Blogs > Introduction to the NHS / NHS Recruitment Process / Relocation

How much will relocating to the UK cost me?

  • October 13, 2020

For many international doctors, it is their ultimate goal to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS. The reasons for this varies from doctor to doctor but the most popular reasons are to receive the opportunity to develop their skills and education, improve their quality of living or to join friends and family who already live here.

Nevertheless, some IMG’s jump straight into the process without taking the time to think about how long the relocation process takes and most importantly how much it is going to cost.

It is important to know the provisional costs of relocating to the UK, as often doctors who do not research into it before becoming de-motivated once they come across how much it will cost them. Therefore, in today’s article, we aim to guide you through each stage of the relocation stage via the PLAB route with an average fee – so you know what to expect before you embark on your journey.

To practise medicine in the UK, all doctors need to be GMC Registered. Therefore, when you have made the decision to relocate it is important that your first goal is to become registered, not prioritising the job search which comes at a much later stage.

To become GMC registered you must have the following:

  1. Recognised primary medical qualifications
  2. English language capability
  3. Registration and licensing history
  4. Certificates of Good Standing
  5. Knowledge and Skills
  6. ID Check

For more detail on each GMC Registration requirement please visit our article.

As you would have already obtained your primary medical qualification we will start with the next step, which is evidencing your English language capabilities.

The GMC accept two ways to evidence this via IELTS or OET

English language test Cost
IELTS £195
OET £323

Please note that the price of IELTS varies test centre to test centre but it is typically £195.

The price of OET is the same universally.

Knowledge and Skills

The GMC requires all UK doctors to possess the relevant knowledge and skills in order to practise safely. To evidence this to the GMC you will need to have either a GMC approved postgraduate qualification (a list can be found here) or pass the PLAB exams.

PLAB test Cost
Part 1 of the PLAB test £239
Part 2 of the PLAB test £875

Flights to the UK for your ID check/relocation

Popular IMG one-way flight examples (three months in advance):

Country Flight Price
India £450
Pakistan £350
Iraq £300
Libya £380
Egypt £250
Saudi Arabia £300
UAE £200
Average flight cost £572.86

GMC Registration Cost

Registration Price
Application for a full registration with a licence to practise (if you obtained your primary medical degree in the last five years) £156

Tier 2 Visa Application

The Cost of a Tier 2 Visa Application (Health and Care) for up to 3 years costs £232.

A visa for more than 3 years costs £464. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.

Your dependants will also pay the same amount.

In some cases, you may be able to claim back the cost of your Tier 2 visa application  but this is dependent on your relocation package.

Total Cost

Exam Total
OET £323
PLAB 1 £239
PLAB 2 £875
Flight for PLAB 2 £572
Flight for ID check/relocation £572
GMC Registration Cost £156
Tier 2 visa application + IHS Surcharge £232
Total £2,969

Please note we have not included the cost of your undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree or EPIC verification so the overall cost will increase if you wanted to include these in your relocation cost.

Although the above figures may feel overwhelming, it is important to remember that these costs are spread out over a couple of years. For most international doctors, the process is lengthy simply due to medical and family responsibilities. Therefore, the overall price will not feel as expensive.

Don’t give up on your dream! There are a lot of steps to relocating to the UK, however, with determination it is achievable. If you would like support with your relocation get in contact with us at [email protected] and we will be happy to advise.

Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor to gain access to frequent blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and to meet other IMG’s.

Originally Posted: 02/07/2018
Updated: 13/10/2020


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