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Preparing for a move to the UK

Welcome to Indigo Healthcare Dear Doctor,

Thank you for choosing to work with Indigo Healthcare. We very much hope we can help you to find a new post in the UK now or in the future. This guide has been produced to try to help you in your preparation for moving to live and work in the UK. Once you are in a position to register with the GMC we are able to start the process of contacting NHS Trusts on your behalf to arrange interviews. Before we can start this process, you will need a complete GMC recognised qualification as well as having passed OET or IELTS. More information on these requirements can be found later in this guide. Indigo Healthcare provide an end to end service; supporting you all the way from interview, to offer stage, through to you starting in post and thereafter. We are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the process – you will find all our contact details at the end of this guide – or for all general enquiries please call us on 0330 123 9665.

Regards, The Indigo Healthcare Team

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Indigo Healthcare have a global reach from the heart of Yorkshire. Page | 3


Post Offer Requirements

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GMC Registration

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Applying for a Tier 2 Visa

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Immigration Healthcare Surcharge


Living in the UK

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Income Tax & National Insurance

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Your Accompanying Dependents

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Applying for Schools

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Process Timeline

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Useful Information & Contacts

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Indigo Healthcare Contacts

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Post Offer Requirements There are a number of things you should start thinking about before you start the process of looking for a new post in the UK. The following documents will be required before you can start in a new post, many of which you will need to start preparing now:

Certificates of employment (to allow the hospital to calculate an accurate salary for you based on your years of experience)

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Qualifications certificates Certificate of good standing A minimum of 2 references or referee contact details including your most recent employer, covering from now and going back 3 years

GMC certificate and/or most recent communication from the GMC to show your application progress

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Police/DBS check A copy of your passport 2nd form of photo ID (such as a driving licence) Utility bills or bank statements with your name and home address covering the last 3 months

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)/Visa if you have one

Further information relating to these requirements follow in detail later in this pack.

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GMC Registration If you have not already obtained or applied for GMC registration, you should be in a position to be able to register for a licence to practise in the UK. You need to be able to provide the following evidence in order to register with the GMC:

An acceptable qualification recognised by the GMC

English language proficiency

Evidence of your fitness to practise – certificate of good standing

Indigo Healthcare acknowledge that the GMC registration process can be complex and difficult. Our consultants are available to advise through the application process as and when you may require some additional assistance. Please note, once all documents have been submitted to and approved by the GMC, you have 90 days to complete your ID check in the UK. If you are unable to complete this within the 90-day period, you will have to resubmit all documents.

Registration Costs: The cost to apply for a full registration with licence to practise varies depending on your previous history of registration and how long it has been since you have qualified. The standard fee is £406. If you hold or have previously held a provisional registration with the GMC you are eligible for discounted fees, which is £200. You will also need to pay an annual retention fee of around £156 to remain on the GMC register. Full information on the fees associated with GMC registration & retention can be found here.

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GMC Registration (Continued) Verifying your Medical Qualification – EPIC: Verification is carried out by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates through their online system – known as the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) service. ECFMG will verify the qualification by checking this directly with your awarding institution. Find out more here.

English Language Proficiency: There are two options for assessing your English language proficiency. IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It tests the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The IELTS scores accepted in the academic version are at least 7.0 in each testing area, and an overall score of 7.5. Your certificate will be valid for 2 years. OET is the Occupational English Test and has been developed for healthcare professions. Tests simulate real workplace tasks and covers all four language skills. You will need at least a grade B in each testing area of OET.

Certificate of Good Standing: You will need to obtain a certificate of good standing from all of the countries where you've practised or held registration or a licence to practise in the last five years. The certificate of good standing must: •

cover all of your work in that country/state

confirm that you're entitled to practise medicine in that country

confirm that you've not been disqualified, suspended or prohibited from practising medicine

confirm that the regulatory authority is not aware of any matters that call into question your good standing

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Applying for a Tier 2 Visa A Tier 2 (General) Visa is the main immigration route for working in the UK for skilled workers with a job offer. Visa sponsorship is required by an employer and the Visa is linked to a specific job – linked via your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) awarded to you and paid by the NHS Trust. Please note, you must apply for your Visa within three months of being awarded your COS.

The Costs: You will be responsible for the costs associated with your Visa application, which is currently £610 for yourself (£464 if you are coming to work in a shortage occupation). If you are coming to the UK with any dependents, you will also have to pay £610 for each dependent (£464 if you are coming to work in a shortage occupation).

Maintenance: You must ensure you have at least £950 in your bank account which must have been there over a 90-day period. Dependents must ensure they have at least £630 in their bank accounts or available to them. This is to prove that once in the UK you are able to support yourself before your first wage. Most UK Trusts will tick the maintenance box on the Certificate of Sponsorship to ensure your Visa is accepted, however, this does not mean the Trusts will pay out any maintenance costs whilst in the UK. Sufficient funds should be in your bank should the UKVI decide to check your profile.

Tuberculosis Test: You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of the countries listed here. You’ll be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If the result of the x-ray isn’t clear you may also be required to undergo further testing.

