Blogs > Visas / Relocation

Switching from a Tier 5 visa to a Tier 2 visa

  • July 04, 2019

The MTI Scheme

If you are accepted onto the MTI Scheme, you will need to apply for a Tier 5 visa that will allow you to undertake a training placement in a UK hospital for a maximum time of two years. The MTI Scheme allows international doctors to receive world class training and gain non-clinical skills such as medical education and leadership.

If you obtain an NHS training post via the MTI Scheme, you will receive full GMC Registration. Therefore, when you finish your post you will be eligible to apply for a fixed-term post. However, at the end of your post you will need to leave the UK, apply for a fixed-term post from overseas and then you will need to switch your visa from Tier 5 to a Tier 2 visa.

How do I obtain a Tier 2 visa?

After you have left the UK and successfully obtained a fixed-term NHS post, you will need to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa. Once you have met the hospital’s pre-employment checks and submitted the right documentation, they will apply for your Certificate of Sponsorship. Once this has been successfully issued to you, you can begin applying for your Tier 2 visa.

What documents do I need to apply for my Tier 2 visa?

  • A valid Certificate of Sponsorship. Please note, you have three months from the date it is issued to apply for your Tier 2 visa
  • Tuberculosis Test Clearance Certificate. If your country is listed here.
  • Police Clearance Certificate. You will need a certificate from any country you have stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years. Please note, this is also needed for any Tier 2 dependents over the age of 18.
  • Proof of English Knowledge – This can be done by a valid OET, IELTS Academic UKVI, IELTS Academic or a UKNARIC certificate.
  • Maintenance – If your hospital has not ticked “Y” on the Maintenance box on your CoS, you will need to evidence that you have £945 in your account for the last 90 days prior to your application. Please note, your dependents will also need £630 in their personal account for the same period of time.

Can I stay in the UK whilst I switch from a Tier 5 visa to a Tier 2 visa?

No, this is illegal. It is important that at the end of your Tier 5 visa, you leave the UK and return back to your home country. You can then apply for your Tier 2 visa.

What are the Tier 2 (General) visa conditions?

After you have successfully received your Tier 2 visa, you will be able to:

  • Work the job described in your CoS, for your Tier 2 sponsor (The NHS hospital who has employed you)
  • Work 20 locum hours a week
  • Work unlimited bank shifts a week
  • Unlimited voluntary work

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who needs support securing an NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in the relocation process, finding accommodation and schools for your children.

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Are you a member of IMG Advisor? We publish regular relocation blog posts on relocating to the UK and joining the NHS. You can also receive professional guidance and get the chance to meet other IMGs.


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