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UK Visa for Doctors






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There is a shortage of medical practitioners who are skilled at their job in the UK. Hence there are plenty of options for doctors, nurses and dentists to apply for visas and live in the UK for work. The requirement of medical practitioners’ visa in UK varies according to their skillset and experience though all of them require registration with their governing body initially.

All those who wish to work in the UK should be aware of their specific responsibilities and the requirements for registration relevant to their body of work. Here are more details on the types of Doctor, Dentist and Nurse Registration for UK.

Doctors Visa in UK and Registration

All the doctors from outside of the EU should have registered to work in the UK compulsorily and have obtained a Licence to Practice if they desire to practise in the UK and issue legal privileges associated with the profession. This can include things like signing death certificates or prescribing medicines. In the UK, the approved regulatory body to register doctors is called General Medical Council (GMC). There are three types of registration for doctors prior to their UK immigration. They are known as

• Full Registration
• Limited Registration
• Specialist Registration

Full Registration

All doctors who wish to work unsupervised need to have full registration from the GMC. Usually medical professionals who have qualified in or are a citizen of an EEA county can apply for full registration. Besides this, doctors from South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the West Indies can apply for this.

Limited Registration

Those who apply for limited registration can undertake supervised training posts within the NHS. However, all applications should have their primary medical qualification recognised by the GMC. Once they prove their aptitude and skills, the doctors can apply for full registration. This requires taking tests by International English Language Assessment Service and the Professional and Linguistic Training Board (PLAB Test).

Specialist Registration

Specialist registration is for those who wish to act as consultant for the NHS or for doctors who wish to practise unsupervised in a private clinic or hospital in the UK.

Non-EEA Medical Practitioners Visa for UK

Once you get the appropriate registration, you should apply for UK migration either as a work permit holder or Tier 1 - General skilled visa routes.

Find out more about registering with the GMC.

Working as a doctor in the UK

The UK welcomes doctors of varying qualifications and experience. Those who are suitably qualified, experienced and can communicate effectively will find it easy to apply for jobs. You can check out for jobs before making an application to join the UK medical register. Initially Tier 1 - General Skilled Migration visa was issued but now foreign healthcare professionals are ideally suited for the Tier 2 General work visa.

Dentists - Non-EEA Medical Practitioners Visa for UK

Dentists from outside the EU should also be registered in their approved regulatory body which is called the General Dental Council (GDC). When it comes to dentists, there are two types of registration based on the role and level of responsibility they will undertake in the UK. They are Full Registration and Temporary Registration.

Full Registration

Similar to doctors, for unsupervised employment in the UK as a dentist, you should opt for full registration from the GDC. For this you need to take a UK dentistry qualification or clear the GDC's International Qualifying Examination. The dentists from countries like Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia can apply for this.

Temporary Registration

If you wish to carry out supervised work, training, teaching or research, you can opt for this.

Post Registration Visa Application

Once the registration is done you can apply for a Tier 2 General work visa.

Learn more about applying for GDC registration here.


All nurses qualified enough to work in the UK must be registered at their regulatory body called the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Nurses who have been trained outside the EU have to register through the NMC's Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP).

NMC Registration Requirement

The NMC has an education requirement, English language requirement with an academic IELTS of 6.5 or over on each section as well as a 20 day programme of protected learning. Importance is given to nurses who have qualified from Australia, South Africa, Canada or New Zealand.