UK Visa Registration Requirements for Non-EU Doctors

Doctors from outside of the EU are required by law to be registered to work in the UK and obtain a Licence to Practice if they wish to practice medicine in the UK and exercise various legal privileges associated with the profession (such as writing prescriptions and signing death certificates).

The regulatory body that registers doctors is called the General Medical Council (GMC).  There are three types of registration that doctors must have prior to their UK immigration, depending on the role and level of responsibility they will have while working in the UK; Full Registration, Limited Registration and Specialist Registration.

Full Registration

  • In order to undertake paid unsupervised employment in the UK as a doctor you need to have gained full registration from the GMC.
  • Generally medical professionals who are a citizen of, and qualified in, an EEA county, are eligible for full registration.
  • Doctors who qualified in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and the West Indies may also qualify for full registration.

Limited Registration

  • In order to carry out supervised training posts within the NHS, applicants must hold limited registration.
  • Applicants applying for limited registration must first ensure that their primary medical qualification is recognised by the GMC.
  • Once they have proved their skills and knowledge and attitude, doctors who hold limited registration can apply for full registration. This normally entails taking tests by International English Language Assessment Service and the Professional and Linguistic Training Board (PLAB Test)

Specialist Registration

  • In order to act as consultant for the NHS you must acquire specialist registration.
  • In the main part, doctors who wish to practise unsupervised in a private clinic or hospital in the UK will be expected to be on the specialist register also.

Post Registration Visa Application

Once the appropriate registration has been achieved, most doctors would apply for UK migration via either the work permit holder or Tier 1 - General skilled visa routes.

Work Permit

The Work Permit would generally be the fastest option for doctors outside of the EU who already have a job offer to migrate to the UK.  For further information, view the UK Visa Bureau work permit pages.

Check If You Qualify For A Work Permit

Tier 1 - General Skilled Migration visa

The Tier 1 - General Skilled Migration visa allows non-EU citizens without a job offer to live and work in the UK.  Therefore, registered doctors, dentists and nurses without a job offer should use this UK immigration option.  However, before applying, Tier 1 - General Skilled Migration visa hopefuls should seek further information on the other Tier 1 - General skilled visa requirements.

Check If You Qualify For A Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration Visa