UK PPE Visa: Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa Guidance!

Permitted Paid Engagement Visa GuidanceThis relates to UK PPE visa guidance and requirements. Accordingly, covers the additional requirements for applying permitted paid engagement visitor visa application by certain types of qualified and well-known professionals. Please note: an applying for a UK PPE visa needs to meet all the UK visitor visa requirements. And in addition to the usual supporting documents, also needs to provide additional documents for meeting the additional requirements for the permitted paid engagement in the UK. Therefore, the post provides specific guidance and details of additional requirements to apply for the UK PPE visa.

Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) visa guidance and requirements

Apparently, except for transit visitor, all other visitors can undertake any permitted activity enumerated in Appendix 3 of Appendix V for visitors. However, the permitted paid engagement (PPE) visitor visa UK also allows paid activities under Appendix 4 for up to one month for certain types of visitors such as:

  1. visiting examiners or assessors
  2. visiting lecturers
  3. examiners/assessors/lecturers invited by a recognised organisation on a permitted paid engagement (PPE) visitor visa
  4. designated air pilot examiners
  5. qualified lawyers
  6. arts, entertainment and sporting professionals

Example of a permitted paid engagement in the UK as a visitor

For instance, a professional footballer can enter the UK on a PPE visitor visa for giving a paid interview (Appendix 4). And can also undertake other permitted activities (Appendix 3) such as attending meetings, negotiate an agreement. However, the same professional footballer cannot give a paid interview on a standard visitor visa.

Permitted paid engagement visa is not for repeat visits

The PPE visitors are not allowed to use the PPE route repeatedly for temporary employment in the UK. Although payment is allowed to a PPE Visitor, this is only for a short engagement and the applicant’s/visitor’s main place of employment is overseas. In case, an applicant is making repeat visits to the UK on PPE, the visa is likely to be refused.

1) Visiting Examiners and Assessors

The applicants – experts examiners and assessors – need to be employed outside the UK as PPE is only for a short duration, and the visitors should satisfy in the application that they will return to their employment in the home country after completion of their engagement in the UK.

Fully Retired and Semi-Retired Examiners

An application by a fully retired academic, who intends to carry out one-off examination work in the UK is liable to be refused as this does not count as a full-time occupation.

However, a semi-retired professional who intends to carry out a regular examination work and earning income from this can apply for PPE Visitor Visa.

If the proposed activities include examining at a further education establishment, then the application is quite likely to be refused, and the applicant is required to apply for a Tier 2 Work Permit.

Documentary Evidence

Evidence of employment overseas (in the home country) is considered in the application assessment process; therefore, an Examiner/Assessor is required to provide relevant work experience in the field of engagement in the UK.

The invitation letter should provide the necessary information:

  • the reason for selecting an individual to carry out the PPE i.e. applicant’s skills or expertise on the PPE Activities in the UK;
  • the link between the engagement and the venue;
  • the duration of the engagement;

The applicant may provide the details of their publications/recognitions in the field of their expertise or a letter from employer elucidating the details of their work and area of specialisation.

2) Applying for UK PPE visa as a visiting lecturer

The lecturers should be employed outside the UK either in their home country or elsewhere. The employment may or may not be full-time as a lecturer. The lecturer should satisfy in the application that after completing the PPE engagement in the UK, he/she will leave the UK and go back to his/her employment.

Fully Retired and Semi-Retired

A one-off lecture in the UK by a fully retired lecturer does not count as a full-time employment/occupation; therefore, such an application for PPE is likely to be refused.

However, a PPE application by a semi-retired lecturer individual for carrying out regular lectures and income generation qualifies under PPE route.

A PPE application by a lecturer to conduct a lecture at a Higher Education Institution (HEI), as part of a regular course, is acceptable. However, the visiting applicant/lecturer should satisfy in his/her visa application that he/she is not going to replace the formal course teacher at the HEI as this comes under Tier-2 of the points-based system.

