Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Immigration Corner | Obtaining a Permitted Paid Engagement visa

Published:Tuesday | February 19, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am an expert in my chosen field of study and I am being invited to the United Kingdom (UK) to carry out some specialised work. I understand that I may be eligible for a particular type of visa for this project. Please advise if this is so.



Dear CK,

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.

Persons can apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa if they:

• Are invited by a UK-based organisation or client

• Wish to go to the UK 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 (EEA) and Switzerland

• Meet the other eligibility requirements


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

Persons can apply three months prior to travelling and should get a decision on their application within three weeks. Persons should check the guide processing times online to see how long getting a visa might take in the country from which the application is being made.

A Permitted Paid Engagement visa costs £93 and persons can stay in the United Kingdom for up to one month.

A person can be invited by a UK-based organisation or client to:

• Be a student examiner or assessor

• Take part in selection panels as a highly qualified academic if they are 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 UK-based pilots so they meet the standards of the country they come from if they are invited by an approved UK training organisation regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority

• Provide advocacy in a particular area of law

• Take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities including broadcasting

• Take part in fashion modelling assignments

Persons can also do minor activities related to their work or business overseas, such as attend meetings.

A person 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

• Extend this visa or switch to another visa

• Live over there for extended periods

• Get public funds

• Study for more than 30 days - studying cannot be the main reason for the visit

• Marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership

• Bring family members (‘dependents’) with him/her on their application - they must apply separately

Persons must prove that they are 18 years of age or over, visiting the United Kingdom for no more than one month and will leave there at the end of the visit. Those persons should also have enough money without help from public funds to support, house themselves and pay for the return or onward journey. Those persons should not be in-transit to a country outside of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands


Documents To Be Provided

When applying, persons must provide:

• A current passport or other valid travel identification - the passport must have a blank page for a visa

• Proof that they can support themselves during the trip, for example, bank statements or pay slips for the last six months

• Details of where they intend to stay and their travel plans; they should not pay for accommodation or travel until obtaining the visa

• A formal invitation from the UK-based organisation or authority who will be paying for their services


Persons will also need to show proof that the paid engagement relates to their expertise. Also, they will need to show proof of qualifications and main job in their home country, for example, a letter from the applicant’s current employer.

Just to be safe, persons should check the guide online for a full list of documents that must be provided. Persons will need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

Persons must provide extra documents if they are established arts, entertainment or sporting professionals. Persons can provide any of the following:

• Publications

• Publicity material

• Proof of awards

• Media coverage and reviews

• Proof of recent performances


Please note that persons may need to provide additional documents depending on their circumstances.

When making an application from outside the United Kingdom, persons must apply online for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa. Those persons will need to have their fingerprints and photographs, this is known as ‘biometric information’, taken at a visa application centre as part of the application. It should be noted that visa processing times vary depending on what country the application originates from.

Good luck.


John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practices 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: