Latest Blog

How do I Rent a Property in the UK?

By Samantha Joubert
October 28, 2019

One of the most important steps in your journey when relocating to the UK will be finding long term accommodation for yourself and your family. In this article, we will be exploring how to rent a property in the UK and where you can search for a property. Some of the key things you will have to consider before deciding which route you want to take will be how much money you are willing to spend on a property outright, how much you will be able to afford to spend on accommodation once you start working, how quickly you need to secure a property and how much flexibility you need should you wish to move homes in the future. Renting a House When you first arrive in the UK, it is likely you will need to rent a property as it is the quickest and most flexible way in securing accommodation without holding a UK credit history. Pros of Renting: Securing a rental is often much faster than buying, it can take days or weeks, rather than months. There are less upfront costs and paperwork involved in renting than with buying. If something goes wrong with the property, (e.g. the boiler breaks) it is usually the landlord’s responsibility to fix it unless stated otherwise in the contract. A contract can be between 6 months and 7 years, giving you the freedom to easily move if you choose to. You can usually renew your lease once your contract ends and sometimes negotiate the length with your landlord. You won’t lose money if the value of the house decreases. Cons of Renting: You won’t have ownership of the property. You may not be able to make changes to your home depending on the landlord and contract, this can include small changes such as painting the walls, or large changes such as renovating a room. If the house increases in value, you can’t build equity. Renting can cost more than buying in the long run. Some rental properties do not allow you to have children or pets in the property depending on the landlord and contract. The landlord can evict you after your contract ends, even if you choose to extend it. The eviction notice period is generally 2 months after your initial contract ends, though it can be as short as 2 weeks if you breach any terms in your contract. The landlord can put the price of your rent up when it comes time to renew your contract. Where can I search for properties? There are a variety of resources to search for a property to let in the UK. Websites Probably the easiest way to search for accommodation is online, as you can quickly and easily search for properties in a specific area and tailor your search to match your specific requirements. You can usually enter the name of the town or city you wish to live in or use a postcode to search for properties nearby and then use filters to narrow down or broaden your search. You can also input a price range. If you’re renting, some sites will advertise the rental cost by month, and others will advertise by week, so it’s good to double check which you’re viewing. You can usually select the number of bedrooms, type of property, the date the property will be available from, and several other filters depending on the website. Some sites even allow you to compare the prices of properties with those in nearby areas. If you come across a property you’re interested in, you can often request more details about the property. You’re usually able to easily contact the agency or landlord to make enquiries either via email or there will often be a contact number. There are various websites you can use to find properties to buy or rent, here are a couple of our recommendations: Rightmove: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/ This is one of the most popular sites for searching for properties. Some of the key features of the Rightmove website are: Ability to search for properties for sale or to rent. They allow you to change the radius of your search, you can limit it to a specific area or broaden your search up to 40 miles from your original location. You can set a minimum and maximum price range to filter out any properties that aren’t in your price range. You’re able to change the number of bedrooms you’d like your property to have. You can filter the property type should you prefer to look at houses, flat, bungalows and more. You can filter out when properties were added to the site so that you can look at the most recent properties added. They have a tick box to allow you to include properties that are currently under offer or in the process of being sold. This is so that you can enquire about a property should an offer fall through, you might still be able to put an offer in on the property. You’re also able to view properties on a map to see what the transport links including tube stations, schools and amenities nearby are like. Zoopla: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/ Zoopla is another popular option for property searches in the UK, their features include: Like Rightmove, you are able to filter properties by rental or sale. You can input the property type you’re interested in, though they do have a few less options than Rightmove.  You can input the number of bedrooms you’d like your property to have. You can alter the distance you’re looking at between ¼ of a mile and 40 miles. You have the ability to toggle when the property was posted on the website. Unlike Rightmove, you also have the ability to filter properties by most recent, by highest to lowest cost, as well as most reduced and most popular. Again, you’re able to view properties that are under offer, and are also able to change the filters to view only new homes, retirement properties, shared ownership properties and auction properties. There is also the option to view a map of the area, as well as schools and nearby rail stations.  Zoopla also includes a chart on each property outlining the estimated running costs of the property. Newspapers Another way to search for properties if you’re already staying in the UK, in temporary accommodation, is via local newspapers. This will narrow down your search as you will need to be looking at papers specific to the area you wish to relocate to, and you won’t be able to filter out any unsuitable options the way you can online. If you are already in the area you wish to buy or rent in however, this can be another way to search for a property. Letting Agencies Another option if you are already staying in the UK is to visit a letting agency. The benefit of visiting an agency is that agents will be able to give you advise you on your personal circumstances. As well as this, they can also give you greater insight into the specific are you wish to locate to. Things to Consider Some final things to consider whether you’re hoping to rent a property in the UK is that it is a legal requirement to for you to sign for a property in person, so you will need to travel to the UK beforehand in order to view potential properties and sign any paperwork. We previously wrote an article about securing temporary accommodation that you can read here. You will also need to ensure you have a Tier 2 Visa to live in the UK and obtaining this early can help you during the renting process. Though the prospect of finding a permanent place of residence can seem daunting, in the end, the best thing you can do to make the process easier is to ensure that you do your research beforehand and weigh up the benefits of each option before making a decision, that way, when you collect the keys to your property, you can rest assured that you made the most informed decision and enjoy your new home! Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Moneyadviceservice.org.uk. (2019). First-time home buyer guide. [online] Available at: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/first-time-buyer-money-tips [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). How to rent: the checklist for renting in England. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Tenancy agreements: a guide for landlords (England and Wales). [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-agreements-a-guide-for-landlords/ending-a-tenancy [Accessed 23 Oct. 2019]. reallymoving. (2019). Timeline for buying a house. [online] Available at: https://www.reallymoving.com/first-time-buyers/guides/timeline-for-buying-a-house [Accessed 23 Oct.

