Blogs > Visas

Switching from a Temporary Work Exchange visa (Tier 5) to Skilled Worker visa

  • March 09, 2022

The MTI Scheme

If you are accepted onto the MTI Scheme, you will need to apply for a Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange 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. You can able change (‘switch’) to a Skilled Worker visa if you’re already in the UK.

How do I obtain a Skilled Worker Visa?

After you have left the UK and successfully obtained a fixed-term NHS post, you will need to apply for a Skilled Worker 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 Skilled Worker Visa.

What documents do I need to apply for my Skilled Worker Visa?

  • A valid Certificate of Sponsorship. Please note, you have three months from the date it is issued to apply for your 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.
  • 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 Temporary Work Exchange visa (Tier 5) to Skilled Worker visa?

Yes. You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

What are the Skilled Worker visa conditions?

After you have successfully received your Skilled Worker 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 would like to speak to our team about these opportunities do send your CV to [email protected].

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we also have Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing


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