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BREXITs effect on Visas and GMC Registration

  • December 02, 2020

On the 31 December 2020, the Brexit transition period will end. This follows the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). In light of this, we are due to witness some changes with both the Visa Systems and the requirements for GMC Registration.

The New Visa System

Yesterday, the 1st December 2020 marked the first day of the new skilled worker visa (which incorporates the recently changed Health and Care Visa). A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer (i.e NHS Trust). This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

To view the full guidance visit the UKVI Government website here.

When making your application to the new skilled worker visa, you’ll be asked if you are applying for a Health and Care Visa as part of your application – make sure you choose ‘yes’. Upon choosing this route the main applicant and dependants will be granted the reduced fees and free associated with the existing Health and Care Visa route. Those with COS’s issued before the 1st December 2020 will need to request a sponsor note to mention that they are eligible for the new visa route.

NHS employers are classed as an A-rated sponsor and will be automatically transitioned to the new licence required to issue certificates of sponsorship under the new skilled worker route

GMC Changes

Until now, EU medical degrees have been recognised as equivalent to UK qualifications and therefore no PLAB or post-graduate qualification required (just IELTS or OET).  However as of the 1st January 2021 the GMC registration process for some doctors with non-UK qualifications will change. Nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) will no longer benefit from automatic recognition of professional qualifications.

Whilst we are currently unsure whether this will mean EU Doctors now need to apply for a Royal College qualifications, if new qualifications will be recognised or whether an examination will be introduced, we will certainly update you with the new guidance when it is released. The GMC have stated that the changes will be announced in a step by step guide in January 2021.

It is important to note that BREXIT will not affect non-EEA nationals with non-EEA Qualifications. The route to GMC Registration for these doctors will remain the same.

References: 2020. Brexit – Information For Doctors. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 1 December 2020]. 

GOV.UK. 2020. Skilled Worker Visa. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 1 December 2020].


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