London Weighting

By Gabrielle Richardson
October 15, 2019

What is London weighting? London weighting is an allowance paid to a range of key workers in London, including NHS employees, civil servants, teachers, airline employees, police and security officers. It is designed to help these workers with the cost of living in London, which is notoriously higher than the rest of the UK. The purpose is to encourage people to stay and live in the UK’s capital rather than relocating to cheaper areas of the UK. If you are a doctor who has been employed by a London NHS Trust, you will be entitled to London weighting. A recent study conducted by the Trust for London estimates that the cost of living and working is 20% more expensive than the rest of the UK. However, the city’s global trends and its exclusivity makes it a desirable place to live. London has previously been named the world’s most expensive city to live and work in for several years. What is the history of London weighting? The history of London weighting began when the Industrial Revolution hit. Factories were desperate for staff to labour the machines and turn the wheels of production. Predictably, thousands and then millions fled to the capital to be employed. As the influx of people increased, so did the cost of living. Why is London weighting needed now more than ever? Rent: accommodation in London is unthinkably expensive in comparison to every other major city in the UK. The average price of a rental property in Greater London is £1560pcm, to compare this to the UK average of £749pcm, which equates to a 108% disparity. How much London weighting will I receive? It completely depends where your hospital is situated in the city. There are two zones: 1) The Central London Zone (inner) and an Outer London Zone/ Fringe Zone and different rates apply to each. If you are staying within hospital accommodation, then you will be paid a reduced rate of London weighting. However, if you are a doctor who is occupying private rented accommodation with reasonable daily travelling distance of the hospital, you should receive the full rate of London weighting. Each NHS Trust will have their own policy; however, you can expect an estimate of (before tax): Central London - £4,098 per year Outer London - £2,756 Fringe / South East – 1,000 per year Click here for further information on how to find accommodation in the UK. Click here for our guide on living in London and here for our top tips on living in the city. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 40 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Perkbox. (2019). London weighting: what is it and who is entitled to it?. [online] Available at: https://www.perkbox.com/uk/resources/blog/london-weighting-what-is-it-and-who-is-entitled-to-it [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019]. Trustforlondon.org.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/documents/57/London-Weighting-Key-Findings-2.pdf [Accessed 15 Oct. 2019].

Can I bring my pet with me to the UK?

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 18, 2019

You can enter or return to the UK with your pet cat or dog if it meets the following criteria: It has microchipped It has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate It has been vaccinated against rabies If you are travelling from an ‘unlisted country’, it will need to have a blood test Must have had tapeworm treatment If you do not follow the above steps, then your pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months or get refused entry if you travelled by sea. You will be responsible for any fees or charges. Click here to find out if your country is listed or unlisted.   What documentation will I need to bring with me to the airport? Provide the correct certification with your import Enter the EU through a border inspection post (BIP), where checks will be carried out to make sure that the import conditions have been met You may also need: An import licence or authorization A commercial document EU Pet Passports If you are travelling from the EU, you will be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport which can be issued by an official veterinarian in the EU. So, if your pet is coming from a non-EU country then you will not be able to obtain an EU Pet Passport and you will need to follow the above-listed requirements and steps. The Five-Day Rule If you do decide to bring your pet to the UK with you, then you must travel to the UK within five days or their pet’s arrival in order to avoid being labelled as ‘commercial’ shipment. Whilst you can still important your pet as a commercial shipment, the health certificate will be different which means the timeline for completing the health certificate is much tighter and so, the import taxes will be higher. What if I want to leave the UK with my pet? If you decide to return back to your home country with your pet, you will need to follow the pet import requirements for your destination before you depart the UK. Depending on what country you are travelling to, you may need to obtain an export certificate from DEFRA. For further information on how to import or export your pet to the UK, visit the GOV. website. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor and you need support with relocating to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today. Join our Facebook Group Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. YouTube Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References Petrelocation.com. (2019). Bringing Dogs and Cats to the UK - A Simple Guide | PetRelocation. [online] Available at: https://www.petrelocation.com/blog/post/bringing-dogs-and-cats-to-the-uk-a-simple-guide [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). Bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret to the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019].

Bringing goods into the UK: Customs Allowances

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 09, 2019

Each country has a duty to protect its citizens from drugs, firearms and other harmful goods and to stop smugglers evading taxes. Therefore, when you travel to the UK you may need to declare your goods and cash. What happens when I arrive in the UK? When you arrive at a UK airport, it is likely you will have to go through passport control via one of the three routes: Blue Route This is for people who have travelled within the EU with no banned or restricted goods Green Route This is for people who have travelled from outside of the EU with goods that do not go over your allowances And you do not possess any banned or restricted goods Red Route You must use the red channel if you have goods or cash to declare, Have commercial goods Or you are not sure about what you need to declare What countries are in the EU? Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luthuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portgul, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Although Gibraltar is part of the EU, it is outside the Community Customs territory. The customs allowances for outside the EU therefore apply. I am travelling from the EU, what goods can I bring with me? You can bring an unlimited amount of most goods into the UK, as long as they are for your own consumption or gifts to give to others. If you intend to sell any goods, then this is considered as commercial use. If you are bringing in alcohol or tobacco goods and UK Border Control have reason to suspect they may be for a commercial purpose, an officer may ask you questions and make checks. For example: The type and quantity of goods you have bought Why you have bought them How you paid for them How often you travel How much you normally smoke or drink Any other relevant circumstances If you are travelling from the EU, you may bring in any meat, dairy or any other animal products. You may also bring in fruit, vegetables or plant products. Click here for further information. I am travelling from outside of the EU, what goods can I bring with me? When travelling from outside of the EU, you can bring a certain limit of goods into the UK without paying duty or tax. These goods must be for your own use or gifts. If you intend to sell any goods, then this is considered as commercial use. Allowance: Alcohol 1L of spirits or 2L of fortified wine, sparkling wine or any other alcoholic beverage Tobacco 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco Other goods Most travellers can bring other goods into the UK worth up to £390 (e.g. perfume and electrical goods) without paying duty or tax in the UK. If you bring in goods worth more than your allowance, you must pay duty and/or tax on the full value, not just the value above the allowance. You cannot bring in any meat, honey or dairy products into the UK from a non-EU country. How much cash can I bring with me to the UK? If you are carrying the equivalent to 10,000 euros or more then you must declare it when you enter the UK from a county outside of the EU. You will need to complete a cash declaration form at the airport. What if I go over my goods allowance? If you over your allowance, you must pay Customs Duty on anything you bring above your allowance. The current rate is 2.5% for goods worth up to £630. Please note, this information is taken from UK Border Control, for more detailed information please contact them on: 0300 200 3700 (UK) +44 2920 501 261 (outside the UK) Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor and you need support with relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you on your journey to the UK today. Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS! References GOV.UK. (2019). Bringing goods into the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arrivals-from-outside-the-eu [Accessed 9 Sep. 2019]. Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668106/Travelling_to_the_UK-_update.pdf [Accessed 9 Sep. 2019].

Q&A with Dr Alex Vallakalil, NHS Trust Grade Doctor Psychiatry

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 08, 2019

Introduction 1. What is your name, speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at? I am Dr. Itticheria Alex Vallakalil (better known as Alex). I work as a Trust Grade Doctor in Psychiatry with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Newport. I am starting my Core Training in Psychiatry with Oxford Health NHS Trust under the Department of Psychiatry; University of Oxford; Thames Valley Deanery this August. 2. What country did you relocate from? India 3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor? I would do my best to offer comprehensive treatment and consultation to our patients, their families, and the community. I would also like to apply my knowledge to the development and delivery of more effective, evidence-based treatments. 4. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to relocate to the UK? What were your motivations for wanting to do so? I decided to relocate to the UK six months after my Internship in India. I decided to relocate when I got feedback that the Psychiatry Training in the U.K is far more disciplined than how it is in my home country healthcare system is. The Relocation Process 5. What pathway did you choose to obtain GMC Registration? PLAB Examinations. 6. How was your experience of securing an NHS post? I did a clinical attachment in Psychiatry with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for a period of 2 months directly after my PLAB part 2 examinations. This increased my chances of receiving more interview invitations. I attended most of the interviews in person and received offers for the posts. 7. How long did it take you to relocate? It took me twelve months to relocate to the UK. I did not have any specific difficulties relocating to the UK as my job was on the shortage occupation list. 8. Is there anything you would have liked to have known before deciding to relocate? And now once you live in the UK? I wish I had known about the sudden changes in weather (laugh. Ol) Thoughts on the UK 9. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK? The work culture in the U.K offers a good work-life balance. I am very much impressed by the advanced technologies that exists here. There is a lot to explore in the country side for short get-aways and there are opportunities to travel all around Europe easily whilst in the U.K 10. How do you feel you settled in your chosen location within the UK? I reckon; Wales is a very good place to start the first NHS job. I live in Abergavenny; which is one of the best places to live in Wales. The people here are very friendly and there are lot of things going on. I love Wales for its serenity and its similarity to where I am from (Kerala; India -“Gods Own Country”) The NHS 11. How would you describe the support you received from your hospital after starting your new position? I feel very well supported even as a Non-Trainee Doctor. I had a lot of time to work on my portfolio during my Trust Grade job. I also have weekly supervision sessions with my Consultant. My Mentor Dr. Raja Adnan Ahmed and my Educational supervisor (RCPsych Tutor) Dr.Ranjini Rao was too kind; helping me to settle in and also secure a core training post .My Consultant Dr. Rahim Safeer also helped me have an understanding of Audits and the abilities to work in a multidisciplinary team. The work colleagues were also very friendly and professional. 12. What is your opinion on the NHS? Working within it and as a patient receiving care? I would see NHS as a “Mother” to the patients receiving care and also for all its wonderful staff. Yes; the NHS has always been caring, kind, supportive, empathetic and straight forward. 13. How do you find working in the UK compared to your home country? I feel that there are lot more opportunities to develop in one’s own career in the U.K compared to my home country (especially in Psychiatry). I have always loved working in my home country; but I could not really devote a lot of time for my personal development and lateral interests amidst the busy shifts. Training within the NHS 14. How long did it take you to secure a training post? It took me four months to obtain a training post.  15. Do you have any advice for other IMGs who want to secure a training post? There are opportunities to apply into Psychiatry Training without any U.K work experience if your Alternate Form of Foundation competencies are signed off from your home country. I took time off to understand the system without applying directly. This has definitely given me an upper hand in securing a rotation of my personal choice and also good experience within Psychiatry. It is not necessary that the candidate have prior psychiatry experience before applying; but a strong interest and realistic insight into psychiatry and mental health is very essential. Psychiatry 16. Why did you choose to specialise in Psychiatry? Mental Health I believe is important as physical health and definitely more thought stimulating. Psychiatry allows me to work on a bio-psycho-social model to do the best for my patients; which is very creative most of the times.  I am curious about every individual and I like interacting with patients as a whole; making them the centre of our conversation. I understand there is a lot of social stigma around Psychiatry and mentally ill patients; which I completely disprove of and I am hoping to make a difference. There are also lot of untouched areas in Psychiatry; which improves the potential for research opportunities 17. Do you have any advice for junior doctors who want to pursue a career in Psychiatry? If you are always curious, ready to explore what you don’t know and happy to see people beyond face value; Psychiatry is for you. The Future 18. What are your hopes and plans for the future? I am looking forward to complete my Core Training and then apply for my Speciality Training on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I would also like to contribute towards Psychiatry on a Public Health perspective. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview Dr Vallakalil, we wish you all the best with your new training post. 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 support you on your journey to the UK. Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts to aid your relocation, you will receive professional support and get the chance to meet other IMGs.    

Switching from a Tier 5 visa to a Tier 2 visa

By Gabrielle Richardson
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. Join our Facebook Group 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.

How to secure temporary accommodation in the UK

By Gabrielle Richardson
July 01, 2019

How to secure accommodation in the UK Before you arrive in the UK, it is important for you to have accommodation organised for yourself and your family. So, when you step off the plane your journey and plans are stress free. Unfortunately, it is a legal requirement for you to rent/sign for a property in person. Therefore, you have three short-term accommodation options available to you before you can book long-term accommodation. Option 1: Stay at hospital accommodation NHS hospital accommodation for doctors can be extremely limited. So, when you sign your offer letter and you are interested in temporarily staying in hospital accommodation – it is important for you to enquire about whether there is any availability. Depending on the hospital’s availability, you may have to fill out an accommodation request form and accommodation will be successfully allocated. However, if all of the hospital accommodation is full, you may need to join a waiting list and wait until an occupancy becomes available. In our experience, hospital accommodation large enough for a family is rare, so, you may need to consider the below two options if you are travelling with a spouse and children. That being said, if you are successful in securing hospital accommodation, you can expect a furnished room with a wash hand basin and then you will usually share the bathroom/shower and kitchen facilities. How do I pay for it? The majority of NHS Trusts will deduct your rent for the property from your monthly salary. Option 2: Air BnB Air BnB is an online marketplace that lets people rent out their property or spare room guests. The website allows you to book a single room to an entire house. The website/app will provide you with lots of photos of the property with a full map listing. Booking a room/property via Air BnB will provide you with great value for your money. The website allows you to compare a range of properties at a range of price points from a few pounds a night to hundreds, depending on your requirements and location. How do I use Air BnB? Go to airbnb,com or install the app on your smart phone. Enter your destination, dates, number of guests, select whether you want to book an entire home, private room or shared room. Select your filters to match your criteria, for example, wifi, kitchen, bathroom, pool etc. Click search. Once you have found a property that meets your requirements within your price range click “Contact Host” to ask a question about the property or “Request to Book” to begin the booking process. The host will need to approve your request before your booking has gone through. Tips for booking an Air BnB Start your search and book as early as possible as this will provide you the most options when it comes to selecting a property. Pay attention to the location. Put the property’s street into Google maps from your hospital – so, you know exactly how long it will take you to travel to work until you find something more permanent. Read attention to the fine print and cancellation policy. Contact the host with information on the local area. More than likely they will be happy to help you with information on local grocery stores, public transport etc. Option 3: Book a hotel If you cannot find an Air BnB to meet your needs, you may need to consider booking a hotel for your first week in the UK. There are various comparison websites to aid you in booking a hotel in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Booking.com Trivago Expedia Late Rooms The advantage of booking a hotel for your initial stay, is that the booking process is flexible. Often, you can book a hotel room with free cancellation and pay on arrival, giving you additional flexibility. Furthermore, if you are travelling with your family, then you can book a hotel room with enough space for all of you. However, the disadvantage of booking a hotel room is that is can be costly for a long duration of time. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who needs support relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in securing your first NHS post. IMG Advisor Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS. You can receive professional guidance from us and get the chance to meet other IMGs.    

I have signed my NHS offer letter, what do I do next?

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 13, 2019

After you have signed your NHS offer letter, you will need to organise and collate a number of documents, to allow the hospital to apply for your CoS and in turn, you can then go ahead and apply for your Tier 2 visa. What documents do I need to send to the hospital before they can apply for my CoS? References – A minimum of two references is expected. Most NHS hospitals will ask for your references contact details and they will then contact them on your behalf requesting the reference. Alternatively, if the NHS hospital asks you, personally, to provide the references, ask your Consultant to provide you with one on your hospital’s letter headed paper, or normal paper with a hospital stamp and the reference should confirm your employment and dates of employment. However, each NHS Trust is different, so confirm what the HR department needs from you. Proof of Address – A minimum of two different proof of address’ is needed. Examples include a bank statement or a utility bill. The letter should clearly state your full name, address and it should be dated within the last three months. Please note, this address must be the same that will be used for your CoS application and your Tier 2 visa application. A Certificate of Good Standing for each medical council you have been registered with over the last 5 years A copy of your passport Your Police Clearance Certificate - You’ll need a certificate from any country you’ve 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 Evidence of your GMC Registration stage - If you have attended your ID check, you will need to provide the NHS Trust evidence of your license to practice. If you are waiting to attend your ID check, you will need to provide the Trust with the email evidence of your invitation. IELTS UKVI or UKNARIC certificate After you have collated the above documents, your NHS Trust can now apply for your CoS. Please note, your CoS MAY come back in a matter of days, as doctors and nurses on Tier 2 visas can now be applied for as unrestricted. However, this is dependent on the HR department successfully making the application. My CoS has been issued, what do I do now? Once your CoS has been correctly issued, with all the information printed correctly – you now apply for your Tier 2 visa! What documents do I need to apply for my Tier 2 visa? A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) – 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’ll need a certificate from any country you’ve 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 evidened via a valid OET, IELTS Academic, IELTS Academic UKVI 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 I have submitted my online Tier 2 visa application, what do I do next? When you submit your documents, you will be asked to select a date to attend your local biometrics appointment. Please take all of the above documentation with you to be verified. At the appointment, your fingerprints will be taken along with your passport which will then be returned in the post. Once your passport has been returned back to you, it will contain your travel vignette which will state the valid dates you can travel on. I have arrived in the UK, what do I do? After you have organised your accommodation (temporary or permanent), you will need to do the following: Attend your GMC ID check, if necessary Collect your BRP from your local post office Attend the police station within 7 days of arriving in the UK Attend your occupational health appointment (this must be cleared before you can start your NHS post) Attend your ID check with your hospital’s HR department Set up a UK bank account Attend your induction/shadowing period Isla, BDI Resourcing’s Relocation Executive’s top tips to ensure a successful relocation: Organise your documents from as early as possible. For example, it is important to bear in mind that your Police Clearance Certificate will take longer to obtain than other documents, so, try and get the process started as early as possible Respond to the hospital’s requests from as early as possible Research your new UK location, it is important to familiarise yourself with your new UK home. This can include local schools, activities, nice areas to live and transportation! Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who needs support securing your first NHS post, email your CV to [email protected] and we would love to support you on your journey to the UK. IMG Advisor Are you a member of our Facebook Group, IMG Advisor? joining, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional support and the chance to meet other IMGs.

Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

By Gabrielle Richardson
June 04, 2019

What is a Biometric Residence Permit? As an international doctor on a Tier 2 visa, you will receive a BRP if you: Obtained a Tier 2 visa for longer than 6 months Extended your Tier 2 visa for longer than 6 months Applied for permanent settlement in the UK Transferred your visa to a new passport Please note, you do not need to apply separately for your BRP. You will be issued one automatically when your Tier 2 visa is approved. What is on my BRP? Your permit will state your name, date, place of birth, your fingerprints and photographic identification. It will also provide details on your immigration status and whether you have access to public funds. Typically, your National Insurance number should be printed on the back of your BRP. If you receive it and it is not printed on the back of your BRP, you will need to apply for one here. What should I do if my BRP does not arrive? Please do not worry if you arrive in the UK and your BRP has not yet been issued. If it has been 10 days after arriving in the UK, you can follow the progress of your BRP here. The Home Office typically responds within 5 working days to inform you of what to do next. Can I start my NHS post if BRP has not yet arrived? Yes. If you are waiting receiving your BRP, it is legal to take up your new employment within an NHS hospital. What do I do if I have lost my BRP? If you lose your BRP or it is stolen, you can only order a replacement from inside the UK. The Home Office will contact you within one working day of reporting it. Please note, if you locate your BRP at a later date after receiving a replacement, you cannot use the original. The cost of a replacement BRP is £154. Relocation to the UK If you are an international doctor who plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to support you on your journey. Join IMG Advisor Join our online community of over 10,000 doctors! We share regular relocation blog posts, and updates. References GOV.UK. (2019). Biometric residence permits (BRPs). ] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/replace-visa-brp [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].    

Sebastian's Guide to Santorini

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 28, 2018

Warning! This blog may result in Wanderlust… Recently, our Paediatric Specialist Sebastian and his girlfriend Clare just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the beautiful island of Santorini, Greece.   Relocating to the UK and working for the NHS has endless advantages including the opportunity to train within the NHS, increased job stability, and the opportunity to receive a good source of income. Another advantage and the purpose of today’s article is that living in the UK will provide you with the prospect of travelling to incredible European locations. There are 51 countries that belong to the diverse continent and home to some of the world’s most vibrant cities, iconic architecture and amazing art – all of which are on the UK’s doorstep. Travel gives you time to relax and refresh, obtain new perspectives, the opportunity to meet new people and it is a fantastic stress buster!   So, in this post, we wanted to take the opportunity to inspire you to relocate to the UK and travel to beautiful destinations like Santorini by sharing some amazing pictures from Sebastian’s holiday. Santorini Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea and it is an island that will offer you sweeping ocean views, picture-perfect beaches, traditional Grecian architecture and fine dining. Flights London Heathrow – British Airways offers flights from May to October London Gatwick and Manchester – EasyJet offers flights from April to October Accommodation in Oia Santa Maris Luxury Villa and Suites Hotel Sebastian and Clare stayed in an exquisite hotel neatly tucked away from the centre of Oia. The hotel will offer you an authentic experience, with views overlooking the Aegean Sea and exclusive sunsets. Sebastian’s Must-See Places The Red Beach – Depending on how long you are visiting the island for, you may like to rent a car. This will allow you to visit the South of the Island, including the pre-historic town called Akrotiri. Here, you will find the red beach, a rare sight of an enormous volcanic rock situation in the sea next to dark blue waters. Ancient Thira – Ancient Thira is an ancient city and home to Messa Vouno Mountain – the visit will offer you spectacular views, markets and historic ruins. Fira – Fira is the capital of Santorini and it is a beautiful area that will offer you endless cafes, bars, restaurants and amazing views. Sebastian’s Must-Do Activities A boat trip – Exploring the island by boat will offer you a unique opportunity to see different towns and villages in all its diversity. Visit the pre-historic towns and ancient sites – This will give you a chance to learn about both the island’s history and Ancient Greek history Eat out at as many restaurants as possible – The food in Santorini is Mediterranean-Greek. You will find a great array of seafood and meats with the opportunity to try the islands finest-grown tomatoes, olives and wines. Go on the cable cars in Fira – This is an absolute necessity! Giving you beautiful views across the whole island. Plan to watch the sunset – Santorini sunsets are among the most sought-after phenomena in the world and so you should definitely make time to see the sun set in a variety of locations. Thanks for reading! And remember to share your European adventures with us when you relocate to the UK! Why is travelling important for my career? Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor – Here you will receive access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs!

Q&A with Joaquin Antonio Ramirez, Urology SHO at RLH

By Gabrielle Richardson
September 21, 2018

Hello, nice to meet you! What is your name, speciality and where do you work? Hi! My name is Dr Ramirez and I work as an SHO in Urology at the Royal London Hospital. Where is your home country? I am originally from Costa Rica. Why did you decide to relocate to the UK and what were your motivations? I came to the UK with the hopes to specialise in Surgery and to learn about minimally invasive procedures which are more common in the UK than where I come from. Relocating to the UK was very easy for me, I have been an expat for a long time and in my opinion, the UK is one of the easiest countries to relocate and find a job in, there are many people willing to help and everyone has been very welcoming since I arrived here. What are your thoughts on living in London? London can be a very hectic city to live in, as with any city it has its pros and cons, but I can assure you all that you will not be bored for a second if you decide to relocate here. The number of things to see and do is just amazing! What are your thoughts on the NHS as a system? I find it amazing how people in the UK respect and value the NHS as an institution and because of that support, doctors, can bring an amazing level of care to people for free. Do you have any advice for junior doctors who are considering specialising in Urology? I believe this is a great time to pursue Urology training in the UK, as it is a speciality that is suited for those interested in recent technological advances and research. I personally believe the most fascinating branch is urologic-oncology but there are many areas to specialise in, such as: -Sexual health -Infectious conditions The main path for a doctor who aspires to become a Urologist is to complete the MRCS exam and then apply for a Registrar post, this can either be a training or a service post – both routes can lead to you becoming a Consultant. I thoroughly enjoy working in Urology at the Royal London Hospital, it is a great speciality especially if you like video games. This is because now, everything is done through an endoscopic approach, so you are usually controlling instruments and see what you are doing via a TV screen. We recently got a surgical robot in RHL that we use for benign procedures, as a result, it has shortened the patient’s stay at the hospital and they can leave with practically no visible scars. Plus, it is really easy and fun to use compared to traditional laparoscopy. I find this minimally invasive approach very exciting and I hope every day we will be able to offer this to more people in the UK and around the world. Do you have any advice for Urology patients? I am going to split my answer into to parts, for the two patients that I have treated: A)Patients suffering from renal/ureteric stones The cause of a patient suffering from stones can vary. The most common stones are calcium oxalate and they are caused by a combination of factors including genetics, dehydration and consuming a high quantity of oxalate in your diet. Foods that are high in oxalate and ones you should avoid if you suffer from this condition include spinach, bran flakes, rhubarb, beetroot, potatoes, chips, nuts, nut butter and many others. Other types of stones can be caused by other factors such as recurrent urinary tract infections or gout, in this case, the main prevention is to treat the underlying medical condition as effectively as possible to prevent recurrence of calculi. B)Patients suffering from BPH or more commonly known as an enlarged prostate BPH stands for benign prostatic hypertrophy and it is a condition that affects up to 40% of men over the age of 65. It is an enlargement of the prostate gland that envelops the urethra making it difficult for the affected individual to pass urine, usually requiring them to depend on a urinary catheter to be able to empty their bladder. BPH is typically caused by environmental factors that are still relatively unknown however, it has been theorised that it is caused by an increased conversion of testosterone to DHT or dihydrotestosterone, which is the hormone responsible for some changes in ageing males such as male pattern baldness. Theoretically, men who produce higher levels of testosterone have a higher chance of it developing BPH and just anecdotally I can confirm that many of my patients who suffered from this condition tend to be very muscular and ‘manly’ looking men, which is something I tell my patients which never fails to get a smile out of them. It has been reported that aerobic exercise and a diet low in meat can prevent the incidence of BPH, but I believe the evidence is not yet conclusive on this matter. Currently, the best treatment available is for surgery and the most common procedure is called TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) which involves passing a camera through the urethra and using an instrument called a resectoscope to ‘shave off’ a larger channel for the urine to pass through. This is done using an endoscopic cautery knife called a resectoscope. The surgery involves no cuts and is all done through this keyhole approach and it is currently the most effective way of treating this condition. There is a relatively high (5%) risk of causing erectile dysfunction which is why we are constantly looking for new ways to treat BDP which are safe and effective. At Royal London Hospital, where I did my Urology placement, we are studying a new technique called Uro-Lift, which is a less invasive procedure which involves ‘clipping’ the prostate with two clips that open the urethra clearing the passage. This new technique has shown promising results, but it is still in its early stages and we require more patients to undergo this procedure to confirm its superiority to the traditional TURP. Thank you for your advice, Dr Ramirez. What are your plans for the future? Eventually, I would like to go back to Costa Rica to help improve my home country with what I have learnt here. But for now, I have a lot of training ahead of me and so the UK is my current home.

