The GMC is legally responsible for keeping a register of medical practitioners in the UK. All doctors who practise in the UK must be registered with a licence to practise and getting registration usually takes between one and three months. You should allow plenty of time to complete this process.
How do I apply to register with the GMC?
To apply for registration you must have an acceptable overseas qualification and provide evidence of your knowledge, skills, and expertise, and demonstrate that you have the necessary English language skills.
The GMC will accept either the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET) as evidence of your language proficiency, but currently UK Visa and Immigration will only accept the IELTS.
There are different ways you can apply for registration with a license to practise in the UK. It will depend on your nationality, qualifications, and experience. The main way in which you can demonstrate you have the right knowledge and skills to practise safely in the UK is by taking the two PLAB exams to become eligible to register with the GMC. You can find all of the information you need on joining the Medical, GP, or Specialist Registers on the GMC website.
Registration with the GMC is not the same as getting a visa or job offer. Your registration status has no influence on your immigration rights, and registration does not guarantee that you will find a job. And please be aware that if you have had a break in your practice you may find it difficult to get registration and find work in the UK.
You can learn more about the requirements to register on the GMC website
Do I need to take an English test to be registered with the GMC?
All doctors who practise medicine in the UK must have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively so they do not put the safety of their patients at risk. Communicating includes speaking, reading, writing and listening.
Doctors from EEA or Switzerland
If you are a doctor from the EEA or Switzerland and do not already have a licence to practise granted by the GMC, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge of English before being granted a licence. The GMC can require EEA doctors to take a language test to decide if they are fit to practise.
Find out more on the GMC website
Doctors from outside the EEA or Switzerland
If you qualified outside the EEA and are not a citizen of an EEA member state, you will be required to demonstrate your English language proficiency. For most doctors this will be demonstrated by passing the IELTS (International English Language Test System) or the OET (Occupational English Test) , which enables you to register with the GMC.
You may also be required to pass the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) test in order to practice medicine in the UK. This is the main route by which international medical graduates demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK.