BMA guidance

Working in the UK and your visa

A guide for international medical graduates looking to become a doctor in the UK - the steps you need to take to get a skilled worker visa.

Location: International
Audience: International doctors
Updated: Tuesday 15 December 2020
Topics: International doctors

The process of getting a job in the UK, which includes getting a visa and becoming registered with the GMC, can take longer than you might expect.

Timescales will depend on your level of English and how much time you take to prepare. 

Moving to a new country can be daunting - the BMA can help you. This guide describes the steps you need to take to get a job in the UK.


What you'll get from this guide 

  • What you need to do before you can start the skilled worker (previously tier 2) visa application process.
  • How to take your PLAB tests and register with the GMC.
  • How to get an employer to sponsor you to move to the UK.


How to use this guide

This guide is intended as a high level overview of the immigration pathway into medicine in the UK.

It is for international medical graduates. If you're from the EEA (European economic area), try our guide for EEA medical graduates.

Still not sure? Call our dedicated immigration advice service to help you with your specific queries on 0300 123 1233.


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We provide a wide range of resources to help you settle in to work in the UK.

We are offering a special 50% discount membership offer until September 2021 for doctors new to the UK.

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