Visit the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement

From 31 January 2024, Permitted Paid Engagement visitors will be assessed according to the eligibility criteria for Standard Visitors.

If you are an expert in your profession and have been invited by a UK-based organisation or client to do a paid engagement in the UK, you may be allowed to enter the country as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor without having to apply for a visa. 

Whether or not you need a visa depends on your nationality.

If you do require a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa, this costs £115 and allows you to stay for up to 1 month. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel and you won’t be able to extend your stay in the UK once you’ve arrived.

What you can do in the UK as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor

You can be invited and paid by a UK-based organisation or client as a professional:

  • entertainer, artist, or musician – where you will be undertaking activities such as performing; presenting your work to the public or other professionals; giving lectures; joining judging or debate panels; or taking part in a conference for professionals.
    • A ‘professional artist’ is defined by the UK Government as anyone working in the creative or performing arts, such as photographers, models, stylists, set designers, make-up artists, poets, etc.
  • Athlete – where you will be paid to do an activity that directly relates to your sporting profession, such as taking part in a sporting event. 
  • qualified lawyer – where you will be paid by a client to represent them in the UK at a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration, or some other form of legal dispute resolution.  
  • to give a lecture or series of lectures about your area of expertise though please note that you will not be able to accept any employment offers from your host organisation during your stay
  • academic – where you may be assessing or examining students or are visiting in order to chair or take part in selection panels.
  • air pilot examiner – where you are visiting on behalf of your country’s national aviation authority in order to examine UK-based air pilots to determine if they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of your country.

Permitted Paid Engagement additional requirements and restrictions

What you cannot do in the UK as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor

  • do any paid work that is unrelated to your main overseas job or area of expertise
  • study
  • live in the UK for extended periods
  • claim any public funds (benefits)
  • pass through the UK to another country (if you need to transit through the UK to another country, you can apply for the ‘Visitor in Transit visa’ for £64)
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership (you will need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa)

Additional requirements for Permitted Paid Engagement Visitors

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You must be able to support yourself financially during your stay or have secured funding for the full trip
  • You must not have any intention of making the UK your main home
  • If you’re eligible for entry without a visa as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor, you need to get a stamp in your passport from a Border Force officer when you enter the UK (you can’t use the ePassport gates)

If you have ever previously been refused entry to the UK or have a criminal record, you may want to apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa even if you might otherwise think you do not need one.

If you’re unsure whether you need a visa or how to apply, you can seek advice from one of our qualified migration agents below.

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

Tatiani Preifelt

Tatiani has a wealth of expertise in global mobility and corporate immigration. Her ample skills were acquired within leading immigration practices including three out of the Big4 firms in both the UK and Sweden. Tatiani went on to co-establish her firm in London where she continues to advise clients predominantly in corporate, business and skilled work migration.

Having personally relocated to 10 different countries, Tatiani understands the importance of an expedient and successful immigration process and takes pride in delivering a seamless experience to her clients as well.

Over the course of her career, she has assisted over 500 individuals and businesses to obtain the appropriate visa permits in the UK.

Her awarded academic work at The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, and at The Geneva University is in the fields of Political Science, International Human Rights Law, and Global Migration Governance.

She regularly provides immigration training and has recently participated as a speaker and panellist at DGEMS 2023, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.