Official Requirements for Healthcare Jobs in the UK

Official Requirements
for Midwifery and Nursing Jobs in the UK

If you are an overseas nurse or midwife who would like to work in the UK, you will need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). There are two different routes to registration: one for EU/EEA nurses and midwives and one for non-EU/EEA nurses and midwives.

The Registration Route for EU/EEA Nurses and Midwives

For full details of this route, please go to the NMC Website and consult this NMC PDF, which gives guidance for nurses and midwives trained in the EU/EEA.

Please note that though the information given below is currently valid and correct, it is likely to change when the UK leaves the EU. It is at present unclear how the Brexit process will affect the rights of EU/EEA citizens to work in the UK, but if and when the situation changes, we will update this page as soon as we can.

You can follow this route if you are an EU/EEA national who has been trained and registered in an EU/EEA member state or if you are an EU/EEA national who has been trained in a non-EU/EEA state, but has been practising in an EU/EEA member state for at least three consecutive years. If you are a spouse, civil partner or dependent of an EU/EEA national, you can also use this pathway.

If you do not meet any of the above criteria, you should follow the Overseas Registration Route (please see below).

If you are an EU/EEA national who wishes to work in the UK only on a temporary or occasional basis, you should contact the EU Registrations Team for advice at [email]EU.Enquiries@nmc-org.uk[/email]. More information about the registration requirements for this type of work can be accessed here.

If you would like to work in a midwifery or nursing job in UK on a regular or more permanent basis, and you meet the requirements for the EU/EEA route, you need to go through the following five steps:

 

1. Choose which field(s) of practice to apply for

The NMC’s register is divided into three parts and four subparts or fields of practice, which relate to different nursing and midwifery specialisations. You should only apply to the parts of the register that you are qualified to work in.

Most nurses will have trained in general care (called adult care in the UK) and should therefore apply for registration in the field of adult nursing, but you will have to examine the register to see which fields of practice you should apply for. Please consult this PDF (pages 4-5) for more details.

 

2. Make sure you have a professional indemnity arrangement

To register with the NMC, you must have a professional indemnity arrangement (a kind of insurance) that is sufficient to cover you if any claim is made against you.

If you have found a midwifery and nursing job in the NHS, you will automatically be covered. If you have found work with a private company, it is likely that they will have indemnity cover for their healthcare professionals. If you will be self-employed, however, or will work through an agency, you will probably need to take out indemnity cover yourself.

More information about professional indemnity arrangements can be found here.

 

3. Choose your route to recognition

For EU/EEA midwives and nurses wishing to work in the UK, there are three different routes to gaining recognition from the NMC. The one you choose will depend on your individual circumstances:

Automatic Recognition

The EU sets minimum standards of training that nurses responsible for general care (adult care in the UK) and all midwives must meet. When countries join the EU, they must ensure that their midwifery and general nursing programmes meet these standards. If you started your training programme after the date your country introduced the EU standards then you qualify for automatic recognition.

Acquired Recognition

If you began your training programme before your country ensured it met the EU standards, you will need to provide additional documentation when you make your application. You can still gain recognition if your qualification was gained in an EU/EEA member state and you are able to acquire a certificate from the relevant medical authority in your country recognising your qualification. This certificate must state that you have been engaged in medical practice for at least three consecutive years in the five years preceding the award of the certificate.

Please note that the rules for acquired recognition are slightly different for nurses and midwives from Poland, Romania and Croatia, and for nurses and midwives who trained in countries that no longer exist such as East Germany, Czechoslovakia, the USSR and Yugoslavia. Please see the annexes of this PDF for more details.

Individual Assessment

If you have trained in an EU/EEA country but do not qualify for either of the above pathways, you may still be able to work in a midwifery or nursing job in the UK. In this case, the NMC would make a decision by assessing your training and work experience against UK standards. The NMC may decide that you need to work under supervision for a certain period (adaptation period) or undergo an aptitude test to check your professional knowledge, skills and competences before you are granted recognition.

 

4. Apply for recognition and registration with the NMC

You can access the application form here. Please complete the form yourself in English and return it with all the relevant supporting documents. If the NMC do not receive the completed form within six months of the date the form was sent out, you will need to request another form and begin the application process again.

You should submit the original form and not a photocopy. Supporting documents should be photocopies that have been certified by an authorised party. For any documents that are not in English, you must provide both a copy of the document in the original language and a certified English translation.

You must supply a copy of your qualification if you meet the Automatic Recognition Requirements and a copy of your qualification and a certificate validating it from the relevant medical authority in your country if you meet the Acquired Recognition Requirements. (see above)

It is a good idea to make sure your qualifications will be accepted by the NMC before you pay to have them translated.

In addition to your qualifications, you will need to submit certified copies (and certified English translations) of a number of other documents, including a police clearance certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificates, your passport or identity card, and a certificate of current professional status.

If you have a European Professional Card (EPC) you may not need to submit proof of your qualifications, but you will still need to fill in the application form and submit all the other documents listed above, as well as providing proof of your English language abilities (see below). The EPC is not a physical card, but rather an electronic record proving that your qualifications meet EU-wide standards. Nurses for general (adult) care have been able to apply for the EPC since January 2016. To apply for the EPC, please visit the EU’s online portal. More information about the EPC can be found here.

If you wish to work as a children’s, mental health or learning disability nurse, you will need to submit – in addition to the documents listed above – a document from your training provider containing details of what you studied and the clinical practice you undertook on your course.

When you have applied for the application form, you will be given a Personal Reference Number (PRN), which you will need every time you contact the NMC.

When you submit your application form, you will have to pay an application assessment fee of £110. Information about how to pay will be included in the application pack you will receive. Please note that this is a separate fee to the £120 registration fee that you will have to pay if your application is accepted. (Please see below)

Once the NMC have received the form, they will assess it in three steps. First, they will check your qualifications are appropriate (see above). Secondly, they will check you meet the English language requirements. Thirdly, you will be asked to declare that your circumstances have not changed since you made the application.

English Language Requirements

You must demonstrate that you have a good enough command of the English language to undertake all the duties associated with midwifery or nursing in the UK. To meet the NMC’s English language requirements, at least one of the following criteria must apply to you:

You have gained an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate with at least an overall grade of 7 and a grade of 7 in each subsection of the test. This certificate should have been obtained within the last two years, but the NMC may make an exception if you can prove your English language skills have not deteriorated since you took the test.

You have recently completed a nursing or midwifery programme in an EU/EEA country that has been taught and examined in English.

You have been registered and have practised for at least two years in a country where English is the native language and where you needed to pass an English language assessment to achieve registration in that country.

If you do not meet the above criteria, the NMC may accept other proof of your English language abilities at their discretion. Please click here for more information.

Please note that the above rules even apply to nurses and midwives whose first language is English.

 

5. Complete your registration

If the NMC approve your application, you will be able to complete your registration as a nurse or midwife. To do this, you will need to:

Make a declaration stating that you will abide by the NMC code, that you hold – or will hold before you start practising – a professional indemnity arrangement, that you are capable of safe and effective practice, and that your circumstances have not changed since you submitted your application.

Pay a registration fee of £120. When this fee has been paid, the NMC will complete your registration.

Please note that you will need to renew your registration yearly.

Visa and Work Permit Requirements for EU/EEA Nurses and Midwives

Currently, the UK has no visa or work permit requirements for workers from the EU and EEA though this situation may well change after Brexit. All workers in the UK, however, need to acquire a National Insurance (NI) Number. Your employer should be able to advise you on how to do this. People normally wait until they are in the UK before applying for an NI number and this is usually done by phone. More details can be found here.

Finding a Midwifery or Nursing Job in the UK

Please note that when you have achieved registration in the UK, it is still your responsibility to find a job. Reputable medical recruitment consultancies and nursing agencies, like IHR Group, can help you find a suitable midwifery or nursing job in the UK for free.

 


The Registration Route for Non-EU/EEA
Nurses and Midwives

If you would like to work in a midwifery or nursing job in the UK, and you have trained outside the EU/EEA, this is the route to registration you should follow. It may be worth, however, checking the criteria above just in case you might qualify for the EU/EEA registration route.

Full details of the registration route for non-EU/EEA nurses and midwives can be found on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Website and in this PDF.

Non-EU/EEA individuals who would like to work in midwifery or nursing jobs in the UK need to follow the nine steps listed below:

 

1. Decide which parts of the NMC register you should apply for

The NMC’s register is divided into three parts and four subparts or fields of practice. The field(s) of practice you apply for will depend on your specialisations, qualifications and experience. Please check this PDF (pages 4-5) for details of how the register is divided.

If you have trained as a general nurse, you should probably apply for the ‘adult nurse’ field of practice in the UK.

 

2. Make sure you meet the NMA’s English language requirements

All nurses and midwives registered in the UK must be able to communicate clearly in English and be able to cope with all the duties and demands of midwifery or nursing in an English language setting.

To prove you are able to do this, you must present a certificate showing you have taken the IELTS (English Language Testing System) examination and attained an overall grade of seven or above. You must also have scored at least seven in every part of the exam.

You may present IELTS certificates from two different examinations in order to meet the above requirements. These exams, however, must have been taken within six months of one another and you must not have scored less than 6.5 in any part of either test.

The IELTS certificate(s) you submit must not be more than two years old at the time of the application.

Please note that all applicants must present this evidence of their English language competence even if English is their first language.

More information about the IELTS exam can be found here.

 

3. Make sure you meet the NMC’s practice, registration and education requirements

At the time of application, you must have been practising as a registered nurse or midwife for at least 12 months. This practice must be relevant to the field of practice you are applying for on the register.

Midwives who have not practised in the five years prior to their application must do a Return to Midwifery course in their home country before they apply for UK registration.

If you have worked in more than one country as a midwife or nurse, you must have been registered with the relevant medical authorities in all of these countries and you must provide proof of this registration to the NMC by sending them registration certificates and any other relevant documents.

You must have completed at least 10 years of school in addition to a post-secondary-education midwifery or nursing programme. This programme must have led to registration as a nurse or midwife in your own country.

Please consult this PDF (pages 9-13) for details of the specific requirements regarding qualifications and work experience for the following fields of practice: adult (general) nursing, mental health nursing, learning disabilities nursing, children’s nursing and midwifery.

 

4. Complete your self-assessment of eligibility

Before you apply for registration, you must state that you are eligible to make this application. You must declare that you meet all the requirements set out above, that you are in good health and that you are of good character.

You must state that you will supply evidence to support these declarations during the application process. If it later becomes apparent that you cannot supply the necessary evidence, your application will be discontinued and any fees you have paid will not be refunded.

Please click here to create an account on the NMC website. You can then follow the steps you need to take to move forward with the registration process.

 

5. Complete Part One of the Test of Competence

If you pass the eligibility assessment, you will then need to sit the first part of the Test of Competence (CBT). This is a computer-based multiple-choice exam that checks your theoretical and practical knowledge. You can take this exam in test centres all around the world.

You will be permitted two attempts at the exam. If you fail both these attempts, you must wait at least six months before attempting the exam again.

The test is administered by a company called Pearson VUE. Please contact Pearson VUE to book and pay for your test. The fee is currently £130. More information about the CBT test can be found here.

 

6. Provide evidence so the NMC can assess your application (the Assessment Stage)

You will need to submit the following documents to the NMC:

  • A valid passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • A qualification certificate for each qualification relevant to your application
  • Registration certificates from each country in which you have practised (or state if you have worked in a country which has state registration)
  • Two employment references that confirm you have practised for at least 12 months following your registration. These references should also make clear that you are competent and of good character.
  • A declaration from your doctor or your workplace’s occupational health department confirming you are in good health
  • Details of the training you have completed on your nursing or midwifery training programme
  • A police clearance certificate for each country you have lived in for more than six months

Some of the above documentation must sent directly to the NMC by the relevant authorities in your country. For these documents, please visit the NMC website and download the appropriate forms.

You should send these forms to the authorities, who should complete them and forward them directly to the NMC. The NMC need the original versions of these forms – signed, stamped and dated. They cannot accept uploads or photocopies.

If any documents are not in English, then the document should be supplied in the original language along with an English translation made by a certified translator.

For full details of what you must supply, please consult this PDF (pages 14-15).

Please note that you need to pay an application fee of £140.

When the NMC have received all the necessary documents, they will review your application. If you meet all the requirements and the documents you have submitted are correct, you can move on to the next stage of the application process.

 

7. Complete Part Two of the Test of Competence

This part of the Test of Competence can only be undertaken in the UK. Known as the Objective-Structured Clinical Examination (OBCE), this test is administered by university test centres. You will need to contact one of these universities directly to book a place and pay your fee.

The universities currently running the OBCE are the University of Northampton, Oxford Brookes University and Ulster University.

The OBCE is a practical test which will simulate a real clinical environment. You will have to respond to simulations of the type of real-life situations you may be faced with during your nursing or midwifery practice. Your responses will be monitored by examiners who will assess you according to standardised marking criteria.

During the test, you will move through six different ‘stations’. At each of these, you will be presented with a different situation.

If you are unsuccessful, you may take the OBCE again after ten days. If you are again unsuccessful, you can try again after three months. If you fail the third attempt, you must start your whole application again, but you will need to wait at least six months before you can do so.

The fee for the OBCE test is currently £992.

 

8. Undergo an ID check

On the same day as you take the OBCE, you will be asked to undergo a face-to-face ID check at the OBCE test centre. You should bring along all the original documents you uploaded with your application as supporting evidence.

If you cannot supply any of the necessary documents, you will need to book another ID check at the NMC’s London office.

 

9. Complete your Final Registration

When the NMC have been notified that you have passed the OBCE and you have successfully completed the ID check, you will be asked to complete your final declaration and pay for registration online. Once you have done this, the NMC will send you a registration number (Pin).

In order to be admitted onto the register, you will have to pay a fee, which is currently £153.

Please note that you are required to renew your registration on a yearly basis. Information about renewal can be found here.

Professional Indemnity Arrangements

Please note that to be registered with the NMC, you must have a professional indemnity arrangement. This is a type of insurance that gives you cover against any claims that may be made against you. If you get a job with the NHS, you should automatically be covered by a professional indemnity arrangement. You should also be covered by your employers if you find a job with a private healthcare provider, but you may need to take out cover yourself if you will be self-employed or plan to work through an agency.

Visa and Immigration Requirements for non-EU/EEA nurses

In addition to registering with the NMC, all non-EU/EEA staff wishing to work in midwifery or nursing jobs in the UK must comply with the UK’s visa and immigration requirements.

In order to take Part Two of the Test of Competence (OSCE), applicants who are sponsored by an employer should be able to arrive in the UK up to 14 days ahead of the test. If the applicant fails the test and would like to re-sit it, the sponsoring organisation may choose to extend their sponsorship. Applicants who are not sponsored can enter the UK on a six-month visitor visa in order to take the test.

As for longer term visas for working in the UK, it is best to consult the website of UK Visas and Immigration. The UK visa and immigration system is rather complex and you will need to check the website to choose the immigration route that is right for you.

Many non-EU/EEA nurses choose to apply for a Tier Two (General) Visa. This visa is for people who already have a job offer in the UK. To qualify for this visa, you must be sponsored by your employer and your employer must prove that no UK/EU/EEA citizens are available to fill the vacancy.

This visa is initially valid for up to five years, but it can be extended for up to six years in total.

To get the Tier Two (General) Visa, you need to prove you have adequate English language abilities and that you have enough money to settle in the UK. You also need to provide evidence of your qualifications and prospective earnings. You will have to pay a fee, which will vary depending on your individual circumstances and how long your visa will last. To learn more about this visa, click here.

Finding a midwifery or nursing job in the UK

As it is much easier for non-EU/EEA midwives and nurses to get a visa if they already have a job offer, we recommend you find employment before you move to the UK. Reputable nursing agencies and healthcare recruitment consultancies, like IHR Group, can help you find a midwifery or nursing job in the UK free of charge.

 


Official Requirements for Doctor’s Jobs in the UK

If you are an overseas doctor wishing to work in the UK, you need to register with the General Medical Council (GMC). You need to apply to the GMC for registration with a licence to practice.

Before you begin your application, you need to go through the following five steps:

1. Make sure that your medical qualifications are acceptable to the GMC

In order to sit the PLAB test (see below) or apply for registration with the GMC, you must hold what is considered an ‘acceptable overseas qualification’.

All primary medical qualifications obtained in the UK, EU and EEA are considered acceptable.

If you obtained your qualification in a country outside the UK/EU/EEA, you will need to check if it is acceptable to the GMC.

You must hold a primary medical qualification in allopathic medicine. Normally, such a qualification should have been awarded by an institution that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools or the International Medical Education Directory and the programme must have comprised at least 5,500 hours of study. Click here for more details of the requirements for non-UK/EU/EEA medical qualifications.

Please note that qualifications awarded by certain institutions are not accepted by the GMC. These institutions are listed here.

 

2. Make sure you meet the General Medical Council’s English Language Requirements

The GMC states that all doctors must have a level of English that enables them to meet the demands of an English-speaking medical environment.

The easiest way to prove your English language competence is to provide an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) certificate.

Your IELTS certificate should be less than two-years-old at the time of application. On the IELTS test, you must have achieved an overall score of 7.5, with a score of at least 7 in each section. These scores must have all been achieved in the same sitting of the test. For more information about IELTS, click here.