In normal circumstances, the lecturer should be applying for a PPE visitor visa for lectures directly relating to the area(s) of expertise in which the lecturer is employed overseas. If a lecturer is applying for a PPE Visa for conducting a lecture in an unrelated area, then the applicant’s are required to satisfy the following points in an application:

  • previous employment/posts in the unrelated area;
  • any publications on the subject;
  • any other recognised qualifications;

Documentary Evidence

The applicants need to satisfy the immigration officer regarding their overseas employment in a field relevant to their proposed PPE in the UK. The evidence a lecturer may provide with the application may include:

  • publications of the applicant in his/her field of expertise;
  • any evidence of past lectures conducted by the lecturer their area of specialisation;
  • letter from employer to confirm their work and area of expertise;

3) Organisations inviting examiners, assessors, lecturers

HM’s Home Office recognises several publicly funded research institutions, which can extend Invitations for Visiting Experts such as Examiners, Assessors and Lecturers, such as:

  • research organisations – these may include independent research organisations and Research Council Funded Institutes;
  • museums – this must be the main/primary purpose of the venue;
  • art galleries – the main purpose of the venue should be art-exhibition and not be selling of arts and artefacts;
  • arts centres, theatres, other arts venues and arts festivals;

4) UK PPE visa for a designated air pilot examiner

The permitted paid engagement of an air pilot needs to relate to his/her expertise and professional qualifications. And the pilot should be full-time employed as a professional overseas. Perferably, as a member of his/her country’s national/public aviation authority. For instance, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the USA.

5) Applying for UK PPE visa as a qualified lawyer

Certainly, a qualified lawyer includes a counsel, solicitor, advocate, attorney and barrister. In addition to dispute resolution work and advocacy, a qualified lawyer can also take an active role in the work relating to the preparation of a hearing that may require one or more preparatory visits.

An invitation for a UK PPE visa for longer than one month

If the immigration officer is clear from either the invitation or other information that the case is going to last longer than one month then may solicit clarification regarding an applicant’s involvement for the entire duration. However, if an applicant’s involvement is for more than one-month longer then is likely to refuse the application. Perhaps, with a refusal reason that the applicant is not genuinely seeking entry to the UK on a PPE for a duration longer than one month.

UK PPE visa for a lawyer representing an overseas client

Certainly, for a lawyer representing an overseas client, the permitted paid engagement should relate to a UK based hearing. However, a decision for the grant of UK PPE visa may not necessitate right of an audience for an arbitration, other hearings relating to alternative dispute resolution and certain tribunal hearings.

Documentary Evidence for a lawyer applying for a UK visa PPE

If an overseas lawyer is applying for PPE Visa to represent his/her client in a UK court then he/she needs to provide confirmation of the lawyer’s right to an audience (or ‘temporary call’).

Moreover, for a UK PPE visa, a lawyer may demonstrate qualifications by submitting a practising certificate and/or a certificate of good standing.

6) UK PPE Visa for arts, entertainment and sports professionals

Certainly, a creative organisation includes all types of organisations relating to artistic and entertainment activities. For instance, art galleries, arts faculties or departments in universities, schools and venues involved in producing/staging of events.

Moreover, UK based agents/broadcasters can invite individuals to undertake PPE in the UK. However, the inviting organisation needs to be legitimate.

Moreover, a sports organisation includes any organisation involved in organising/staging sporting events/matches.

How to qualify for UK PPE visa as a professional?

Certainly, in order to qualify for a UK PPE visa, an applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she is a full-time professional. And has good standing and reputation in the profession. Moreover, has existing work commitments and earnings outside of the UK. Please note: the decision maker usually understands that some artists, sportspersons, professionals earn lower salaries in certain countries.

An arts professional includes fields across the performing and creative arts such as a traditional artist, a poet, a make-up artist, a photographer.

Artists may take part in activities such as:

  • giving lectures;
  • judging panels;
  • presenting/launching their work to professionals/public in the UK;
  • performances;
  • professional conferences;
  • taking part in panel debates;

Moreover, fashion models visiting the UK for undertaking a specific paid engagement in the UK can apply for PPE visa. However, should not intend to make the UK their home!

Documentary evidence to apply for UK PPE visa

Certainly, applying for the UK permitted paid engagement visitor visa as a professional artist, entertainer or sportsperson, an applicant needs to prove that he/she is a well established professional. Accordingly, can provide additional supporting documents with the UK PPE visa application:

  • publications they have produced
  • evidence of awards
  • publicity material for talks, performances, screenings concerts, readings and exhibitions
  • proof of recent performances
  • media coverage and reviews


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