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UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa Application

You may be able to get a ‘Permitted Paid Engagement Visa’ if you have been invited to the UK as an expert in your profession.

With this visa you will be granted to stay in the UK for up to one month.

The Following are Permitted Paid Engagements under Appendix 4

  1. An academic

    An academic who is highly qualified within his or her field of expertise may examine students and/or participate in or chair selection panel if they have been invited by a UK Higher Education Institution or a UK based research or arts organisation as part of that institution or organisation’s quality assurance processes.
  2. An expert

    An expert may give lectures in their subject area if they have been invited by a UK Higher Education Institution or a UK based research or arts organisation provided this does not amount to filling a teaching position for the host organisation.
  3. An overseas designated pilot examiner

    An overseas designated pilot examiner may assess UK based pilots to ensure they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of other countries, if they have been invited by an approved training organisation based in the UK that is regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority for that purpose.
  4. A qualified lawyer

    A qualified lawyer may provide advocacy for a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or other form of dispute resolution for legal proceedings within the UK, if they have been invited by a client.
  5. A professional artist

    A professional artist, entertainer, musician or sports person may carry out an activity directly relating to their profession, if they have been invited by a creative, entertainment or sports organisation, agent or broadcaster based in the UK.

Do You Need a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa?

Not everyone travelling to the UK will need a permitted paid engagement visa if they are coming to the UK to take part in lectures or higher education institution work, provide advocacy or take part in arts, sporting or entertainment activities.

Passport holders from certain countries will need a permitted paid engagement visa visa to visit the UK for the above purposes. Those passport holders that require a visa are also known as ‘visa nationals’.

  • General requirements

    You can apply for a permitted paid engagement visa if you meet the following requirements:

    • You are invited by a UK-based organisation or client
    • You want to come to the UK to do specific paid work without having to be sponsored under the points-based visa system
    • You are from a country that is not in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
    • You meet the other eligibility requirements

    In order to apply for this visa category you must also meet the eligibility requirements. You need to:

    • Be 18 or over
    • Be visiting the UK for no more than one month
    • Leave the UK at the end of your visit
    • Have enough money without help from public funds to support and house yourself
    • Show that you can pay for the return or onward journey
    • Not be in transit to a country outside the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands

    Additional eligibility requirements for a permitted paid engagements visit visa or leave to enter are that an applicant must intend to do one or more of the permitted paid engagements set out in Appendix 4 to these rules, which must:

    • Be arranged before the applicant travels to the UK, and
    • Be declared as part of the application for a visit visa or leave to enter, and
    • Be evidenced by a formal invitation, as required by Appendix 4, and
    • Relate to the applicant’s area of expertise and occupation overseas
  • Documentation to provide

    When you apply you will also be required to provide the following documents:

    • A current passport or other valid travel identification. Your passport must have a blank page for your visa
    • Proof that you can support yourself during your trip with bank statements or payslips for the last six months
    • Details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans, however, you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
    • A formal invitation from the UK-based organisation or authority you will be paid by

    You must also provide evidence of your professional status in your home country, depending on the engagement you are participating in.

  • Additional documents supporting your application

    Additional documents that can further support your permitted paid engagement visa application are:

    • An invitation letter from a relevant UK-based organisation, such as a higher education institution
    • An organisation in the creative arts or entertainment industries
    • A sports organisation
    • A research organisation
    • An aviation training organisation regulated by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority

     Lecturers and examiners

    • Publications in a particular field of expertise
    • Evidence of previous lectures given in that field
    • A letter from your employer confirming where you work and your area of expertise

     Entertainers, artists and sports people

    • Publicity material for performances, screenings concerts, talks, readings and exhibitions
    • Evidence of awards
    • Media coverage and reviews
    • Proof of recent performances

    Air pilot examiners

    • A document to show membership of your country of residence’s national aviation authority such as the Federal Aviation Authority in the USA


    • A practising certificate or certificate of good standing or equivalent document
  • What you can do

    You can be invited by a UK-based organisation or client to:

    • Be a student examiner or assessor
    • Take part in selection panels as a highly qualified academic if you are invited by an education, arts or research organisation
    • Give lectures at a higher education institution, as long as it is not a part-time or full-time role
    • Examine UK-based pilots so they meet the standards of the country you come from if you are invited by an approved UK training organisation regulated by the 'UK Civil Aviation Authority'
    • Provide advocacy in a particular area of law
    • Take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities including broadcasting
    • Take part in fashion modelling assignments

    You can also partake in activities related to your work or business overseas such as attend meetings.

  • Visa restrictions

    What you can not do during your stay in England on a permitted paid engagement visa:

    • Undertake specific paid work unrelated to your main job or area of expertise at home or sell merchandise, other than what’s allowed by your visa
    • Extend this visa or switch to another visa
    • Live in the UK for extended periods
    • Get public funds
    • Study for more than 30 days, if studying is the main purpose of your visit you should instead apply for a student visa
    • Marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
    • Bring family members with you on your application, they must apply separately

Staying in the UK for Longer than one Month?

If you wish to stay in the UK longer than the one month that is allowed on the permitted paid engagement visa you will need to apply for a different visa.

If you are not intending to work or study you may be best suited with a visitor visa that can stay valid for six months.

Work or Study

If you wish to work or study in the UK you might be able to apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 4 visa, depending on your circumstances.

Our expert solicitors will be able to help you find out what visa is right for you and assess your eligibility for this visa.

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