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Work Permits and Immigration

The Home Office now requires all international doctors who are not UK or EEA nationals wishing to train or work in the UK to have a work permit. Under the new immigration rules being introduced in order to appoint an IMG a UK employer must show that there is no suitable resident worker (e.g. UK, EU etc) that can take the post. 

Information on the new points based system (PBS) is available from the Home Office Border Agency where you will able to find information about which tier is most appropriate for your needs. 

A summary of the main tiers which relate to International Doctors wishing to work or train in the UK is set out below. However, there may be other tiers which are relevant depending on your career choices. Please note the College is not able to provide immigration advice. Please visit Home Office Border Agency for further information.

Tier 1 – highly skilled workers 

The Highly Skilled Worker category Tier 1 of the new points-based system (PBS) is designed to allow highly skilled people to come to the United Kingdom to look for work or self-employment opportunities.

You do not need a job offer to apply under the highly skilled worker category. When you apply, you are awarded points based on your qualifications, previous earnings, United Kingdom experience, age, English language skills and available maintenance (money). Doctors are able to complete an online assessment on the Border and Immigration Agency website to see if they will be eligible for a work permit. 

Tier 5

Postgraduate doctors who wish to train in the UK for a limited period of time can apply to the Home Office for a work permit under Medical Training Initiatives (MTI). This is a category of permit within the Training and Work Experience Scheme (TWES) which enables individuals to gain experience in the UK before returning overseas to put into practice the training they have received in the UK.

MTI is intended for individuals who are sponsored by a Royal College or a similar approved organisation for the purposes of registration with the General Medical Council. Please note the Royal College of Surgeons of England does not have an International Sponsorship Scheme.  Please check with the GMC for a list of approved sponsors.

MTI permits are granted for the duration of training of up to 24 months, after which the individual is expected to return overseas. Doctors will not be able to return to the UK under the MTI category once the maximum period has elapsed. However, they may return under any other category of the work permits arrangements.  Applications for an MTI work permit should be arranged by the doctor's employing Trust.

Full guidelines and application forms for MTI can be found on the Academy of Medical Colleges website.

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