Things you should know before moving to London

By Gabrielle Richardson
August 09, 2018

Moving to another country is a big move and moving to London is an even bigger move. You might have found your first job within the NHS or you are the spouse of a doctor who is relocating – this guide aims to provide you with all the information people wish they knew before making the move to the Big Smoke. If this article does not cover something that is of interest to you – comment below and we will be happy to answer. Quick London Facts: Population:6 million (2018 estimate) of which 37% were born outside of the UK Official Language: English but over 300 other languages are also spoken Consists of: 32 boroughs, plus the City of London 1. London is a big city­­ London is a sprawling metropolis. Whilst Central London and all the main tourist attractions are fairly close to each other, the surrounding areas are large and confusing for those who are not familiar with the city. Knowing in-depth information on the different areas and particularly the area you will be living, and working is vital before you move. The basics – London is a city made up of many smaller towns. There are 32 boroughs of London, each with their own identity, local government, council and infrastructure. Each London Borough is then broken down into ‘postcodes’. Depending on whether the area is North, East, South or West – the postcode will begin with N, E, S or W. Please visit the London Town website for more in-depth information on each Borough. 2. Living in London – General Rules of Thumb Prices to rent and buy generally decline the further out of Central London you go. The closer a flat or house is to a station, the more expensive it is. Underground stations command an additional premium over stations served only by the Overground, DLR, and/or National Rail. London’s property market is changing very rapidly – with formerly unfashionable/affordable areas becoming fashionable/unaffordable in as little as twelve months. Bonus Tips for Choosing Housing Keeping it Affordable - Flat Shares It is very common in London to share a flat with other people. Typically, you will have your own bedroom and then share communal areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and the garden. Whilst flat shares are significantly cheaper than renting your own flat, you do lose out on privacy. Websites such as Spare Room, Easy Room-mate and Ideal Flatmate will make your search to find accommodation easier with filters such as a required garden or to live with non-smokers. Advice - Never agree to rent a room before viewing it in person. Often pictures posted online of properties can be deceitful and so it is always best to go and view the property before you agree to live there. Furthermore, you will not be able to agree to rent a flat before viewing it in person. So whilst it is good to look at what is on the market – wait until you are in the city. Once you view a property that you like, and you can afford to get it – get it. The competition for London properties is very high so do not take too long deciding. Keeping it accessible – The right location for those Night Shifts Although it may be difficult to find the perfect flat, we do advise for you to try and find a place close to your hospital or at the very least close to a Night service tube station (Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines.) This will make it easier during night shifts and on-calls. 3. When you get to London – don’t panic When you arrive in the city you may feel overwhelmed at its size and in the beginning, you will find it challenging to get your bearings. But do not worry! Technology will save the day. There are great Smartphone apps such as City Mapper. This app will inform you of nearby tube or rail stations, provide you with the best route to get to your required location and it will even inform you of how many calories you will burn if you decide to walk the journey. 4. Don’t bring your whole house with you! London is a large city and so you will find absolutely everything you need when you arrive. For example, there is no need to bring your duvet and pillows as they will just take up space in your luggage and you can buy them in the city fairly cheaply. 5. London is not the UK Of course, London is in the UK, but it is very different from the rest of the UK. London is like a mini country within a country, often with its own politics. Life in the city can be a world away from other places in the UK. So, if you find London too busy for you – you might enjoy somewhere else in the UK. Tips for when you first move to the city Stand on top of Primrose Hill at sunset Find a nearby park and familiarise yourself with it, especially if you work in Central London. The park will act as a great escape from your busy lifestyle. Don’t walk while using your phone, you will slow down the pace of the crowds. Look at the yellow lines on the underground and stand where the paint has faded – that is where the doors open. If you are an international doctor who is interested in relocating to London or any other part of the UK send your CV to [email protected] and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch. Come and say hello! Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor - this will give you access to frequent relocation blog posts, the ability to ask relocation questions and receive advice and support, and to meet other IMG's! References Randomly London. (2018). Moving to London? Ultimate 2017 Living & Working Guide. [online] Available at: http://randomlylondon.com/moving/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018]. Little Miss Spaghetti. (2018). 16 things you need to know before moving to London - Little Miss Spaghetti. [online] Available at: https://littlemissspaghetti.com/16-things-to-know-before-moving-to-london/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2018].

error: Content is protected !!