You will also need to make sure that you meet the financial requirements in the time leading up to your visa application.
You can apply for the Minister of Religion visa for up to three months before the date you start work in the UK. This date will be listed on your certificate of sponsorship. You will be able to apply for this visa online on the UK government website. The website will allow you to save the application and finish it at a later time if you find you have questions. Once you submit the application, you will not be able to edit it further.
You will need to book an appointment at a visa application center in order to have your biometric identification taken (fingerprints and photograph.) You will receive your biometric residence permit within 10 days of your arrival in the UK which you will need for identification purposes for your visa.
Once you submit your visa application, you will typically receive a decision on your visa within three to eight weeks via email. This email will contain guidelines on your next step in the visa process.
If necessary, you can request to cancel your application after you have sent it in. Note that fees will be non-refundable unless your visa has not yet been processed by the UK Visas and Immigration office.
Costs and Fees
You will need to pay several standard fees when applying for the Minister of Religion visa as a religious worker. There are also a few additional costs you may incur in the process. Fees generally include:
- The Visa application fee for each person applying, is typically £600-£700. Fees for dependents will vary based on the details of the situation
- £19.20 for biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph)
- Yearly healthcare surcharge
- Any additional fees to expedite
- Any fees incurred by third parties such as translators
Reasons For Processing Delays
There are several reasons your visa application decision may be delayed. These may include:
- Processing delays due to coronavirus
- If your documentation needs to be verified further
- If you are required to attend a visa interview (you will be notified if this is the case)
- If you have a criminal conviction that needs to be investigated further
If additional documentation is requested after you have submitted your visa application, you must reply within the timeline given to avoid your visa being further delayed or rejected.
How Can Total Law Help?
With Total Law, you will receive quality immigration services from our team of professional immigration lawyers. Get expert assistance to navigate the minister of religion visa application process.
Your Total Law advisor will provide you with all of the information you need to know on UK immigration laws and how they impact your immigration status.
For further information, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team.
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Frequently Asked Questions
You will typically receive a decision on your visa application within three to eight weeks of when you submit all of your information. If there is a significant delay in the processing of your application you will typically receive a notification.
Once you receive the Minister of Religion visa you will be able to stay in the UK for a maximum time of three years and one month, or the amount of time listed on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days (whichever time is shorter.)
You may apply to extend your visa as long as it is still current and valid. You must meet all eligibility requirements in order to apply for a visa extension. You will also need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship in order to extend your visa.
Yes, your family can apply to come with you to the UK as dependents provided they meet the eligibility requirements. You will have to provide further documentary evidence that you can support the living expenses of any dependent children, spouses or partner, and other dependent family members.