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:
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|
Please note that the price of IELTS varies test centre to test centre but it is typically £160.
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.
|Part 1 of the PLAB test||£230|
|Part 2 of the PLAB test||£840|
Flights to the UK for your ID check/relocation
Popular IMG one-way flight examples (three months in advance):
|Average flight cost||£572.86|
GMC Registration Cost
|Application for a full registration with a licence to practise (if you obtained your primary medical degree in the last five years)||£150|
Tier 2 Visa Application
|Tier 2 (General) visa application||£464|
The NHS surcharge is £400 per year for all visa and immigration applications. For example, £2,000 for a five-year visa. For the purposes of this article, we are giving you the cost of a one-year visa.
In some cases, you may be able to claim back the cost of your Tier 2 visa application and NHS surcharge, but this is dependent on your relocation package.
|Flight for PLAB 2||£572|
|Flight for ID check/relocation||£572|
|GMC Registration Cost||£150|
|Tier 2 visa application + IHS Surcharge||£464+£400|
Please note we have not included the cost of your undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree 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.
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