If you don’t have an IELTS certificate, there are other types of evidence of English language abilities that the GMC may accept. To see a summary, please click here.

 

3. Provide Certificates of Good Standing

You will need to give the GMC details of any registration or licencing you have held from any medical authorities in any countries in the last five years, even if you haven’t practised under those authorities.

You will also need to supply Certificates of Good Standing from all the authorities you have listed. Because Certificates of Good Standing can take some time to arrive, you need to have obtained them before you apply to the GMC.

 

4. Prove you have the skills and knowledge to work in a doctor’s job in the UK and decide if you need to take the PLAB Test

The PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) Test is the main route overseas doctors choose to show they have the skills and knowledge required to work in the UK.

You do not need to take the PLAB Test if you have graduated from a medical school in the UK, the EU/EEA or Switzerland as the medical training you received there should be accepted as having given you sufficient skills and knowledge.

If you have graduated from a medical school outside these areas, there are ways to prove your skills and knowledge other than the PLAB Test that the GMC may accept. (please see below)

Please note that before you take the PLAB Test, you will need to meet the GMC’s English language requirements (see above) and prove that your medical qualification is acceptable to the GMC. (see above)

The PLAB Test is divided into two parts. Part 1 is a multiple-choice examination (click here for more details) which can be taken in the UK or overseas. You will need to book a test place online. Click here for information about test centres and dates. If you pass Part 1 of the PLAB, you can immediately apply to take Part 2.

Part 2 is a practical examination in which you have to deal with 18 mock scenarios. The aim of Part 2 is to check how you cope with ‘real life’ medical situations and to test your clinical management, assessment, practical and interpersonal skills. For more details, click here.

Part 2 can only be taken in the UK at the GMC’s Clinical Assessment Centre in Manchester. You may need to apply for a visa to get into the country to take the PLAB (please see below). For test dates, please click here.

At present, it costs £230 to take Part 1 of the PLAB Test and £840 to take Part 2.

From September 2017, candidates will only get four attempts to pass Part 2, which must be taken within two years of passing Part 1.

As soon as you pass Part 2, you can apply for registration with a licence to practice. Any such applications must be made within two years of passing Part 2.

For more information about the PLAB Test, click here.

You may not need to take the PLAB Test if you can prove your skills and knowledge in the following ways:

  • You have completed a post-graduate qualification, which is acceptable to the GMC, within the last three years. Please click here to see the list of acceptable qualifications.
  • You are sponsored by an organisation approved by the GMC. Click here to see the list of acceptable sponsors.
  • You are eligible for entry onto the Specialist Register or the GPs’ Register. Please click here for more details.

 

5. Choose the type of registration you wish to hold and make sure you have sufficient clinical experience to qualify for it

There are two main types of registration with a licence to practice in the UK: full registration and provisional registration.

To gain full registration, you must prove that you have acquired enough clinical work experience.

In order to do this, you must have either completed Year 1 of a Foundation Programme (F1) in the UK (or its equivalent in the EU/EEA) or completed a period of graduate or post-graduate clinical experience outside the UK/EU/EEA. This period of clinical experience is usually referred to as an internship.

If you have completed an internship, you must prove it meets the GMC’s standards. The GMC has provided two sets of guidelines: Pattern A and Pattern B. Your internship needs to conform to one of these sets of guidelines for it to be considered acceptable. Both sets of guidelines can be read here.

Overseas doctors can work in the UK with provisional registration in certain circumstances, but this will only enable them to work in a Foundation Year 1 post (these posts are designed for newly qualified doctors). When this foundation year is completed, doctors can apply for full registration.

As well as holding full registration, doctors wishing to work as consultants must hold specialist registration and those wishing to work as GPs must hold GP registration. More information about the different types of registration can be read here.

Applying for Registration with the GMC

When you have met the above criteria, you can begin the application process. Click here and follow the instructions. Please note that the application pathways are different for doctors from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, and for doctors from other parts of the world.

 


Registration for Doctors from the EU/EEA and Switzerland

Please note that the information given below is correct at the time of writing but, as the Brexit process unfolds, the situation may well change. If any changes occur, we will update this website as soon as possible.

As you click through the instructions (see above) you will be presented with 12 pages of guidance. Make sure you read them carefully before you apply.

These 12 pages contain important information about how to submit copies and translations of your documents, how to apply for specialist or GP registration (if appropriate), and details of some of the questions you will be asked during the application.

Applications must be made online via a secure portal. You will need to set up an account before you apply. Details of how to do this are on page 12 of the guidance.

