Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor

eGate expansion

From the 20 May 2019 the Home Office has expanded the use of eGates at 15 major airports and Eurostar terminals. Please refer to the News page for further information.

eGates must not be used by individuals entering under the Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) route.  PPE visitors require a specific, one month grant of leave, which has to be granted in advance of travel (for visa nationals) or by an immigration officer upon arrival into the UK (for non-visa nationals).

If an individual uses an eGate, they will not receive the grant of leave, and will be prevented from undertaking the planned engagement. If activities requiring a PPE visitor visa are undertaken without the correct stamp this will be considered by the Home Office to be illegal working.

The Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) Visitor route is for individuals invited to come to the UK because of their particular skills or expertise. These individuals can come to the UK for up to one month to undertake pre-arranged engagements for which they must be paid; however, there is no specified level of payment that must be made.

PPE Visitors do not require a Certificate of Sponsorship from the University, but will require a formal letter of invitation from the University to be able to enter the UK under this route, whether they are applying for a visa in advance of travelling to the UK or for ‘leave to enter’ at their UK port of entry. Visitors will also be required to satisfy Immigration Officers that the pre-arranged engagement relates to their area of expertise and/or qualifications and to their occupation overseas.

Who can come to the University as a PPE Visitor?

Only the following groups of individuals are able to come to the University under the Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor route to undertake one or more of the following paid activities:

  • Visiting lecturers – lecturers invited to give one or a short series of paid lectures in their field of expertise, as long as this is not a part-time or full-time role*;
  • Visiting examiners or assessors – academics who are highly qualified in their field of expertise to examine students or participate in and/or chair a selection panel as part of the institution’s quality assurance processes;

* PLEASE NOTE: Home Office guidance makes clear that someone coming on a PPE Visitor visa must not be replacing the formal role of the course teacher, hence, they can deliver lectures as a 'guest slot' within a course of study but cannot be responsible for the design, delivery, marking, or review of a course etc.

The paid engagement must relate to the individual’s area of expertise and/or qualifications and must relate to their main occupation overseas.

Please note that applicants under the Academic Visitor route must be employed by an academic institution outside the UK. Applicants who are retired are not eligible under either the Academic or Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) route.

What can a PPE Visitor do while in the UK?

A PPE Visitor can undertake other activities under their PPE Visitor visa in addition to the activities above which would form the main purpose of their visit. See Visitors - Permitted Activities & Restrictions.

What is the PPE Visitor visa application process?

The process of obtaining permission to enter the UK as a PPE Visitor is the same as that for other Visitor visa routes and depends on whether the applicant is classed as a ‘visa national’ or ‘non-visa national’. See What is the Visitor visa application process?

What Supporting documentation is required?

Those applying for a PPE Visitor visa must submit the following documents in support of their visa application if applying if advance of travelling to the UK, or to the Immigration Office at their UK port of entry if applying for ‘leave to enter’:

  • current passport or other valid travel identification
  • 1 passport-sized colour photograph (only required if applying for a visa in advance)
  • an invitation letter from the host department/ college within the university
  • proof that the paid engagement relates to their expertise, qualifications and main job in their home country, for example a letter from their employer
  • proof that they can support themselves during their trip
  • details of where they intend to stay and their travel plans

Guidance on requirements for supporting documents when applying for a Visitor visa can found in the Home Office Guide