The very first step, and arguably the most difficult step to start your career as a doctor in the UK is taking IELTS/OET for PLAB and GMC registration. There are many confusion regarding which test to take

Do I need to take IELTS for PLAB?
When can I take IELTS?
What is UKNARIC?
What is OET?

Do I need to take IELTS/OET for PLAB?

Yes and no. After February 6, 2018, if you want to apply for PLAB, you can also take another English Language proficiency test called Occupational English Test (OET) instead of IELTS. And that will cover everything from the start to the end.

As a rule of thumb, if you have finished your primary medical graduation in a non-English speaking country, you have to take IELTS/OET for PLAB and GMC registration, even if you are British Citizen. There is NO believable way you can prove to GMC that, in a non-English speaking country –

  • all of the course, including clinical activities, was taught and examined solely in English
  • at least 75% of any course related clinical interaction, including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals, was conducted in English.

You also have to take IELTS/OET and subsequently PLAB if you are a non-UK/EEA citizen who have graduated from a EEA university but don’t have license to work as a doctor in the that EEA country.

How can I be exempt from IELTS/OET?

As mentioned above, if you have graduated from a non-English speaking country, there is no way to get exempt from IELTS/OET for PLAB and GMC registration. However, for Tier 2 visa you don’t need any valid IELTS/OET as you would already hold GMC registration. Also you won’t need an IELTS/OET if you are going to the UK for PLAB 2 visa or in Tier 2 Dependent visa.

When can I take IELTS?

Good. Now we’re talking sense. This test is administered by three different organisations around the would in many different venues round the calendar.

  • British Council
  • IDP Education, Australia
  • Cambridge Assessment of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

It doesn’t matter under which organization you take this exam, at the end of the day it’s all the same. People say in some countries one organization is more liberal than another in comparison. While this might be true, in my opinion one shouldn’t be bothered/biased by that.

Again, IELTS can be-

  • Academic
  • General Training
  • Life Skills

As we’re aiming for professional registration in the UK, we should be appearing in the academic version of IELTS.

You can take IELTS anytime you want. But keep in mind that it stays valid for 2 years only. So planning here is necessary. A more detailed plan is laid out in how to plan for PLAB 1 and IELTS .

What is this “IELTS for UKVI”?

It’s the same test as the IELTS, the only difference is that it is specifically taken for UK Visa purposes. Among the many types of UK visas, PLAB aspirants should be concerned about two types only:

Starting from October 1, 2019, IELTS for UKVI will NO LONGER be needed to apply for your Tier 2 visa. You can simply appear in the academic IELTS/OET for PLAB, GMC registration. Your having GMC registration is enough for Tier 2 visa.

How much do I have to score in IELTS?

The requirements of IELTS for PLAB 1, you must have a minimum of 7.5 score with a minimum of 7.0 in all four modules (listening, reading, writing and speaking) e.g. You got 8 overall but in writing you got 6.5- ergo you’re not eligible.

How much does IELTS cost?

Roughly, IELTS costs around £160. Look up the cost of IELTS (under British Council) by choosing your country on this page of British council website.

What about OET?

As I have mentioned earlier, since February 6 2018, GMC approves another form of English language proficiency test- OET. To know further please look here, Occupational English Test. As of October, 2019 – a valid OET can also be used for Tier 2 visa.

UK NARIC (UK National recognition Information Centre), which is responsible for providing information, advice and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications and skills from all over the world. They have a service called the English Language Assessment Service. This service provides an assessment and a statement to confirm for applications to work, study or register with a professional body that an international academic qualification deemed comparable to a UK Bachelor, Masters is taught in English to the standard of CEFR B1, B2 or C1. Here is a sample how their English Language Assessment looks like.

UKNARIC is not required at any step of the entire UK journey anymore.

How to get a UK NARIC done?

It’s a bit of paperwork and a bit of waiting, but people have been known to do this and continued with their lives in the UK. The papers you need for this are:

  • A photocopy or scanned version of your certificate(s) together with final transcript(s) in the original language
  • A photocopy or scanned version of a certified translation in English (if necessary)
  • Evidence of the medium of instruction of your degree from the university’s central administration unit / registry. Sample here.
  • Select a postage/delivery option and include payment for service plus postage/delivery.

You need to make an online account in their website. There are two routes- Blue and red. Be careful to choose your routes as these are NOT interchangeable.

If you are going to use UKNARIC for your Tier 2 visa,you should choose RED route and upload the scanned documents and mail them the copies and letter. The payment will be £133 if you choose international signed Royal Mail, or £205 if you use DHL. To know further, check out their page of English language assessment service.


Let’s look at the comparison between IELTS and OET and UKNARIC below:

Top comparison points between IELTS and OET to note:

  • IELTS is cheaper than OET
  • IELTS takes place in more countries than OET
  • OET doesn’t take place as frequently as IELTS
  • Some might feel that preparing for OET is easier than IELTS, as it is medicine and healthcare related

To summarize

You need to prove your English language proficiency in your road to UK as a doctor at three different steps.

  • PLAB 1 – Academic IELTS or OET are accepted
  • GMC Registration – Both are accepted. The certificates must show:
    • that you got a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and an overall score of 7.5 for IELTS or B in all modules and B overall for OET
    • that you got these scores in the same test
    • that you took the academic version of the test
    • the original stamp and test report form (TRF) number (we use this to validate all certificates)
    • that you obtained the scores in your most recent sitting of the test.
  • TIER 2 Visa– Academic IELTS, OET, or UKNARIC is accepted.

Still curious about using IELTS or OET for PLAB and GMC registration? Never fear, our interactive session will clear up any lingering doubts! Good luck to you all.

150 thoughts on “IELTS/OET for PLAB, GMC, and Tier 2 Visa”

  1. Hello
    I graduated in 2009 from pakistan, i have been working on and off for like a total of 6 yrs in different rural set ups like dispensaries in seeing patients in outpatient/administrative work ,there is mostly no procedure or facility available just symptomatic treatment given rest refered to hospital.i gave plab after graduation 2 times but with not proper prep so i hv 2 chances left ,given this as i have no recent hospital experience .i am im late 30’s with family kids but i feel lacking in career could u pls guide me how should i proceed after ielts or oet ,what should i expect ?

  2. GMC is releasing new seats of PLAB 1 for Pakistan on 7th Jan, 2021. My OET result is expected on 21st Jan, 2021. I am sure that i will pass OET. I want to ask if i can put 350 in every module of OET before the actual result so that i can book PLAB 1

  3. Paul Okyere Gyeabour

    Thanks for your information, please am a nurse and wants to register for UK NMC, can I skip IELTS and OET and show UKNARIC as a proof of English proficiency for my tier 2 visa?

    1. If you’re being sponsored to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse or midwife: You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body (which in your case is UK NMC).

      1. Paul Okyere Gyeabour

        Thank you Doctor, but am still not clear, what I mean is that I have my Degree certificate proven by UKNARIC, can I use that to register UK NMC without the ielts or OET?

  4. Trisha Louise Malesido

    Good day, doctors! How long is IELTS valid for when opening a GMC account and taking PLAB 1? Thank you in advance!

  5. Thank you very much for the information doctor. As I understand, if I have once taken OET for GMC registration and the score accepted by GMC, is it okay if the score is no longer valid (> 2 years) at the time of applying to UK Tier 2 visa?
    I am currently serving military duty and won’t be able to apply to UK visa in 2.5 years, so I was wondering if I can take OET and PLABs now without having to retake OET 2.5 years later for visa application.
    Also, does PLAB exam have validity period like OET exam?
    Thank you.

  6. I want to give Ielts academic for Plab exam. My fiance is british and I would apply for a spouse visa after marriage and I read a ukvi ielts is needed for a spouse visa. Is that true? Because i dont want to give ielts twice. Will a non ukvi work for spouse visa too? I heard that ukvi is no longer needed. Please reply.

    1. For spouse visa you need to take IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 in speaking and listening. For PLAB and GMC registration This test will work but you need higher sore as mentioned in the article.

        1. You can take IELTS for UKVI academic version which will cover both PLAB/GMC reg and your spouse visa.

  7. This is soo helpful. Thank u for this initiative. I have one concern regarding oet., can i do foundation programme in uk after plab2 with oet?
    Thanking you in advance. Your reply is soo valuable for me

  8. Dear Doc,
    If our validity for OET expires just after getting full GMC registration,then when we apply for Tier 2 visa what is required??
    ‘IELTS for UKVI'(with score of 4 in all and overall) or
    ‘OET'(B grade in all and overall) needs to be taken again?

    1. For tier 2 visa these days, as far as we have been told, you don’t need a valid IELTS/OET if you already have GMC registration.

  9. Anirudh Pulipaka

    My IETLS UKVI is gonna expire in feb 2021and My PLAB1 exam Is in November 2020.
    My question is
    Do we need IELTS for PLAB2?
    If I’m giving my Academic IELTS for GMC registration, can I use it for TIER2 visa also?
    What should be my IELTS score for GMC registration and TIER2 visa?
    Thank you
    Kind regards!!!

