Applying to work as a doctor in the UK

Applying for a visa

Location: International
Audience: International doctors
Updated: Monday 6 June 2022
Topics: International doctors

This page is part of our toolkit for international medical graduates looking to apply for a visa. Use the menu on the left to navigate the steps needed to become a doctor in the UK.


Step 6: submit your application

  • From 1 December 2020, the highly skilled worker route replaced the tier 2 route. 
  • Under this route, you can apply for the health and care worker visa if have a job offer from the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS or an organisation providing adult social care.
  • You can benefit from reduced visa costs - the cost of a visa for up to three years is £232 and a visa for more than three years costs £464. This fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.
  • Your dependents will pay the same amount. The earliest you can apply for your visa is up to three months before the day you are due to start work in the UK.
  • The date is included in your certificate of sponsorship and you will usually get a decision on your visa within five working days.

You can find out more on GOV.UK.


Tips for making your application

  • Check that all the details on your certificate of sponsorship are correct.
  • If you are not already in the UK, make sure you send your criminal records certificate in with your application.
  • Make sure you apply for your skilled worker visa within the dates of your certificate of sponsorship.
  • Your employer may need to pay the immigration skills charge - this charge should not be passed onto you - if your employer asks you to pay it, you should seek advice.
  • Make sure you have the correct maintenance funds in your bank account and evidence to prove this.
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BMA immigration advice service


If you have an immigration query, we can refer you to our dedicated immigration advice service, where you can get free, basic advice on your initial enquiry. 

Contact us