Minister of Religion - Visa Application
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
MINISTER OF RELIGION SPONSOR LICENCE APPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS
A Minister of Religion sponsor licence allows faith-based organisations such as churches, mosques, temples and synagogues to employ a skilled person of religion as a minister of religion from outside the United Kingdom including the EU.
In this article, we will explore the general requirements for the organisation to obtain a sponsor licence, application process, documents required and obligations of the organisation under the T2 minister of religion sponsor licence.
Minister of Religion T2 Sponsor certificate
From 1 January 2021, the new regime of Minister of Religion T2 has replaced the previous Tier 2 Minister of Religion category. Under Minister of Religion T2 sponsor licence, the organisation that wishes to employ a skilled Minister of Religion from outside the UK must have the following.
- A recognised charitable status in the UK.
- Must be part of a structure for a faith-based community with a common system of belief and spiritual goals, codes of behaviour and religious practice, which exists to support and/or propagate common beliefs and practices and where beliefs:
- Include any religious belief or similar philosophical belief in something transcendental, metaphysical or ultimate.
- Exclude any philosophical or political belief concerned with man, unless that belief is similar to religious belief.
- The organisation must not exclude anyone from the community based on gender, nationality or ethnicity.
- Receives financial and material support for its core religious ministry from congregation or community on a voluntary basis, without promise or coercion.
- Does not breach, or encourage others to breach, any UK legislation.
- Does not work against the public interest or have a detrimental effect on personal or family life as commonly understood in the UK.
Under Business Immigration, The application process for the sponsor licence is similar to the one for the general sponsor licence. The real difference is in the supporting documents required to submit with the sponsor licence application, no requirement of resident labour test and non-application of Skilled worker surcharge, which makes the sponsor licence application relatively cheaper.
Home Office Fees
- Application fee – £1,476/£536 (depending on the size of the charitable organisation)
- Priority fee (not mandatory) – £500 Immigration application for a five-year Skilled Worker visa:
- Certificate of Sponsorship fee – £199
- Immigration Skills Charge – £5,000/£1,820 (not required for a T2 sponsor licence.
For T2 Minister of Religion Applicant (Employee)
The Fees charged by the home office are following.
- Application fee – £1,220 from abroad or £1,408 from within the UK
- Biometric enrolment fee – £19.20
- Certificate of Sponsorship fee – £199
- Immigration Health Surcharge – £1560 -£3120,
- (The correct amount of the Immigration Health Surcharge will depend upon the Certificate of the Sponsor, that whether it is for 30 months or full 5 years. If the employer issues a CoS for 30 months, then the IHS payable will be £1560 and for the full 5 years it will be £3120)
- Priority fees (not mandatory) – £300/£500
Upon a successful application, the faith-based organisation will be granted an A-rated sponsor licence, following which the organisation can start assigning Certificates of Sponsorship to migrants who wish to work for them. The details of the sponsor licence and the organisation will be listed in the register of sponsors.
If the sponsorship licence applicant is refused then it is important to note that the employer may not be able to apply again for up to five years, depending on the circumstances and there is no right of appeal.
As stated above if the sponsor licence application is refused then the only remedy available is to apply for Administrative review, high lighting the error in the decision based on law.
The licence is only valid for 4 years; however, the employer can apply for the renewal of the Minister of Religion T2 sponsor licence 1 month before it expires.
Part of the sponsor licence, the Home Office will regularly visit the business premises in order to ensure that the employer is in compliance with the sponsor licence’s terms. The compliance officer will check that.
- Whether the Information that has been given to the Home Office is accurate and complete.
- The employer is capable to offer employment at the Tier 2 skill level.
- The Employer is trading are genuine and operating lawfully in the UK.
- The sponsor licence arrangement is not a sham and there are no reasons to believe that the employer presents a threat to immigration control; finally,
- The employer is committed to and is complying with all the duties of the sponsorship.
Documents Required for Sponsorship Licence
To successfully apply for a T2 Sponsorship licence the following documents are required.
- Evidence of registration as a charity and for a charitable purpose.
- Evidence of faith or religion the organisation belongs to.
- If the organisation is a part of a larger organisation, details of the parent organisation and how both are connected to each other.
- A hierarchy chart that shows where the applicant organisation is in that hierarchy.
- The size of the adult congregation.
- The number of clergies, Imam, Rabbi etc currently employed.
- Addresses of the regular meeting places.
- Scheduled days and hours of worship.
- A copy of your ‘Form 76’ from the General Register Office giving authorisation for the use of a building as a place of worship.
- A copy of ‘Form 78’ from the General Register Office giving authorisation for marriages to be performed at a place of worship.
- Employer’s liability insurance cover for at least £5m from an authorised insurer.
- Proof of ownership or lease of your business premises. If you send a copy of your lease agreement, it must be signed by all parties concerned.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. There are further documents required depending upon each organisation and faith it represents.
T2 Minister of Religion Sponsor Licence Application: How our experienced Immigration lawyers can help
Our immigration lawyers regularly assist the business of all sizes including faith-based organisations in securing the right sponsorship licence, maintenance and compliance with the sponsor licence.
We have successfully assisted businesses of all size and faith-based organisation including Churches, Mosques etc in securing a sponsor licence by providing the right advice on immigration law, procedure, documents process, audits and compliance in support of sponsor licence applications, revocations, suspensions and renewals.
Our English lawyers can assist you with the preparation of a persuasive business case of your needs of a sponsor licence, that can satisfy the Home Office that you are a reliable and trustworthy organisation and genuinely require a T2 Minister of Religion skilled worker from outside of the UK and at a required skill level. Our Solicitors can also assist you in preparing the Home Office compliant HR and recruitment procedures and processes.
We have been trusted immigration advisors to successful business and people around the world. We understand our clients and their business needs. We strive to provide reliable legal advice to our clients. Our experienced solicitors offer quality legal advice. We are proud to help and guide our clients through complex legal situations with innovative solutions.
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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Each legal case and issue may have unique facts and circumstances, as a result legallex does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided. For further help and guidance, you can always rely on and seek advice from our experienced lawyers.