    1. Ibrahim Ivan

      All the questions that you have asked is already answered in the article. What’s the confusion?

      1. Anirudh Pulipaka

        Thank you for the reply..
        I’m sorry but I was confused. I went through the post and messages again. I have a clear idea now.
        King regards.

        1. You don’t have to apologise. It’s okay to be confused. We all were when we started off. Good Luck!

  10. Hi…I completed one year masters degree from UK in Jan 2018. Would that be enough as an evidence for english proficiency for Tier 2 visa because my IELTS is expired now. Or I need to apply for UKNARIC?

  11. HI, thanks again!
    Acquired status as in having passed IELTS with previous scores as acceptable and that I have had continuous use of English as I work for the NHS as proof.
    I have already sent a letter from my Med school stipulating that all education was greater that &75%, but 100 % in my case in English, but SABA is listed under there non acceptable list of med schools which they don’t accept English language as PMQ? even though SABA’s native and principal language is English!!! I think they need to review this, I will be challenging them with this? as to how they have decided? lots of grey area with GMC!!!
    If you type in ‘ non EU degree recognition’ – study medicine Europe has/had a program – look under criteria B – where they would accept transfers to 5th/6th year, then graduate from local university and return to UK as accepted by GMC –
    thanks NP

  12. Hi, Thanks. Yes bit of a complicated story.
    1 – I did 2 year basic medical sciences – English language program in Hungary, ( there was no clinical program as we were very 1st students – most Americans transferred back to USA.) ?
    2. I then transferred to SABA for clinical program, American med school based in Dutch west indies, – there office is in USA – but had affiliations at different General Hospital in the Caribbean to do clinical program – 72 weeks as described in my post. Then graduated. Thus is normal for all American English language programs off shore!?
    3. GMC should give ‘acquired status’ if previously passed IELTS and prove that I am working in UK hospital in management for over 12 years?!?
    4. As I mention SABA island’s native language is English and principal language is English – although not actually attend there to study, but others do 1st two years there. I used it as a stepping stone to complete my clinicals at affiliated hospital as transfer student which were all 100% English language speaking countries.?
    5 Thanks I have check my route for registration, but the above points are of a dilemma with GMC? to accept and re consider my position on an individual basis case by case – to prove some points in their criteria is mis-leading and discriminatory??
    6. LAST resort to by pass all this – if I transfer to EU med university ie 5th / 6th year as Graduate transfer – and re graduate with MD, then can come to UK without PLAB/IELTS as they are exempt? would GMC count this as new PMQ? as I graduated long time ago and want to get back into practising.
    Thanks NP

    1. I haven’t heard of any “acquired status”.
      If you can prove to GMC that your Primary Medical Qualification was taught in English and at least 75% of the clinical interaction with patients was in English, you can take that route – “Using your Primary Medical Qualification” as proof of English Language Proficiency.
      If you feel their criteria are discriminatory you should raise it to proper authority then.
      The last question is beyond my knowledge as I can’t wrap my head around graduating again with more than 12 years in between. It should entirely depend on the university and GMC.

  13. HI,
    I have 2 questions:
    1 – am a graduate from saba university – dutch west indies – did some research – states it ‘native’ and ‘principal (first) language is ENGLISH’!!! – yet not on GMC list of English speaking countries in the Caribbean!!?? – so I should not have been subjected to taking the IELTS ?? and PLAB?? or both. I also previously took the IELTS under the old scoring system – 6.0 min in all and overall 7.0. – but should have acquired status – as I have worked in NHS – non clinical for over 12 years? can they accept this as English capability? and I am British citizen ( but did my 72 weeks clinical rotations in accepted English speaking countries 42 weeks in Trinidad / 30 weeks in UK NHS Hospital!!!)
    only had to join a scholl to transfer credits to graduate from SABA, but never attended SABA)
    2. if all fails -possibility to transfer to EU med school – ie 5th year/6th year and re graduate with MD with local university – and therefore avoid IELTS/PLAB as EU graduates are exempt ( I know their English is not good in UK)
    Will GMC except this re registering with new primary qualification?

    1. IELTS expires in two years. And if you apply now you have to meet the present requirement, not the old one.
      If I understand you correctly your Primary Medical Qualification (which makes you an undergraduate doctor) is from Saba University School of Medicine, even though you didn’t attend? I quite don’t understand the story. Where did you originally get your medical education from?
      There is a simple “Find your route” in GMC website, you should utilise that to understand your path.

  14. Thank you very much. This was very helpful. By the way I have 2 things to clarify.
    1) Is it UKVI IELTS or standard IELTS thats needed for GMC registration? And what’s the expected minimum scores for each language skill?
    2) What’s the required minimum score for UKVI IELTS for the Tier 2 visa?

    1. 1. Any academic IELTS will do. And I quote from the article above “you must have a minimum of 7.5 score with a minimum of 7.0 in all four modules (listening, reading, writing and speaking) e.g. You got 8 overall but in writing you got 6.5- ergo you’re not eligible.”
      2. 4.0 overall with 4.0 in all modules.

  15. I am from Bangladesh.i am doing MPH at uk university and I am planning to do plab? Is there anything problem to get GMC Registration after my student visa?

    1. Not a problem. Try to be GMC registered within your student visa validity, so that you can get a job at the end of your student visa then your transition from tier 4 to tier 2 visa becomes smooth.

  16. Pandi Kumar Ramachandran

    My tier( general )2 Visa application prompts me to mandatorily tick a box that mentions that I provide NARIC letter even though I have valid IELTS UK VI ( required for UKVI). I have a valid GMC full registration as well. Im confused how to proceed, Can I tick the box and give an explanation in the additional column?

    1. You are probably mentioning that your degree was taught in English. If you say no to that question (as you are not being able to provide any proof of that) then it won’t ask you for NARIC letter

  17. Hi.. I have taken IELTS UKVI academic twice and got required band score for applying tier 2 visa but not appearing for plab 1.. which ielts should i take now?? Or should i take OET??

  18. Let’s assume you have your GMC registration before the IELTS expires. In trying to secure a job will you need any specific band for another IELTS?

  19. gabriel omogra

    I will be taking my plab 2 in July, by that time my IELTS result would have expired. What do I do when it’s time to register with GMC. Can I use this same IELTS result since it just got expired or I have to take another test.

    1. You will need to retake IELTS or OET. As you will be applying for a Tier 2 (work) visa soon after, it would make sense to take the IELTS for UKVI as it can be used for both.

  20. If all goes well, I will have earned my bachelor’s degree in medicine in August 2019 (Internship starts September 2019 and ends September 2020). My question is: is it a good idea to go for IELTS UKVI in July 2019 (around the time I earn my degree, in order to set up my GMC online account directly after having my certificate), then go for PLAB1 in March 2020, then go for PLAB2 between September 2020 and June 2021 (directly after my mandatory internship in my country)?
    In other words, does PLAB2 need medical experience beyond internship? and can my IELTS UKVI (July 2019) survive two years up till I apply for UK visa? How practical is this plan?
    Thanks a lot.

    1. It’s good that you’re thinking this way.
      July 2019 IELTS will last till July 2021. That means, at the most extreme, you potentially need to apply for Tier 2 visa around that time. If september 2020 is the end of your internship, and you hope to finish PLAB 1 in March 2020, then december 2019 is the latest and feasible time for you to clear IELTS, that’s giving you till December 2021 to start working, at the latest.
      I hope I was clear. And technically for PLAB 2 you don’t need internship, but for GMC FULL registration you need that. So, it’s only practical to go for PLAB 2 after completing internship.

  21. Hi. Thanks for the info.
    Quick one, I have an MSc from a UK university, and i took IELTS Acad (not ukvi), do i need to still re-do IELTS after GMC reg for Tier 2 visa, or I can use my MSc as evidence of language proficiency?
    Thanks in advance.

  22. If I have oet certificate with required score
    Then is its enough for plab and GMC registration?
    I just need ielts then for tier 2 visa?

  23. Hello! From Nig. Pls if I get 7 in all the modules for ielts for ukvi can I use that to apply for plab, gmc and tier 2 visa? Instead of writing the ielts normal and also ielts ukvi

    1. If you get all 7.0, your overall will also be 7.0.
      That is not acceptable for PLAB or GMC registration. But if you had taken that “IELTS for UKVI” you can use this later on for Tier 2 visa (if it stays valid).
      Once you have taken an IELTS for UKVI and hasn’t obtained the required 7.5 overall for PLAB & GMC registration, but obtained required 4.0 for tier 2 visa– you’re all next attempts can be cheaper normal IELTS for PLAB & GMC registration only. You have the UKVI IELTS in the cart already.

