Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Immigration Corner | Can I get paid in the UK?

Published:Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I have some specialised training in the agricultural sector in the Caribbean. I have been asked to assist and train personnel in the United Kingdom. I am considering doing it if I can receive payment for it. I only need a few weeks over there. Will my visa permit me to get paid for work while there?

- M.V.

Dear M.V.,

Persons may be able to get a permitted paid engagement visa if they have been invited to the United Kingdom as an expert in their profession.

Those persons can apply for a permitted paid engagement visa if they: are invited by a United Kingdom-based organisation or client; want to go to the United Kingdom to do specific paid work without having to be sponsored under the points-based visa system; are from a country that is not in the European Economic Area and Switzerland; and if any other eligibility requirements are met.

Persons may not need to apply for a visa if they are from certain countries. persons should check if they need this visa before applying.

The earliest that persons can apply for this visa is three months before travelling. After making the application for a visa, persons should get a decision within three weeks. Persons should check the guide processing times to see how long getting a visa might take in the country from where the application is made.

A permitted paid engagement visa application costs £89, and, if successful ,persons can stay in the United Kingdom for up to one month.

What persons can and cannot do will depend on the purpose for being invited. Persons can be invited by a United Kingdom-based organisation or client to: be a student examiner or assessor; take part in selection panels as a highly qualified academic if invited by an education, arts or research organisation; give lectures at a higher-education institution, as long as it is not a part-time or full-time role; examine United Kingdom-based pilots so they meet the standards of a particular country if invited by an approved United Kingdom training organisation regulated by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority; provide advocacy in a particular area of law; take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities, including broadcasting; and take part in fashion-modelling assignments.




In addition, persons can do minor activities related to their work or business overseas, for example, attend meetings.

However, persons cannot: do specific paid work unrelated to their main job or area of expertise at home or sell merchandise, other than what is allowed by the visa that was received; extend this visa or switch to another visa category; live in the United Kingdom for extended periods; get public funds; study for more than 30 days and studying cannot be the main reason for the visit; marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership; or bring family members, 'dependents', with them based on their application - they must apply separately.

To be eligible, persons must prove that they: are 18 years old or over; are visiting the United Kingdom for no longer than one month; will leave the United Kingdom at the end of their visit; have enough money without help from public funds to support and house themselves; can pay for their return or onward journey; and are not in transit to a country outside the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

When submitting application, persons must provide: a current passport or other valid travel identification and the passport must have a blank page for the visa; proof that they can support themselves during the trip, for example, bank statements or payslips for the last six months; details of where they intend to stay and their travel plans. Please note that it is not advisable that persons pay for accommodation or travel until getting the visa.

Persons must also provide: a formal invitation from the United Kingdom-based organisation or authority by whom they will be paid; and proof that the paid engagement relates to their area of expertise, qualifications and main job in their home country, for example, a letter from your employer.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: