Personal Immigration

Visa for Visitors undertaking a Permitted Paid Engagement

There are often times when opportunities to travel to the United Kingdom arise as a direct result of your skills or expertise. For those visitors who wish to enter the United Kingdom for a one off event, obtaining a visa as a visitor undertaking a permitted paid engagement is an interesting option.

In order to be eligible as a visitor through the permitted paid engagement route, you will need to be able to demonstrate that, because of your particular skills and expertise, you have been invited to the United Kingdom in order to undertake a paid engagement.

A visitor undertaking a permitted paid engagement can enter the United Kingdom on a one month visa without having to be sponsored under the point-based system.  This is advantageous, but only possible if your paid engagement will be completed within one month.  Unfortunately visas for permitted paid engagements cannot be extended. 

Generally, a visitor will have to provide a formal invitation to the permitted paid engagement in order to be considered under this route. There are other very specific requirements, however, in terms of who qualifies as a visitor and what excactly is classed as a permitted paid engagement. 

Categories of Visitors

There are 7 main categories of visitors under the permitted paid engagement route. These are:

1) Visiting examiners/assessors

2) Lecturers

3) Overseas designated pilot examiners

4) Qualified lawyers

5) Professional artists

6) Entertainers

7) Sportspersons.

The first category is defined as visiting examiners or assessors. This category covers those visiting the United Kingdom in order to act as an invigilator, examiner or assessor at an approved institution within the United Kingdom. This category also allows those individuals, with the relevant expertise, to enter the country in order to participate in chair selection panels designed to assess an institution for assurance purposes.

The second category of visitor is designed for those lecturers who are visiting the United Kingdom in order to perform a single lecture or a series of lectures. The lecturer must be invited by an approved educational institution in the United Kingdom in order for it to be considered a permitted paid engagement. The UKBA defines an approved educational institution as any United Kingdom Higher Education institution.

The third category refers to those visitors who enter the United Kingdom with the intention of assessing pilots based in the United Kingdom in order to establish that they meet the national aviation regulatory requirement of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.  Those examiners who wish to travel to the UK as a visitor undertaking a permitted paid engagement can apply through this category so long as the training institution is an institution approved by the UKBA.

The fourth category refers to those legal professionals who need to provide a client with assistance in legal proceedings. The legal proceedings can range from a court hearing to arbitration. Such legal professionals will have to establish that they have the relevant professional qualifications, as well as an appropriate right of audience.

The fifth, sixth and seventh categories all relate to those visitors who wish to come to the United Kingdom in order to carry out a permitted paid engagement at a UK-based art or sport organisation. This category can also include fashion models so long as they can establish that they have no intention to base themselves in the United Kingdom on a long-term basis.

Requirements

There are an extensive number of requirements that an applicant for a visitor visa for the purpose of undertaking a permitted paid engagement must satisfy, as well as some important visa restrictions.  The Immigration Rules also set out very specific requirements as to what activity may be classified as a permitted paid engagement.  The visa itself is only valid for one month and cannot be extended. In addition those who enter the United Kingdom through this route will not be able to take on any other paid or unpaid employment or undergo a course of study. There are further requirements and restrictions and it is important that you are aware of all of them before pursuing an application for a visa as a visitor undertaking a permitted paid engagement.

Further information?

If you require more information on this type of visa or assistance with completing an application for a visitor visa for the purpose of undertaking a permitted paid engagement in the UK, then please contact our immigration barristers and lawyers in Covent Garden, London direct on 0203 617 9173 or email info@richmondchambers.com

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