Overview

You can apply for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa if:

Getting sponsored

You need to be employed by a licensed sponsor to apply to live in the UK.

Your sponsor checks that you can do the job they’re hiring you for and if it qualifies you for a visa. They’ll assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.

They must also give you other information you need when you apply, for example how much you’ll be paid.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa depends on where you are.

Who you’re applying for Apply outside the UK Extend or switch in the UK
You £610 £704
You - as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £555 £649
All dependants £610 each person £704 each person

Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK

You’ll need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

Get a faster decision on your application

If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK you can pay an extra:

  • £477 for the priority service to get a decision within 10 working days
  • £610 for the super priority service to get a decision within 1 working day

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa for a maximum of up to 3 years and 1 month, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

You can apply to extend your stay.

You must apply before your visa expires.

You can start your stay up to 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

Example
Your start date is 15 July - the earliest you can start your stay is 1 July.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job - in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you

You cannot:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
  • get public funds