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Applying for a Tier 2 Visa (Continued) Documents you must provide: When you apply for your Visa, there are a number of documents you will need to provide: •

your certificate of sponsorship reference number

proof of your knowledge of English Language (UKVI IELTS or UK NARIC or OET)

a bank statement or letter that shows you have enough personal savings (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your sponsor can support you)

a current passport or travel document to prove you can travel – with a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa

your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country (as mentioned above)

a criminal record certificate (police check) - if you’re working with vulnerable people (see page 11 for more information)

You must provide the original plus a photocopy of every document you provide. If your documents aren’t in English, you’ll also need to send a certified translation.

Proof of your Knowledge of English Language: To apply for your Visa, you will need to be able to prove your knowledge of the English language. You can prove your English Language knowledge by providing one of the following: •

UKVI IELTS score of 4 or above (ACADEMIC version)


An English language assessment accepted by the GMC – namely the OET (as of 1st October 2019).

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Applying for a Tier 2 Visa (Continued) Police/Criminal Record Check: It is a requirement of your Tier 2 Visa and working in Healthcare, that you can provide a Criminal Record Certificate. Further information can be found here. You’ll need to provide a certificate from any country you’ve stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years. You’ll have to apply in the country or to the relevant embassy where you are currently based. For more information on how to apply for a criminal record check, select your country of residence from the following list. It is your responsibility to declare any spent or unspent convictions prior to accepting a job, as these will all show up on your criminal record check and could affect your job offer and Visa application.

Giving your Fingerprints and Photo: You’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and photo (‘biometric information’) as part of your visa or immigration application. You need to:

have a photo taken of your face

have your fingerprints taken

give your signature

Collecting your Visa/BRP: How you get your biometric residence permit (BRP) depends on where you made your visa or immigration application. You can find more information on collecting your BRP here. If you applied from inside the UK, your BRP will be sent to you by courier. You do not need to collect it. If you applied from outside the UK, you can collect your BRP once you arrive in the UK.

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Immigration Healthcare Surcharge Overview: You may be required to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your immigration application. Your immigration status determines whether you need to pay the IHS. Clarification can be found here.

The Costs: The immigration health surcharge is £400 per year for a Tier 2 Visa. This charge is for yourself only – all dependents will be required to pay this amount also. Follow the link for further information on the IHS costs or use this handy calculator to see how much you will need to pay in total.

When you will pay: If you apply for a Visa online, you will pay the surcharge as part of the application. If you apply for a Visa through a premium service centre, you will pay the surcharge when you book an appointment. If you apply for a Visa by post, you must pay the surcharge online before you send your application. You’ll need to include your IHS reference number on the application form. Further information on when you will pay for the IHS can be found here.

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Living in the UK The United Kingdom is a very diverse country with access to world-class culture and heritage, cuisine and sports, to rural and coastal locations where you can appreciate the natural beauty of the UK.

Cost of Living: Living costs vary across countries and regions, with the highest costs generally found in London and the surrounding areas. You can find an overview of the cost of living in the UK here.

Housing: The UK offers a wide range of housing options. Renting and buying is normally done through estate agents. Property prices vary widely across regions. Guides to buying and renting property in the UK can be found on property websites Rightmove or Zoopla which will also give you an idea of the housing options available across the UK and the associated costs.

Housing Costs: As well as paying rent or a mortgage, there are a number of other costs to consider. The list below offers a good starting point: • • • • •

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Council tax – depending on your council and the number of rooms your home has, you will be given a fixed fee you need to pay on a monthly basis. Electricity (and gas in some properties) Water Internet TV licence

Living in the UK (Continued) Feeling at Home: Moving to a new country can be challenging, especially if you are leaving friends and family behind to embark on your new adventure. We have a few hints and tips to try and make you feel as at home as possible: •

There are a number of blogs and websites online which you can read about other people’s move to the UK from all across the world: Expatica is a great resource.

For international calls download Ringo, a nice little app which enables you to call over wifi. Whatsapp or Skype are also great for this.

Find a local ‘World Foods’ store or International Supermarket so you can buy or cook foods to make you feel at home.

Find out about local places of worship, community groups, sports teams, etc. where you can meet people with similar interests to you.

Driving in the UK: If you have an EEA/EC driving licence, you may use it to drive in the UK for up to three years or until you are 70 years old, whichever is longer. Holders of a driving licence from a country which has a licence exchange agreement with the UK may drive on the foreign licence for up to 12 months and exchange it for a UK licence before the end of the 12-month period. For more information please read the Government advice or UKCISA also has a very useful information sheet on driving in the UK.

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Income Tax & National Insurance When working in the UK, your earnings are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance.

Income Tax: Income Tax is a tax you pay on your income. This is mainly applied to your earnings from employment, but can also be applied to things like pensions, rental income and benefits you receive from your job. The UK tax year runs from 6 April of one calendar year to 5 April of the subsequent year, so your tax is calculated throughout this period. Further information regarding income tax can be found here.

National Insurance: National Insurance (NI) is a tax system in the UK paid by workers and employers for funding state benefits. • •

Find out how much you will pay. Find out what your contributions go towards.

