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Permitted Paid Engagement Visa

The Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visit Visa is available to certain professionals and experts who wish to visit the UK for up to 1 month in order to undertake a paid engagement relating to their expertise and occupation.

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The Permitted Paid Engagement visa is for experts who have been engaged by a UK-based client or organisation to come to the UK on a temporary basis to work without being sponsored.

Requirements for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa

In order to qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You are a visa national (a non-visa national can normally seek entry as a Visitor on arrival at the UK border);
  • You intend to do one (or more) of the permitted paid engagements set out in the Immigration Rules;
  • Your permitted paid engagement is pre-arranged, evidenced by a formal invitation from a UK-based organisation or client and relates to your area of expertise and occupation overseas;
  • You will not undertake any prohibited activities;
  • You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds;
  • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit;
  • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home;
  • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

Qualifying Permitted Paid Engagements

The following professionals and experts are eligible to apply for a Paid Engagement Visit Visa:

  • Professional artists, entertainers and musicians;
  • Professional sportspersons;
  • Examiners and lecturers;
  • Designated air pilot examiners;
  • Qualified lawyers.

Professional artists, entertainers and musicians

Professional artists, entertainers and musicians may qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa in order to travel to the UK for up to 1 month to carry out a paid activity that is directly related to their profession.  For example, an artist may enter the UK as a PPE Visitor to give a paid performance and also present their work to other professionals or the public.

To qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, artists, entertainers and musicians must be able to demonstrate that this is their full-time profession. This will need to be confirmed through documentary evidence such as publicity material for performances, screenings, concerts, talks, readings and exhibitions, media coverage and reviews, awards and proof of recent performances.

Artists, entertainers and musicians must be invited by a creative (arts or entertainment) organisation, agent or broadcaster based in the UK.  A creative organisation is any organisation involved in artistic and entertainment activities.  For example, galleries, arts faculties or departments in universities and schools, and venues involved in producing or staging of events will all be regarded as creative organisations. Embassies putting on cultural events related to the country concerned will also qualify. UK based agents and broadcasters can also invite individuals to undertake a paid engagement in the UK.

Personal, technical and support staff (‘entourage’) or members of the production team of a professional artist, entertainer or musician will not qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa.  However, such individuals may be able to enter the UK via either the Creative Visit Visa route or the Temporary Work – Creative Worker route.

Professional sportspersons

Professional sportspersons may qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa in order to carry out a paid activity in the UK for up to 1 month where the activity is directly related to their profession. For example, a professional footballer may enter to give a paid interview or attend meetings to discuss a contract.

To qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, sportspersons must be able to demonstrate that they are an established sports professional. This will need to be confirmed through documentary evidence such as media coverage, evidence of awards and proof of recent participation in sporting events.

Professional sportspersons must be invited by a sports organisation, agent or broadcaster based in the UK. A sports organisation includes any organisation involved in organising or staging sporting events or matches.

Examiners and lecturers

Academics who are highly qualified within their field of expertise and wish to travel to the UK in order to examine students and/or participate in or chair selection panels may qualify for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa.  They must 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.

Subject-matter experts may be eligible for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa in order to visit the UK for the purpose of giving paid lectures in their subject area.  Subject-matter experts must have been invited by a higher education institution, or a UK-based research or arts organisation, and the engagement must not amount to filling a teaching position for the host organisation.

Designated air pilot examiners

Overseas designated pilot examiners can use the Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa route in order to travel to the UK to assess UK-based pilots to ensure that they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of other countries.  Overseas designated pilot examiners must have been invited by an approved training organisation based in the UK that is regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority for that purpose.

Qualified lawyers

Qualified lawyers may apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa in order to provide advocacy for a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or other form of dispute resolution for legal proceedings within the UK, where they have been invited by a client.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors may also undertake other activities that are permitted under other Visitor routes, but are not permitted to study or transit.

Additional Requirements for Permitted Paid Engagements

The qualifying paid engagement that you wish to undertake in the UK must be:

  • Arranged before you travel to the UK;
  • Declared as part of your application for entry clearance or permission to enter the UK;
  • Evidenced by a formal invitation, as set out above; and
  • Relate to your area of expertise and occupation overseas.

Intention to Leave the UK Requirement for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa

In addition to satisfying the Home Office that you are genuinely seeking to enter the UK for a permitted paid engagement, as part of your application for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa you will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.

In assessing your application, the Home Office will consider a range of factors including:

  • Your previous immigration history, including visits to the UK and other countries;
  • Your financial circumstances as well as your family, social and economic background;
  • Your personal and economic ties to your country of residence.

Factors which may cause the Home Office to doubt that you are a genuine visitor include having few or no family and economic ties to your country of residence, whilst having several family members in the UK, previous attempts to deceive the Home Office in an immigration application and discrepancies between statements made by yourself and your sponsor.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa Financial Requirement

You will need to have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds.

Your funds will need to be held in a permitted financial institution.

Your travel, maintenance and accommodation costs may be met by a third party if the third party has a genuine professional or personal relationship with you, they are not, and will not be, in breach of immigration laws and they can support you throughout the duration of your stay as a Visitor.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa Validity Period

Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visas are valid for 1 month.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa Right to Work

Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors are permitted to undertake the paid engagement that was declared as part of their entry clearance application.  However, the Home Office will check to ensure that the PPE route is not used on a repeat basis for temporary employment. Whilst payment is allowed, the Permitted Paid Engagement route is strictly for short engagements and the visitor’s main place of employment must remain overseas.

This means that Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors cannot otherwise take employment, establish or run a business as a self-employed person, work for an organisation or business in the UK, undertake a work placement or internship in the UK or otherwise provide or sell goods or services in the UK.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors are permitted to undertake activities relating to their employment overseas remotely whilst they are in the UK, such as responding to emails or answering phone calls.  However, the main purpose of your visit to the UK should be to undertake a permitted paid activity, rather than specifically to work remotely from the UK.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors are also permitted to come to the UK to seek employment and attend job interviews. However, if successful in obtaining employment, you will be expected to leave the UK and seek the appropriate entry clearance prior to commencing work.

How Our Immigration Advisers Can Help

Our immigration advisers are experienced in assisting individuals from across the globe to secure visas in order to undertake short-term paid engagements in the UK.

Whether you are seeking advice on the merits of applying for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa or assistance with preparing a Permitted Paid Engagement Visit Visa application, our immigration advisers can assist.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to our clients as part of a professional and friendly service.

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Nexus Visas assists international clients in obtaining UK visas, residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.

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