Applying for registration with a licence to practise - graduates from medical schools in countries outside the UK and EEA who have an acceptable postgraduate qualification

We strongly recommend that you make your application three months before you plan to start work in case we need you to give us more evidence which can take time to assess. You’ll have three months to submit your application from when you start it online. If you have not submitted your application after three months you will have to start a new one. Instructions on setting up your online account are given at the end of this guidance.

Who can apply for a licence through this route?

  • Nationals of countries outside the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who graduated from medical schools outside the UK or
  • UK nationals who graduated from medical schools outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland

If they:

See an overview of the application process.

It's important that you read and understand all of the information below and can send all of the evidence listed before you apply online. This will help us to assess your application more quickly.

Proof of identity

You'll be asked to provide details of your valid and up-to-date signed passport.

We'll ask you to email a clear, scanned copy of both the photo ID page and page with your signature on it.

Primary medical qualification (PMQ)

 

You'll be asked to provide details of your primary medical qualification and check that your PMQ is accepted by us (opens in new window).

 

We'll ask you to email us a scanned copy of your decorative PMQ certificate given to you when you first qualified. It must confirm the exact date that you met all of the requirements for the award of your degree (the date you passed your final exam/assessment). If it doesn't you'll also need to email a scanned copy of a letter from your university confirming this information.

Certificate(s) of Good Standing (CGS)

You'll be asked to provide details of your registration and licensing for all the medical regulatory authorities of any countries where you have practised or have held registration or a licence in the last five years.

Certificates of good standing are only valid for three months after the date they are issued and they must be in date at the point your registration is approved.

We'll ask you to send us scanned copies of these documents via email.

You can find out which medical authority to contact in our CGS contact database.

Evidence of your knowledge of English

As part of the application process you must satisfy us that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practise medicine in the UK (opens in a new window).

Postgraduate qualification (PGQ)

You'll be asked to provide details that you hold an acceptable postgraduate qualification (opens in a new window). Your PGQ must exactly match one of the qualifications on our acceptable list, and be issued by the correct body in order to be acceptable for registration.

Your PGQ should have been awarded no more than three years before the date on which we approve your full registration with a licence to practise. If your PGQ was awarded over three years ago, please call our Contact Centre for further advice.

We'll ask you to email a scanned copy of your PGQ certificate or a letter from the awarding body confirming that you have been awarded the qualification.

UK medical Royal Colleges and the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians training Board (JRCPTB) do NOT adjudicate if an international qualification is equivalent to its own qualifications or is an acceptable alternative to the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom (MRCP UK) qualification. As such they are NOT in a position to issue letters of equivalence.

Your activities for the last five years

When completing your application, you'll be asked to provide details of all of your medical and non-medical experience or other activities for the last five years.

Examples of other activities are:

  • clinical attachments
  • unemployment
  • maternity leave
  • study leave
  • vacation
  • career break.

You may be asked to provide further scanned email evidence of these activities.

Employer references

Employment references are only required for:

  • Any periods during the last five years in which you have been working in a non-medical capacity
  • Any periods during the last five years in which you have been working in a medical capacity and have not been registered or licensed to practise with a medical regulatory authority

Each employer needs to complete, sign and stamp an employer reference form (pdf). Please do not complete any sections of the employment reference yourself.

The form must confirm:

  • the exact dates of your employment
  • that you were of good standing during your employment
  • nature of your work
  • registration requirements

Reference forms for any current posts are only valid for three months from the date they are signed.

We'll ask you to email us scanned copies of these documents.

If you are not sure which references you need to send to us, please ignore this section and we will let you know what we need.

Declaration of fitness to practise

You’ll be asked to complete a set of questions regarding your fitness to practise. Depending on your answers to these questions, you may need to provide more evidence to support your application. Not providing us with all the information we need will mean we may be unable to make a decision on your application.

Please read our guidance on the declaration of fitness to practise (opens in a new window) and guidance on declaring health issues (opens in a new window).

Attending an identity check

Once we have all of the documents and information required for your application, we'll give you a decision on your application. We'll then email you to invite you to book an identity check at our Manchester or London offices. You must complete an identity check in the UK before your application can be granted. At the identity check we'll take your photograph and inspect the original documents that you provide in support of your application.

You have three months to attend an identity check once we've invited you. If you don't your application will be closed and you'll have to reapply for registration with a licence to practise. You'll have to provide further evidence that you satisfy all our requirements for registration with a licence to practise with any further application.

If you live outside the UK, please consider whether you’ll be able to come to the UK in time for your identity check. If you’ll need to apply for a visa, you may need to gather your visa evidence before making the application, so that this does not prevent you attending the identity check. We won't be able to extend the time limit for the identity check for any reason.

Restrictions on where you can work

Your practice in the UK will be subject to the requirements of our approved practice settings (APS) scheme until your first revalidation.

When and how do I send my documents?

When you've submitted your application, we'll email you a list of documents that we need to see (based on the list above). You must email scanned copies of these documents as one PDF or zip file by replying to our email or to img@gmc-uk.org. The maximum total file size per single email that we can accept is 10MB. Anything over this will not be delivered so if the total is over this size, please break the data up and attach to multiple emails. Please quote your GMC reference number in your email when sending your documents.

Only once we receive the documents we'll make a full assessment of your application. We'll contact you if we need any further evidence or information to support your application. We cannot assess your application until you have sent your documents.
 
If you don't send the documents to us within 28 days of submitting your application, we will close the application and send you a full refund of your application fee. You would then need to start the application process again.

If you’ve previously sent us any of the documents we’ve asked for, say this in your email as you may not need to send them again.

Please don't send documents by post unless you are unable to email them as this will slow down the application process. (Our postal address is: Registration Support Team (IMG), General Medical Council, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M3 3AW).

When you are invited to an identity check, you will need to bring originals of the documents submitted as part of your application. We will not accept copies or certified copies of documents at your identity check.

 

Official translations of documents

You must submit a complete and accurate translation of every document you provide that's not in English, along with the document in its original language.

Read more guidance on translations (opens in a new window).

How long does it take to process my application?

We aim to assess applications within five working days. We can't assess your application until we have the documents and information detailed in the above sections.

At peak times of the year (January to February and July to September) it can take us longer. So it’s best to apply as early as possible and well in advance of the date you will need registration with a licence to practise (which is required before you can work in the UK).

Once we've received your documents and information we may ask you to provide further evidence and information. We may also refer your application to a Registration Panel for advice on your eligibility to be registered with a licence to practise. We'll let you know if this applies to your application.

Before you can work in the UK you must be registered with an appropriate licence to practise for the type of post or practice that you will be undertaking. You can check your entry on the Register and the date from which it is effective on the List of Registered Medical Practitioners (opens in a new window).

How do I submit my application online?

I already have a GMC online account

If you already have an account, you can log in to GMC online (opens in a new window) and make your application in the ‘My Registration’ section.

I don’t have a GMC online account yet

If you have a GMC reference number, but have never logged into your online account and do not have log in details, you can activate your GMC online account (opens in a new window).

If you don't have a GMC reference number, then you need to set up an account (opens in a new window)

If you need any further advice on setting up an account, please contact us.

Paying the registration fee

Once you’ve completed your application online, but before you submit it, you’ll be asked to pay a fee for full registration with a licence to practise. You won't be able to submit your application without paying the fee. However, you can save your application and come back to it later if you need to.

For information on fees (including the non-refundable scrutiny fee) please see our guidance on paying your fee (opens in a new window).