Before you submit your application, you will have to pay a registration fee. For details of the current fees, click here.

Your application should be processed within five working days though at busy times this could take longer.

If your application is approved, you will be invited to an identity check at the GMC’s London or Manchester offices.

In order to be granted full registration with a licence to practise, you must attend the identity check within three months of your application being approved. Please bring original copies of all the documents you provided in support of your application to the identity check.

Please note that you must be registered with a licence to practice before you can work in a doctor’s job in the UK. You can check if you’ve been entered on the GMC’s List of Registered Practitioners by clicking here.

After receiving your registration, you may be asked to work in an Approved Practice Setting. Working in an Approved Practice Setting means that you are supervised, supported and appraised until your first revalidation.

Though working in an Approved Practice Setting is not compulsory for EU/EEA doctors, it is highly recommended. Information about Approved Practice Settings can be found here.

All doctors in the UK must revalidate their registration every five years by proving they are still fit to practise. Information about revalidation can be found here.

Please also refer to the information about finding a doctor’s job in the UK, immigration and visas below.

 


Registration for Non-EU/EEA Doctors

Please note that the procedure given below is the one most non-EU/EEA doctors follow, but there may sometimes be exceptions. Please consult the GMC’s website for more details.

Before you begin your application, make sure you have all the necessary documents and – if they were written in a language other than English – authorised translations of them. These should include your primary medical qualification, details of your internship, evidence of your knowledge of English, proof of identity, a certificate of good standing and employer references (if appropriate).

After you have applied, the GMC will email you asking for the documents they require and you should send back scanned copies of the documents within 28 days. The GMC cannot assess your application without the appropriate documents.

You will also need to make declarations about your fitness to practise and your health.

Details regarding the documents required and other aspects of the application process can be found here.

Before you apply, you will have to pay a fee. Details of the fees can be found here.

To make your application, you will need to create an online account and then follow the instructions. Once you have started your application, it must be submitted within three months. Click here for more information.

The GMC aim to carry out an initial assessment of your application within five working days though this may take longer during busy periods. The GMC will contact you if they need more information or if they need a longer time than usual to examine your application.

If your application is approved, you will be asked to attend an identity check at the GMC’s offices in London or Manchester. At this check, the GMC will take a photograph of you and check your original documents. You must attend the identity check within three months of your application being approved. For more information about the identity check, click here.

Please note that you must be registered with a licence to practice before you can work in a doctor’s job in the UK. You can check if you’ve been entered on the GMC’s List of Registered Practitioners by clicking here.

After receiving your registration, you may have to work in an Approved Practice Setting. This means that you will be supervised, supported and appraised from when you start working until your first revalidation. All doctors must revalidate their registration once every five years by proving that they are still fit to practise. For information about Approved Practice Settings, please click here and for information about revalidation please click here.

Finding a Doctor’s Job in the UK

It is usually better to secure an offer of a doctor’s job in the UK before you move to the country. In some cases, doctors will be required to hold a UK job offer before they can get a visa.

Reputable healthcare recruitment consultancies, like IHR Group, can help you find a doctor’s job in the UK free of charge.

Visa and Immigration Requirements

Workers from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland do not currently need a visa to live and work in the UK. This may change, however, as the Brexit process moves forward. We will update this website as soon as possible if any changes occur.

All workers in the UK do, however, require a National Insurance (NI) Number. Your employer should be able to advise you on how to get one. People normally wait until they are in the UK before applying for an NI number and this is usually done by phone. Certain visas come with a National Insurance Number already included. More details about NI numbers can be found here.

Most non-EU/EEA doctors need a visa to work in the UK. The rules for visas are somewhat complicated and will depend on your individual circumstances. Page 24 of this PDF booklet contains a useful diagram of the different visa pathways overseas doctors can follow.

More information about visas and immigration can be found on the website of UK Visas and Immigration.

Though there are several visa options, many doctors choose to apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa.

To qualify for this visa, you will need to hold an offer of a doctor’s job in the UK. You must be sponsored by your employer and your employer must prove that no UK/EU/EEA citizens are available to fill the vacancy.

This visa is initially valid for up to five years, but it can be extended for up to six years in total.

To get the Tier Two (General) Visa, you need to prove you have adequate English language abilities and that you have enough money to settle in the UK. You also need to provide evidence of your qualifications and prospective earnings. You will have to pay a fee, which will vary depending on your individual circumstances and how long your visa will last. To learn more about this visa, click here.

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