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International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP)

A surgeon at work

The International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) comes under the generic Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme and provides a route for high quality International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to obtain sponsorship for GMC registration and the Tier 5 visa so that they can undertake training and development in UK hospitals for a maximum of 24 months.

The aim of the scheme is to:

  • contribute to improving the quality of healthcare internationally
  • provide overseas surgical trainees with a period of training and development in the UK before returning to their home countries where their patients and colleagues can benefit from the skills and experience they have obtained in the UK
  • foster relationships between UK hospitals and international institutions
  • support the UK’s international development objectives.

The College is committed to providing a training opportunity which benefits the overseas surgical trainee, their home country and the UK hospital/institution in which they will be working.

Eligibility criteria

Please read the newest guidance on recent changes to the MTI Scheme

IMGs eligible to register for an ISTP post must:

Further information

Please check our Frequently Asked Questions. You might find your answer here. If you cannot find your answer here, please email us on or call 020 7869 6634.

Get in touch

The International Office is the main point of contact for all queries from international surgeons and stakeholders who wish to find out more about opportunities and ventures overseas.

For contacts in education, exams or careers or dentistry, please see those sections of the website.



Telephone +44 (0)20 7869 6053

We are able to answer calls Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm

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