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Permitted Paid Engagement Visa Guidance

The UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa (PPE) allows overseas nationals who are considered experts within their profession to visit the UK if invited by a UK-based organisation or client. The UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa is granted for a maximum of 1 month and cannot be further extended at the end of this period.

Permitted Paid Engagement visa holders can undertake certain activities while in the UK, including:

  • A professional artist
  • A professional entertainer
  • A professional musician
  • A professional sportsperson
  • A qualified lawyer (in order to represent a client)
  • A person giving a lecture or series of lectures
  • An academic (if coming to the UK as a student examiner or assessor)
  • As an air pilot examiner

Permitted Paid Engagement visa holders are not permitted to:

  • Do paid work that is not related to their main overseas job or area of expertise
  • Study
  • Live in the UK for long periods by applying for successive PPE visas
  • Claim public benefits/funds
  • Transit to another country
  • Get married or enter into a civil partnership (requires a Marriage Visitor visa)
  • Give notice of marriage or civil partnership (requires a Marriage Visitor visa)

Due to the short duration of permission granted on a PPE visa, those who need to come to the UK for long-term business visits should consider other more suitable business visa types.

Who qualifies for a permitted paid engagement visa?

To qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) visa, applicants must be one of the following (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • Professional artists (e.g. poets, make-up artists, stylists, set designers, photographers and fashion models), entertainers or musicians who are coming to the UK to:
    • perform
    • talk about, present or launch their work to other professionals or the public
    • give lectures
    • join judging panels or debate panels
    • take part in professional conferences
  • Professional sportspeople who are coming to the UK to do a paid activity that relates directly to their sport (e.g. take part in a sporting event).
  • Qualified lawyers are being paid to come to the UK to prepare for and represent a client at a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or another type of dispute resolution.
  • Lecturers who are coming to the UK to give a lecture or series of lectures about your area of expertise for which they are being paid.
  • Academic examiners or assessors who are being paid to examine or assess students or chair or take part in selection panels for which they are being paid.
  • Air pilot examiners validate UK-based air pilots to ensure they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of their country.

Permitted paid engagement visa requirements

To make a successful application for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa, you must satisfy below requirements:

  • Have been formally invited by a UK-based organisation
  • Are coming to the UK for an event or engagement that relates directly to your expertise, qualifications and main job in your home country
  • Are aged 18 or over
  • Will stay for no longer than 1 month and will leave the UK at the end of this period
  • Can financially support yourself during your trip
  • Can pay or have already paid for your onward journey
  • Will not use successive PPE visas to live in the UK for extended periods

Invitation requirement

The most important aspect of applying for a PPE visa is meeting the invitation requirements. The formal letter of invitation must be from a relevant UK-based organisation and must cover the whole period of your intended stay. The invitation may be from:

  • an organisation in the UK creative arts
  • an organisation in the UK entertainment sector
  • a UK sports organisation, agent or broadcaster
  • a UK higher education institution
  • a UK-based research organisation
  • an aviation training organisation regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
  • a client (for lawyers)

As part of your application, you must also show that you have the necessary expertise, qualifications and main job in your home country relating to the event or engagement in the UK. A letter from your employer should be included in your application as evidence of this.

How to apply for a permitted paid engagement visa

To apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Check that the Permitted Paid Engagement visa is suitable for your needs – if you need to stay longer than 1 month, consider other business visa options.
  2. Complete and submit a Permitted Paid Engagement visa online1.
  3. Pay the application fee of £100 (for up to 1 month)
  4. Book and attend an appointment at your nearest visa application centre (VAC) to have your fingerprints scanned and photo taken (your biometrics)
  5. Provide any documents required by the Home Office to support your application, including your letter of invitation and employer letter explaining your suitability for the engagement.

You can expect to receive a decision on your Permitted Paid Engagement visa within 3 weeks. You may be able to request a faster decision depending on which country you live in.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in UK business visas. Our business immigration solicitor can:

  • Prepare and submit your Permitted Paid Engagement visa or other business visa application on your behalf
  • Check if it would be more advantageous to apply for a long-term business visa (e.g. Global Business Mobility visa) or a Skilled Worker visa, rather than a PPE visa
  • Manage a UK visa refusal and advise you on your next steps

For assistance with a Permitted Paid Engagement visa or other UK work permits, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

References

1 GOV.UK: PPE visa application online

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