GMC registration from overseas

Guidance and advice for doctors registering with the GMC from the European Economic Area (EEA) and overseas.

  • All doctors with non-UK medical qualifications will need to show evidence of their professional skills and expertise.
  • Doctors qualifying from outside the UK may also need to demonstrate their knowledge of English to communicate effectively with patients.
  • All doctors from overseas will need to ensure they have adequate insurance or indemnity to practise in the UK.

Registering from the EEA

Since 1 January 2021 a new system was put in place based on the place of qualification rather than the doctor’s nationality. The GMC explains that nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) will no longer benefit from automatic recognition of professional qualifications.

Doctors with a relevant qualification from the EEA will have those qualifications recognised for registration, subject to that evidence being independently verified. They do not need to sit the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test to register.

The Department of Health and Social Care has also stated that for a temporary period after 1 January 2021, the UK will still recognise EEA and Swiss qualifications, which are subject to a separate international agreement, for at least the next four years.

The registration status of doctors from the EEA with provisional or full registration in the UK has not changed since the UK left the European Union.

Registering from anywhere else

EEA nationals who qualified outside of the EEA, or who don’t have relevant European qualifications, will need to apply for registration via the GMC’s overseas registration process.

Doctors registering by this route will need to work in an approved practice setting (APS) until their first revalidation. UK-designated bodies are approved practice settings.

This includes:

  • demonstrating your medical knowledge and skills
  • providing evidence of your knowledge of English (which may include taking the PLAB test)
  • having your medical qualifications independently verified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
  • ensuring you have adequate insurance or indemnity in place to practise in the UK.

More guidance and information is available here.

MDU advice

  • Start the process as soon as you can. Registrations open in April of your final year (so you can start work as a FY1 on 1 August of that year). There are usually more than 7,000 applications, so you don’t want to leave it too late.
  • Answer the questions honestly and accurately. The GMC needs to be sure there are no fitness to practise concerns before granting provisional registration. MDU student members can contact us for advice on the process if they need to.
  • If you have flagged up a potential concern in any of your answers, it is likely that the GMC will want further information from you. Make sure you have given an email address that you can check regularly and then keep an eye on your inbox.
  • The online process will ask for your preferred registration date. You will need to liaise with your FY1 employer to make sure this is accurate – you don’t want to be in a situation of not being eligible to begin your foundation year training.
  • Finally, you’ll need to pay an application fee. This is £53 as of 1 April 2022.

Read more on provisional GMC registration in our Student Notes journal.

This page was correct at publication on 29/03/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.