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The former Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) standalone visa route has been subsumed into the Standard Visitor route with effect from 31 January 2024. The maximum duration of this visa category is 6 months. However, the permitted paid activities must be completed within 30 days of arrival in the UK. After that, the visitor can only engage in tourism and visiting friends/family.

Citizens of countries on this list will always need to have been granted a visa before they travel to the UK; citizens of other countries will be able to seek entry as a visitor at the border without the need to obtain a visa before travel. However, they may be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation before travelling to the UK. This is currently only a requirement for citizens of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia but will be rolled out to other nationalities during 2024.


Additional eligibility requirements

In addition to the eligibility requirements for all Standard Visitors, permitted paid engagement category visitors must also:

  • have a formal letter of invitation from the host department/institution; and
  • have arranged their activities with the host faculty/department before they travel to the UK; and
  • ensure that all activity relates to their area of expertise and occupation overseas; and
  • be aged 18 or over when they arrive in the UK.


Permitted activities

A very narrow range of activities can be undertaken on a Standard Visitor visa (PPE category):

  • Examining students as an academic who is highly qualified within their field of expertise, as part of the University’s quality assurance processes;
  • Participating in or chairing selection panels as an academic who is highly qualified within their field of expertise, as part of the University’s quality assurance processes;
  • Giving a one-off or series of lectures as an expert in the subject area, which does not amount to filling a teaching position;
  • Speaking at a conference or event (one-off/series of short talks);
  • As long as it is their full time profession, artists may be taking part in activities such as:
    • judging panels
    • giving lectures
    • talking about, presenting, or launching their work to other professionals or the public
    • performances
    • panel debates
    • professional conferences


Not permitted

Certain activities are prohibited for Standard Visitor (PPE category) visitors:

  • Doing paid work not listed above and/or unrelated to their main job or area of expertise (the applicant cannot be fully retired, as the work must be related to employment overseas, but semi-retirement is acceptable);
  • Filling a normal post or a genuine vacancy;
  • Be entering to study for an academic qualification (study visa required);
  • Accessing medical treatment, other than private medical treatment;
  • Getting married or forming a civil partnership;
  • Extending the visa or switching in the UK to another visa route;
  • Bringing family members on their application - they must apply separately.


Acceptable Payments

As long as the visitor meets the eligibility criteria and will only undertake one or more of the permitted activities listed above, there is no restriction how, or how much, to pay this category of visitor.



Family members are permitted to accompany visitors, and should apply for a Standard Visitor visa (tourism, including visiting family and friends category). Dependants are not permitted to work in the UK.

Children are not permitted to attend state school in the UK, though they may be enrolled at fee-paying schools.