Overview

You may be able to visit the UK for a paid engagement if you’ve been invited as an expert in your profession.

You can apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa if you:

  • are invited by a UK-based organisation or client
  • want to come to the UK to do specific paid work without having to be sponsored under the points-based visa system
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

You may not have to apply for a visa. What you need to do depends on your nationality.

Check if you need to apply for a UK visa.

What you can and cannot do

You 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 you’re invited by an education, arts or research organisation
  • give lectures at a higher education institution, as long as it’s not a part-time or full-time role
  • examine UK-based pilots so they meet the standards of the country you come from if you’re 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

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

You cannot:

  • do paid work unrelated to your main job or area of expertise at home, other than what’s allowed by your visa
  • extend this visa or switch to another visa
  • live in the UK for extended periods
  • get public funds (benefits)
  • study
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately

Read the guidance for more information about what you can and cannot do with a Permitted Paid Engagement visa.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for up to 1 month.

When to apply and how long it takes

If you need a visa, you must apply online before you come to the UK.

As part of your application, you’ll need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove your identity and provide your documents.

Allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country.

The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Find out how to get your visa decision faster - this depends on what country you’re in.

Fees

A Permitted Paid Engagement visa costs £95.

  1. Step 1 Check if this visa is right for you

    You might be eligible for different visas depending on why you're visiting the UK and how long for.

    1. Check which visas you're eligible for
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply

    1. Apply for a visa and book an appointment £95
    2. Check where your visa appointment will be

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment.

    You might be able to pay an extra £220 for a decision within 5 working days or £956 for a decision within 24 hours (not including weekends or bank holidays). Check with your visa application centre.

  4. Step 4 Attend an appointment

    1. What you need to prove at your appointment

    At your appointment you’ll have your fingerprints and photograph (‘biometric information’) taken.

    After your appointment you'll be told when a decision has been made about your visa.

  5. Step 5 Check what you can bring with you

  6. Step 6 Check what you need to show at the UK border

    1. Check what you need to show at the UK border

    Keep the documents that prove why you're visiting the UK in your hand luggage so you can show them if asked.

    1. Check the documents you can use to show why you're visiting the UK