Calculating your Income Tax & National Insurance Contributions: We recommend using the following website to calculate your after-tax earnings based on the salary you have been offered, so you know how much money you will have in your bank account when you are paid: Listen to Tax Man

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Your Accompanying Dependents This section is relevant to you if you are planning on bringing dependents to the UK – either immediately or sometime after you have started in your new post. If you have a Tier 2 (General) Visa, your family members can come with you to the UK, but they will need to apply for their own dependent Visa. For Visa purposes; a dependent is defined as: •

your husband, wife or partner

your child under 18

your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Visa Costs: Each dependent will be required to pay the same amount as yourself for a Visa, and also pay the healthcare surcharge. Each dependant must have £630 of funds available to them whether they apply with you or separately.

Working on a Dependent Visa: Your spouse and other dependents are able to work whilst in the UK too. There are no work restrictions placed on dependency visa holders, meaning your dependent can work in any job, at any skill level.

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Applying for Schools If you are bringing children of school age to the UK, you will need to apply for a place for them within a local school. All children in the UK between the ages of 5 and 16 are entitled to a free place at a state school, including dependent children accompanying parents entering the UK on a work Visa.

UK School System: Schools are broken down into primary schools (5-11 year olds), and secondary schools (11-16 year olds). Free education is also available for 16-19 year old, either at secondary schools or sixth form colleges. For younger children, nursery school is available for 3-4 year olds, and many hospitals offer crèches for staff with younger children.

Applications: We strongly suggest you do some research on local schools before making your application. You can find out more about the application process and the schools in your new area.

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Process Timeline GMC Requirements Met (EPIC verified Medical Qualifications & IELTS or OET)

English Language Proficiency passed for Visa purposes

Job Offer Received


Visa Application Submitted

Certificate of Sponsorship Received

Documents submitted to Indigo

Healthcare Surcharge Paid

Visa Received

Flights Booked

GMC ID Check (if required)

Arrive in the UK

Accommodation Arranged

NHS Induction

Start in Post

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Useful Information & Contacts Working National Health Service www.nhs.uk General Medical Council www.gmc-uk.org UK Government www.gov.uk IELTS www.ielts.org OET www.occupationalenglishtest.org

Relocation & Living in the UK Visa’s www.gov.uk/tier-2-general The British Council www.britishcouncil.org Education Information Service www.educationuk.org Universal Currency Converter www.oanda.com Embassy List www.embassyworld.com BT Telephone Directory Enquiries UK and International: 118 500 Interfaith Network for UK www.interfaith.org.uk Weather www.metofce.gov.uk Insurance (medical & personal possessions) www.moneysupermarket.com

Travel Maps www.maps.google.co.uk General guide on travel www.ukguide.org National Coach/bus travel www.nationalexpress.com General rail information; UK train times and fares www.networkrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com

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Indigo Contacts

Stella Redgrave-Nevison stella@indigohealthcare.co.uk 07881 387351

Stephanie Taylor steph@indigohealthcare.co.uk 07584 044 711

Sally Butkovic sallyb@indigohealthcare.co.uk 07557 394037

Indigo Healthcare indigohealthcare.co.uk 0330 123 9665

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Testimonials Here’s what other Doctors have said about us:

SHO in General Medicine for an NHS Trust in the South of England

“I made a great decision by going with Indigo Healthcare to help me find my first job in the UK. If you are looking for some help to find your dream job as a Doctor, close your eyes and go with Indigo Healthcare, where they take up your case and treat it like their own. They get you prompt results and help you achieve your dream. I could not have made it here without them.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Indigo Team I dealt with during the process of securing a job in the UK. Stella has been very polite and active, giving clear instructions about the interview, environment and possible questions that I might be asked. I am so thankful for their work and I would highly recommend overseas Doctors to go through their gate while looking for a job in the UK.”

Senior Fellow in Care of the Elderly for an NHS Trust in the South of England

“I don't have the words to express my emotions. Indigo Healthcare and people like Stella are without any doubt one of the best recruitment agencies. It is highly appreciated, and I would recommend to any Doctor who wants to work in the UK. I am so pleased finally the hard work Indigo and Stella have done has finally paid off.”

“From the first day, you have been so supportive and clear with me about my experience, abilities and suitability for jobs I can apply for. Your continuous support has made me trust you 100%. I can't describe my appreciation for all you have done and I'm sure any Doctor who will work with you is lucky as you are best agent any person would ever think of. Thanks again for all you have done for me & I wish you the best of luck.”

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Senior Clinical Fellow - General Medicine for an NHS Trust in the South East of England

CT1/2 Medicine Doctor for an NHS Trust in the Midlands

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Profile for Cubed Talent Management

Indigo Doctors - Preparing for a move to the UK  

Understand what is required for an overseas Doctor to move to the UK and work in the NHS; a simple guide with handy links and tips.

Indigo Doctors - Preparing for a move to the UK  

Understand what is required for an overseas Doctor to move to the UK and work in the NHS; a simple guide with handy links and tips.