This guidance relates to UK Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) visa requirements under Appendix V for visiting examiners, assessors, lecturers, designated air pilot examiners, qualified lawyers, artists, entertainers and sports professionals.

Please note, non-visa nationals such as citizens of US, Australia, Canada don’t need to apply for UK PPE visa. However, non-visa nationals need to bring the PPE Invitation Letter and present it to immigration authorities as a proof of seeking entry as a senior professional to undertake permitted paid activity in the UK for up to 1-month. For instance, an Australian senior professor, who is visiting the UK for delivering lectures at a University, apart from the Invitation Letter also needs to bring evidence of the academic and professional standing and qualifications, such as a resume, and list of publications. Moreover, the visiting professor may also bring some evidence that he/she intends to continue the current employment as Professor in Australia (or elsewhere, but not in the UK) after the visit.

UK Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor Visa

Apparently, except for transit visitors, all other types of visitors can undertake any permitted activity enumerated in Appendix 3 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. However, the permitted paid engagement (PPE) visa also allows certain types of qualified and well-known professionals to undertake paid activities under Appendix 4 for up to one month in the UK.

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, negotiating an agreement, tourism etc. However, the same professional footballer cannot give a paid interview on a standard visitor visa.


In fact, an applicant applying for a UK PPE visa needs to meet all the visitor visa requirements. Accordingly, a PPE visa applicant needs to prove that he/she is at-least 18 years of age and has genuine intentions of visiting the UK. And also has sufficient funds to meet the trip costs and strong ties in the home country. However, in addition to the usual supporting documents, also needs to provide additional documents such as an invitation letter for undertaking permitted paid engagement in the UK. And documents for establishing professional credentials.

UK PPE Visa Supporting Documents

Perhaps, a tentative checklist of supporting documents for all types of UK PPE visa applications may include:

  1. A Travel Documents such as a national passport with at-least 180 days validity period and 1-bank page on both sides
  2. Proof of maintenance funds to cover the trip expenses such as a 6-months bank statement
  3. Tour plans such as a trip itinerary
  4. Accommodation in the UK
  5. An invitation from the organisation paying for the permitted paid engagement in the UK
  6. Proof that the engagement relates to an applicant’s professional or academic qualifications and expertise. Perhaps, this may include:
    • Résumé (Curriculum vitæ)
    • List of Publications
    • Awards, Achievements and Recognitions
    • Letter from Employer

The UK PPE Visa is not for Repeat Visits

The PPE route is not for making repeat temporary paid employment in the UK. Perhaps, the payment to a PPE visitor is only for a short engagement. However, the applicant’s/visitor’s main place of employment is overseas. Therefore, if an applicant intends to make repeat visit on PPE visa then the ECO may likely refuse the application.

Who Can Apply for UK PPE Visa?

In fact, for undertaking a paid activity in the UK, usually, following types of visitors needs to apply for a PPE visa:

  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

1. Visiting Examiner or Assessor

Quite clearly, expert examiners and assessors can apply for UP PPE visa if they have an invitation of undertaking a permitted paid activity in the UK for not more than 30 days. However, the an expert examiner or assessor needs to be employed outside the UK. And also needs to satisfy that will return to his/her employment in the home country after completion of the permitted engagement in the UK.

    Perhaps, an ECO is likely to refuse entry clearance to a fully retired academic, who intends to carry out one-off examination work as permitted paid engagement 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.

    Moreover, if the proposed activities include examining at a further education establishment, then also the ECO is likely to refuse the UK PPE visa applications. Perhaps, in such situation, it is better if an applicant applies for a Tier 2 General Visa.

    Documentary Evidence for Examiners/Assessors

    The applicant needs to have a invitation letter for the permitted paid activity in the UK. Perhaps, a PPE invitation letter for an Examiner/Assessor needs to mention the following details:

    1. the reason for selecting an individual to carry out the permitted paid activity in the UK. Perhaps, this may also given an account of an applicant’s relevant skills or expertise
    2. the link between the permitted paid engagement and the venue
    3. and the duration of the engagement

    Moreover, evidence of employment overseas (in the home country) is an important consideration in UK PPE visa application assessment process. Therefore, an Examiner/Assessor also needs to provide evidence of relevant work experience in the field of engagement in the UK. Accordingly, the applicant may provide the details of his/her publications/recognitions in the field of expertise. And also a letter from employer elucidating the details of work and area of specialisation.

    2. Visiting Lecturers

    In fact, a overseas lecturer can apply for a UK PPE visa. However, the lecturer needs to be employed outside the UK. Perhaps, in his/her home country or elsewhere, but certainly not in UK. Moreover, the employment may or may not be full-time as a lecturer. Therefore, visiting or part-time lecturers can apply for UK PPE visa. However, the lecturer needs to satisfy that after completing the permitted paid engagement in the UK, he/she will leave the UK. And resume employment in the home country or the country of residence.

    Fully or Semi-retired Lecturers

    Perhaps, 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 UK PPE visa is likely to refuse. However, an application by a semi-retired lecturer for carrying out regular lectures and income generation surely qualifies for UK PPE visa.

    What if the lecture is part of a regular course?

    In fact, a UK PPE visa application for lecturing as part of a regular course at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) is acceptable. However, the visiting lecturer should satisfy that he/she is not going to replace the formal course teacher at the HEI. Perhaps, such a replacement falls under Tier-2 of the points-based system.

    What if the lecture is an unrelated area?

    Perhaps, a lecturer may, usually, applies for a PPE visitor visa for lectures in the UK that directly relate to his/her area(s) of expertise. Apparently, in the field of study in which the lecturer is employed overseas. However, if a lecturer is applying for delivering a lecture in an unrelated area, then needs to satisfy the following points in the UK PPE visa application:

    1. previous employment/posts in the unrelated area
    2. any publications on the subject
    3. any other recognised qualifications
    Documentary Evidence for Lecturers

    Quite clearly, a lecture needs to satisfy in the PPE visa application about the overseas employment in the relevant field to the proposed permitted paid engagement in the UK. Therefore, a lecturer may provide the following evidence to substantiate the UK PPE visa application:

    1. publications of work in the relevant field of expertise
    2. an account of the past lectures in the area of specialisation
    3. a letter from employer to confirm work and area of expertise

    3. Organisations Inviting Examiners, Assessors or Lecturers

    In fact, the Home Office recognises several publicly funded research institutions, which can extend Invitations for visiting experts such as Examiners, Assessors and Lecturers. Perhaps the recorganised publicly funded organisations may include:

    1. research organisations – including independent research organisations and Research Council Funded Institutes such as:
      • Arts and Humanities Research Council
      • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
      • Economic and Social Research Council
      • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
      • Medical Research Council
      • Natural Environment Research Council
      • Science and Technology Facilities Council
    2. museums – this must be the main/primary purpose of the venue
    3. art galleries – the main purpose of the venue should be art-exhibition and not be selling of arts and artefacts
    4. arts centres, theatres, other arts venues and arts festivals

    4. Designated air pilot examiner

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

    5. Lawyers

    In a qualified lawyer, such as a counsel, solicitor, advocate, attorney or a barrister can apply for UK PPE visa. Perhaps, in addition to dispute resolution and advocacy, a qualified lawyer can also take an active role in preparation of a hearing that may require one or more preparatory visits.

    Litigation 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 the ECO is likely to refuse the entry clearance. Perhaps, with a refusal reason that the applicant is not genuinely seeking entry to the UK on a PPE visa for a duration longer than one month.

    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 lawyers

    If an overseas lawyer is applying for PPE Visa to represent client in a UK court then needs to provide confirmation of the lawyer’s right to an audience (or ‘temporary call’). Moreover, a lawyer may demonstrate qualifications by submitting a practising certificate. And also a certificate of good standing.

    6. Artists, entertainers and sportspersons

    Perhaps, a UK based agent, broadcaster, creative or sports organisation can invite an artist, entertainer or a sportsperson to perform permitted paid engagement in the UK.

    1. a creative organisation includes all types of organisations relating to arts and entertainment. For instance, art galleries, arts faculties or departments in universities, schools and venues involved in producing or staging of events
    2. UK based agent or broadcasters can invite individuals to undertake a permitted paid engagement in the UK. However, the inviting organisation needs to be legitimate
    3. a sports organisation includes any body involved in organising or staging sporting events and matches

    Perhaps, 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 the UK. However, it is quite understandable that some artists, sportspersons and professionals earn lower salaries in certain countries.

    What an artist can do on a PPE visa?

    Quite clearly, an arts professional may relate to performing or creative arts. Perhaps, an arts profession may be a traditional artist, folk singer, poet, makeup artist, photographer etc. Accordingly, an artist may take part in permitted paid engagements in the UK such as:

    • giving lectures
    • judging panels
    • presenting/launching their work to professionals/public in the UK
    • public performances
    • professional paid conferences
    • taking part in panel debates
    Can a fashion model apply?

    Yes, fashion models visiting the UK for undertaking a specific paid engagement in the UK can apply for PPE visa. However, a fashion model should not intend to make the UK his/her home!

    Documentary Evidence

    Certainly, a professional artist, entertainer or sportsperson needs to prove that he/she is a well established professional. Accordingly, can provide additional supporting documents with the UK PPE visa application such as:

    1. list of their publications or performances
    2. evidence of awards
    3. publicity material for talks, performances, screenings concerts, readings and exhibitions
    4. proof of recent performances
    5. media coverage and reviews etc.

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    UK PPE Visa Invitation Letter

    An organisation can send an Invitation Letter to support the entry of a visitor to the UK for permitted paid engagement. For instance, if a University is inviting a professor then can sent the Invitation Letter for UK PPE visa on the official letter head. And, if necessary, then may also add details relating to:

    1. Reimbursement of the trip costs
    2. Amount of payment for the permitted paid engagement in the UK
    3. Reference to the Terms and Conditions to the Contract of PPE Services, which an organisation can draft separately.
    4. Point person to the facilitate the visitor on UK PPE visa

    Please note only visa nationals such as Indian, Chinese, Pakistani citizens need to apply for the UK PPE visa. However, non-visa nationals such as US, Canadia, Australian citizens, only need to bring the Invitation Letter for entry clearance as a PPE visitor.

    Sample Invitation Letter for UK PPE Visa

    Dear Professor James Moriarty,

    I, Sherlock Holmes, on behalf of University for Masterminds, confirm formal invitation for you to visit us from March 23, 2020, to April 05, 2020, in order to deliver a short series of lectures. And to participate in Dr. Watson’s research workshops. We hope that your expertise in International Crimes, especially in field of Problem Solving, will greatly help our students and associates. Accordingly, this invitation is in recognition of your special expertise and major contribution to this area of research as Professor of The Valley of Fear at the Doyle Institute. In fact, it would be indeed quite pleasing if you would deliver lectures on the following topics:- The International Crime Scene on March 23, 2020 The Multi talented Genius of Simon Newcomb on March 29, 2020- George Boole and the Laws of Thought on April 3, 2020

    Trip Cost

    Quite certainly, the University of Masterminds will reimburse your international and local travel costs. And also for the cost of the local hotel accommodation at One Aldwych, London. Moreover, will remit an honorarium of £17,500/- to your bank account. Please bring this letter with you. And present it to the immigration authorities as a proof for seeking entry to the UK as a senior professional to undertake a “permitted paid engagement” for the aforesaid period. Moreover, please also bring evidence of your academic and professional standing. And also that of your qualifications, such as a resume, and list of publications. We understand you will continue in your current employment as Professor of Crimes and Criminality at the University of Yellow Asia after the proposed permitted paid engagement.

    Other Details

    Before booking your travel you need to apply for a Visitor’s Visa as a “Senior Professional coming to undertake a permitted paid engagement”. Apparently, the UK visa fee for the PPE application is £97/-. And the University will reimburse the application fee and that for priority service (£220) if you are successful in obtaining the visa. Please note that the UK visitor visa processing time is usually within 10-15 working days and 1-week with priority service. However, at times the UK PPE visa applicant may need to wait up to 30 working days (6 weeks) to get a decision.

    Point Person

    Jane Austen is the point person for the proposed permitted paid engagement. And is responsible for:

    • making arrangement for your itinerary
    • travel accommodation- day-to-day support
    • making arrangements for lectures
    • processing any claims for reimbursement of fees and trip expenses

    This engagement is subject to the terms and conditions for Contracts for PPE Services of the University. And for the reimbursement of fee and expenses, you need to provide an invoice with original copies of your itemized receipts of expenses. Please also mention your bank account details on the invoice.

    We look forward to welcoming and spending thought provoking time with you.

    Yours sincerely

    Signed on behalf of the University of Masterminds
    Sherlock Holmes, Head of Deductive Reasoning Department

    Please sign below to confirm your acceptance of the terms and return one copy of this letter to the above address

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