Uk permitted paid engagement visa

All About Visiting the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement

On September 15, 2023 | In Visitor Visa | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : January 09, 2024

If you are an expert in your field and you have been invited to come to the UK by a business or client in the UK, the Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa may be ideal for you. The Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa is often used by artists, musicians, lecturers and other professional who wish to visit the UK for a short period. In this article, we will explain all your need to know about visiting the UK for a permitted paid engagement.

What is the Permitted Paid Engagement visa?

The Permitted Paid Engagement visa enables certain experts and professionals from other countries who have been engaged by a paying business or client to come to the UK for up to 1 month without the need for sponsorship. The Permitted Paid Engagement visa is specifically for:

  • Academic student examiners and assessors
  • Air pilot examiner
  • Artists, entertainers and musicians
  • Experts giving a lecture or series of lectures
  • Lawyer representing a client in the UK, and
  • Sportspeople

Note: this route is only available to those coming to the UK for a permitted paid engagement.

What is a “permitted paid engagement”?

Before applying for a permitted paid engagement visa, it is important to ensure that the purpose of your visit to the UK falls under the criteria for a “permitted paid engagement”.

According to section V13.3 of the visitor immigration rules, a permitted paid engagement may include any of the following:

  • Highly qualified expert academics coming to the UK to examine students or take part in chair selection panels who have been invited by a UK higher education institution, or a UK-based research or arts organisation.
  • Experts coming to the UK to deliver a lecture in their specialist subject area and have been invited by a higher education institution, or a UK-based research or arts organisation.
  • Pilot examiners coming to assess UK-based pilots to ensure they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of other countries, and who have been invited by an approved training organisation regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
  • Qualified lawyers who have been invited by a client to provide advocacy for a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or other form of dispute resolution for legal proceedings
  • Professional artists, entertainers, or musicians who have been invited by a creative (arts or entertainment) organisation, agent or broadcaster based in the UK, and
  • Professional Sportspersons who have been invited by a sports organisation, agent, or broadcaster based in the UK.

Do you have a way to calculate the Visitor Visa UK cost?

Yes! Use our calculator below to calculate your Visitor Visa Visa cost.

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A permitted paid engagement visa will not allow you to undertake any of the following while in the UK:

  • Paid work that is not related to your main overseas job or area of expertise
  • Study
  • Live in the UK for extended periods
  • Access public funds and benefits, and
  • Get married or enter into a civil partnership (this require a marriage visitor visa).

Note: once you have completed your period of stay in the UK on a permitted paid engagement visa, you will not be able to extend your stay or apply for a different type of visa to stay longer.

Am I eligible for a permitted paid engagement visa?

In order to qualify for a permitted paid engagement visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have been formally invited by a UK-based business or client to attend a pre-arranged event or other permitted engagement here. Crucially, the pre-arranged event or engagement must relate directly to your field of expertise, qualifications and main job in your home country. In addition to the these main criteria, you must also:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Intend to visit the UK for no more than 1 month
  • Intend to leave the UK at the end of your stay (i.e. before your visa expires)
  • Have enough money to support yourself while in the UK (this can be in the form of funding from someone else)
  • Have the funds needed to pay for your return or onward journey (again this can be paid for by someone else), and
  • Not intend to use your visa to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.

To ensure the success of your permitted paid engagement visa, you will need to provide a valid invitation and prove that you have suitable expertise and employment. For example, if you are a sports professional, you must have an invitation from a sports organisation that organises or hosts sporting events or matches, agent or agency, or broadcaster. You will also need to show you are an established sportsperson in your home country by providing evidence of any recent performances, awards and media coverage.

Artists, entertainers or musicians need to be able to show that they are coming to the UK to perform, talk, give a lecture, join a judging panel, or take part in a professional conference directly related to their expertise. And they must have been invited by a creative organisation (e.g. gallery, university arts faculty, school or events venue), agent or agency, or broadcaster.

How do I apply for a permitted paid engagement visa?

You can apply for your permitted paid engagement visitor visa online on the Home Office website. It is always recommended that you check if you need a visitor visa before you apply. Please note, the earliest you can apply for your permitted paid engagement visa is 3 months before you travel to the UK.

To apply you will need to:

  1. Complete and submit the online application form
  2. Pay the application fee of £100
  3. Book an appointment at a visa application centre
  4. Attend your appointment – this is to prove your identity and have your fingerprints scanned and photo taken, and
  5. Provide any documents required to support your application (online or at your appointment) – this may include evidence of your invitation and the paid engagement.

Once you completed the above steps, your application should be processed and a decision made within 3 weeks. You may be able to pay an additional fee for a faster decision if necessary. If your application is approved, you will be able to come to the UK for your paid engagement.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!

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