FAQ’s

Having worked with and placed hundreds of overseas doctors successfully all over the UK in the NHS, we know that the process of coming to the UK is not always straight-forward. Using our years of experience, we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for our doctors to refer. If you would like to add to the below or have any more questions, please get in touch with us.

1. WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO WORK IN THE NHS IN THE UK?

In order to work for the NHS as a doctor, you need to be successfully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) as well as a relevant degree. Also, you must have a recognised GMC postgraduate qualification or full PLAB (Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board) status.

2. WHAT LANGUAGE QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO WORK FOR THE NHS IN THE UK?

There are two pathways when it comes to English language qualifications that are recognised by the GMC. The most well-known is IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for which you will need to score at least 7 in every section, with an average grade of 7.5 overall. We recommend you taking the UKVI version as this will correspond with your visa and GMC applications.

The other route is to take the Occupational English Test or OET. This test is more medically based and many of our candidates find this easier than IELTS. You will need to score a B grade in each section in order to pass. If you would like more information on these tests, please contact the Gateway Visas team.

3. WHAT KIND OF SALARY CAN I EXPECT AS AN NHS DOCTOR?

Generally, all salaries in the NHS are based on grade level and years of experience, however this varies from Trust to Trust. Also, with the addition of the new junior doctors contract, experience is less of a factor but many Trusts have a banding system which can allow salaries to increase. As each doctor and their salary is individual, it is always best to speak to the visa consultant about your requirements.

4. CAN I USE MY DRIVING LICENCE IN THE UK?

In general, you can use your non-UK driving licence for up to 12 months, and in some cases 24 months, before having to transfer or formally apply for a new licence.

5. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I START LOOKING FOR A DOCTOR'S POSITION IN THE NHS?

With many NHS hospitals engaged in advanced workforce planning in order to ensure all positions are filled, we always advise our doctors to start looking at roles 3-4 months in advance. This also allows for your pre-employment and visa paperwork to be processed in good time.

6. WHAT DO I NEED TO OBTAIN MY CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP?

For your Certificate of Sponsorship, you need:

  • Passport
  • 2x proof of address (i.e. utility bill, bank statement, phone bill, tenancy agreement)

Some hospitals will also require references and police clearances. Please note these conditions vary widely across the NHS so please speak to Gateway Visas Settlement Services Team for more information.

7. WHAT DO I NEED TO OBTAIN MY VISA?

For your visa you require:

  • Your certificate of sponsorship (as above)
  • Passport and all expired passports (if in possession)
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • Criminal record certificates

For more information on the above and also to learn more about dependent requirements, speak to Gateway Visa Settlement Services Team.

8. DO I NEED MEDICAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN THE UK?

Our advice to our doctors is to always take out medical indemnity insurance. Although many NHS Trusts do cover their staff with insurance, having a separate policy is best practice and helps provide extra protection for you and your career.

9. I HAVE GOT THE JOB AND AM COMING TO THE UK IN A FEW MONTHS! HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT THINGS LIKE BANK ACCOUNTS, ACCOMMODATION, SCHOOLING AND OTHER LOCAL INFORMATION?

At Gateway Visas, once you have been successful in your application for an NHS role with us, you become part of the Gateway Visas family! As such you will have access to our Settlement Services Team who will guide you through every step of the way to the UK.

10. You don’t know if your MTI application was successful or not?

If you submitted a completed application for the MTI within the deadline, it will be forwarded to the Assessment Panel. The Assessment usually takes place in March Collecting the results and finalising the list of successful MTI candidates can be a lengthy process, so please note that there is no fixed date by which you should hear from us. The selected applicants will be ranked according to the assessment scores and put on the placement list.

We will only be able to inform you about the outcome when we have an available post that we can offer you.

We strive to contact all of the successful candidates early enough so that they are ready to start work between July to September (or later if specified by the hospital or the UKVI and visa availability).

If you do not receive any communication from the MTI office before the end of June 2019, you should consider your application unsuccessful and consider applying next year.

11. Your colleague has received communication from the MTI office and you haven’t?

If you know someone who applied for the MTI has been contacted by us earlier, it does not necessarily mean you were unsuccessful. We will be in touch with you at the most appropriate and feasible time.

12. If you have not heard from us after knowing your application was successful?

Last year, we introduced a new system for hospitals that wish to offer an MTI post. This system is somewhat longer and more complex. Although we can estimate the number of available placements for each year in March/April, there may still be some vacancies available later in the year.

Therefore, if you have not heard from us, it may be that your application was sent to the hospital but we have not heard back about their decision yet.

Therefore, if you have not heard from us, it may be that your application was sent to the hospital but we have not heard back about their decision yet.

Please be reassured that you will be informed as soon as we have further information.

13. If you are waiting for the interview with the hospital?

The hospitals will inform us of the interview details. Once we have been informed, you will be sent the ‘Next steps’ letter which explains what you need to do. Please make sure you are in contact with the Trust regarding the time and date of the interview.

14. If you started your GMC application/ have questions regarding GMC registration?

Once you register with the GMC online and pay the full registration fee, the GMC will send you an email with the list of documents you are required to post. Please copy/scan these documents and send them to us via email as a pdf bundle.

One of the documents listed is the Certificate of Sponsorship form (CoS) from an authorised sponsor. This document will be issued for you and we will forward all of the documents to the GMC simultaneously. You will then hear from the GMC about next steps within two weeks. Please follow all of the GMC’s instructions. Please note that the CoS is not the Certificate of Sponsorship you will later need for the visa application.

15. If you received an email from the GMC granting you full licence to practice?

Once you receive this email from the GMC, you will be invited to schedule an ID check. Please follow the instructions carefully and forward this email to us. If you are unsure about the date you are planning to start work, check with the hospital. For most doctors, this is in the first two weeks of August, but it is not uncommon to start later. Schedule your appointment accordingly. The majority of MTI doctors have their ID checks a few days before/after their start date.

Your next step will be applying for the visa. In order to apply for a visa, you will need a Certificate of Sponsorship.

16. If you are waiting for the Certificate of Sponsorship to apply for the visa?

In order to receive a Certificate of Sponsorship, the Academy requires specific documentations. These forms are filled by your employer (hospitals and Deaneries). It can take considerable time for the hospitals to complete and return these to the MTI. Please be patient and reassured that we are doing everything we can to speed this process up. We ask you to please refrain from contacting us about the CoS during this time, as we are not able to reply to these queries.

Once we have received all the required documents, we will include you in the CoS email request to the Academy. There is nothing you are required to do at this stage.

17. After you receive your Certificate of Sponsorship?

Before applying for the Tier5 visa using the CoS, please check it for any spelling mistakes or errors. If you spot a mistake, please let us know and copy in the Academy (Medical Training Initiative) . We are not responsible for errors on your visa and we will not be able to help if you submit incorrect CoS.

Please apply for the visa using the CoS. For any questions regarding visa application please contact us.

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