Permitted Paid Engagements
The recent introduction of the Permitted Paid Engagements category enabled a variety of visitors to the UK to enter the country for the purpose of one-off or time-limited business/professional engagements. While there is no specific requirement for sponsorship in the UK, the engagement must be of direct relevance to the applicant’s profession in their home country. In a working example, a university lecturer may travel to the UK to perform a paid address at a relevant industry event.
Individuals planning to transfer to a connecting flight at a UK airport do not need to apply for a Transit Visa if they remain airside. It is only those who intend to cross the UK border that must apply for a Transit Visa ahead of time.
There are several important criteria that must be met to qualify for a Transit Visa, which include:
- The individual is in transit to a destination outside the Common Travel Area
- They have the intention and ability to continue their journey as planned
- They have ensured their entry-clearance upon arrival at their destination
- They intend to leave the United Kingdom within a maximum of 48 hours
If planning a trip that involves a stopover of any kind in the United Kingdom, we can advise on the various visas and permits available. Contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors for more information.
If you are travelling through the UK but remain in the airport, you will not need a visa in transit. This visa is only for those that will be passing through border control and entering the UK beyond the airport.
Student Visit Visa
A Student Visit Visa is one of the several options available for prospective students, though often proves too restrictive for the majority of applicants. Those who successfully obtain a Student Visit Visa are committed to enter the United Kingdom for a very limited period of time to study an equally limited range of courses.
The maximum course duration permitted under a Student Visit Visa is six months, increasing to 11 months for an English language course. In order to qualify, non-EEA nationals must provide evidence that the educational institution providing the course is a licensed sponsor under Tier 4 of the points-based system, or is inspected, approved and/or accredited by one or more of the following:
- Accreditation UK
- Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS)
- British Accreditation Council (BAC)
- Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC)
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education,
- Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted),
- HM Inspectorate of Education (Scotland),
- Estyn (Wales),
- Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland)
- Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)
The educational institution may also qualify if it is an international organisation that provides part of its programmes in the United Kingdom, offering programmes at the equivalent level of a UK degree.
Students enrolled overseas may wish to travel to the United Kingdom for a temporary period to conduct research. In order to qualify for a Student Visit Visa, the applicant must be enrolled on a course at UK degree-level or higher and be able to provide evidence of a formal offer to perform research at a UK recognised body.
Additional requirements that govern the issuing of Student Visit Visas include the following:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old
- Visits are restricted to a maximum of 6 months or 11 months in the case of an English language course
- The student must ensure they depart the UK prior to the expiration of their visa
- Financial evidence is required to verify the applicant’s capacity to cover their living costs and applicable course costs
- The student cannot and will not apply for benefits/public funds at any time
- Employment must not be sought and the applicant can comfortably cover the costs of their return or onward journey
Further restrictions that must be considered when applying for a Student Visit Visa include the following:
- Successive visa applications must not be submitted to facilitate extended stays in the UK
- No form of paid or unpaid employment or service provision is permitted
- The Student Visit Visa holder must not marry or enter into a civil partnership during their stay
- State health care provided free by the NHS may only be accessed for accidents and emergencies
- The applicant must not undertake the activities of any other form of listed visitor, such as an entertainer visitor or sports visitor
Aristone Solicitors can provide the expert support and representation you need for a smooth, seamless and streamlined application process. Contact a member of our individual immigration team today for more information.
Sport Visitor Visa
There are also allowances to enter the United Kingdom as a sportsperson under a specialist Sport Visitor Visa. Applications are considered where a non-EEA individual seeks entry to the United Kingdom for one of the following purposes:
- To participate in an event or tournament individually or part of a team, which may be an exhibition match, league match, charity event or major competition.
- To join an amateur team as an amateur sportsperson, under the condition that no payment is accepted other than to cover the expenses.
- To attend interviews, media appearances and general promotional events, or to make an appearance in public for promotional purposes.
- To attend negotiations for sponsorship deals, or to formalise the terms of a deal in person.
- To participate in training activities for a short period of time.
- To take part in a trial or to attend interviews/screenings, which must not take place in front of an audience.
Examples of applicants who may qualify for a specialist Sport Visitor Visa include contestants competing at the Wimbledon Tennis Finals and any international football fixtures played across the country.
It’s also possible to gain entry to the UK with a Sport Visitor Visa if you are a:
- Recognised official attending a sporting event or competition in the United Kingdom, such as a referee or umpire.
- Member of a professional sports person’s staff, such as a trainer, coach, therapist or doctor, and you are travelling to the UK together for an event
General requirements and conditions that apply to all Sport Visitor Visa applications include the following:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years of age
- Sport Visitor Visas are valid for a maximum of six months
- The applicant may be required to provide specific entry and exit dates
- The individual must intend to leave before their visa expires
- Evidence may be requested of sufficient funds to cover the applicant’s expenses during their stay
As with all visa categories, there are additional restrictions that apply to specialist Sport Visitor Visas which include:
- The recipient must not remain in the UK for extended periods by way of successive visits
- Additional employment and business activities must not be undertaken
- Marriages and civil partnerships must not be entered into during their stay
- Public healthcare provided freely on the NHS can only be accessed in an emergency
- The visitor must not carry out the activities of any other form of visitor, such as an entertainer or a business visitor
For the expert support you’ll need to consider your position and eligibility for a Sport Visitor Visa, the team at Aristone Solicitors is standing by to take your call.
Entertainment Visit Visa
Non-EEA citizens planning to enter United Kingdom for entertainment purposes may gain entry to the country by way of an Entertainment Visit Visa.
UK immigration policy outlines a series of requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify for an Entertainment Visit Visa, which specify that the applicant must be travelling for one of the following reasons:
- As a professional entertainer participating in a music competition
- As an internationally famous entertainer for unpaid public appearances
- To attend an audition that does not take place in front of an audience
- As an amateur entertainer scheduled to perform at a specific engagement
- As part of a group of entertainers (such as a choir) to perform at an event
- To attend a charity event and perform without payment
- As an amateur or professional taking part in a government sponsored event
- As a member of an entertainer’s team travelling alongside them
Additional requirements that govern the provision of Entertainment Visit Visas include the following:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years of age or older
- They must leave the UK prior to their visa’s expiration
- They have sufficient funds to cover their expenses and will not claim benefits
- They are able to pay for their onward or return journey
Furthermore, individuals entering the United Kingdom on the basis of an Entertainment Visit Visa must abide by the broader visa restrictions, which expressly forbid:
- Remaining in the UK for extended periods through successive visits
- Seeking employment or additional sources of income
- Entering into a marriage or civil partnership during their visit
- Undertaking the activities of a different form of listed visitor, such as a sports visitor
- Receiving free NHS healthcare, unless in an emergency
Here at Aristone Solicitors, we understand the daunting nature of submitting an individual immigration application. That’s why we take the time to get to know our clients and their circumstances at the deepest possible level, enabling us to streamline and simplify all aspects of the application process. Whether planning ahead or in the midst of a complex immigration application, we’re standing by to offer our full support. Contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today to organise your free initial consultation.