  24. Hi Ibreez.. Thank you for putting up this great website and helping so many docs.
    I have a query. I have a valid IELTS academic with the required score for GMC registration. I have
    just submitted my documents to GMC for processing. I have already got a job offer and need to apply for the tier 2 visa so should I write the IELTS UK VI now or wait till the GMC calls me for ID check. Is it possible that i just write the general IELTS UK VI since I already have a valid academic IELTS? Thank you.

    1. Hello, I’m happy that the website has been helpful. Submit your GMC application first and then appear in the UKVI so that you can apply for TIER 2 without a problem.

  25. Hi. Thank you for this article. It is really helpful. I just want to ask if i can take my wife with me after i finished all exams and get a job in uk? If my wife is a non medical personel, can she apply for her higher study; in dependent visa?

  26. Hello. Kindly advise me. I recently cleared my plab 2 and I want to start my GMC registration process. However my IELTS expired 30th July 2018. Do I need to register ND write another IELTS before I start my GMC registration process or can I just go ahead using the expired one in my account. Thank you

  27. Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation.
    I took the IELTS for UKVI hoping I could get the required scores for PLAB and for my spouse visa but I ended up getting a 6 on my writing, even if 8 overall.
    Do you suggest I give the IELTS exam again or OET?

    1. You still can use that IELTS for UKVI for spouse visa or Tier 2 visa if you are applying for it within 2 years.
      And you don’t need to take IELTS for UKVI anymore, take IELTS (the normal one) or OET whichever (that’s your choice) to get the required score for PLAB.
      A lot many IELTS repeaters said OET is easier. Again a few OET takers said they couldn’t clear that in their first go.
      So, like I said, it’s up to your choice and decision. Just that you don’t need to take IELTS for UKVI anymore (if you are wrapping up within 2 years).

  28. Is there any band requirement for ielts if one is supposed to apply for foundation year 2? If yes, then what is it ?

    1. Do you mean if you’re continuing in the UKFPO and progress to FY2 or if you apply for a non training FY2 post?

  29. Thank you for the wonderful article!
    My question is about the extention of the spouse visa. Could I use Ielts academic sertificate instead of Ielts UKVI?
    Thank you in advance.

  30. Hi,

    I must say its a wonderful article that answers many questions.
    Could i please know if preparatory material for IELTS and IELTS for UKVI are same?

  31. hi i am a family memeber of EU and living in uk and done my msc in public health from uk last year .is there any excemption for me for ielts as i did my mbbs from china and i want to get GMC registeration .

    1. Hello, yes, as mentioned in the post:
      Exemption is given for the following:
      1) You are a national of a majority English speaking country; or
      2) You hold a degree that was taught or researched in English which must be equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or above
      Keep in mind this exemption is only valid for the TIER 2 visa, not for PLAB and GMC registration.

  32. Hello, I’m planning to apply for tier 2 visa. I got my ielts for ukvi results ONLINE already but the physical form might take a month for it to reach where I live. Is there any way to use the online result for visa or i have to wait for the form to reach me first? I got 6.5 for writing but others are 7.5 and above.

    Thank you in advance!

  33. I got a COS from one hospital in the Nothen Ireland. i want to ask about living and training opportunities in this area and if i get another offer, can i accept it after issuing this COS?

    1. 1) We don’t have select information on different areas. You may be better off googling or asking in various forums.
      2) Technically you could but it would be in bad taste on your part as your Trust has already gone through the trouble of applying for you.

  34. Hello, thank you for all this information. I’m researching for my wife. She is a citizen of New Zealand (majority English speaking country) but she has received her medical degree from India. Would she need to prove English proficiency?
    Note- This is for Tier 2 General visa. She already has GMC registration and is working in NHS on my dependant visa.

    1. Hello, yes, as stated in the post, being a national of certain countries (such as New Zealand) can exempt an individual from providing proof of English proficiency for the TIER 2 visa.

    1. Not only OET, you can take the IELTS too and score required for GMC registration.
      With USA passport, you don’t need IELTS for UKVI.

  35. I get the target band in the oet and I booked for the IELTS UKVI before completing my GMC registration but I did not set for the test ( absent). I want to know if this would have an impact on my registration process or not ?

    1. If you hadn’t passed from any UK or EEA medical school, then having british husband can’t influence your GMC registration much.
      But getting job is much easier when you have a settled status.

  36. Hi . I have taken ielts n got required bands in my first attempt. I took ielts academic . Actually my husband is British n he’s applying my spouse visa .I’ll be there in 2 months. Now I’m confused that if ielts academic is acceptable or i had to do ukvi ielts. I’m planning to take plab 1 there in uk after getting visa from my husband . Plz help ?

    1. Your this IELTS will be enough for your PLAB and GMC registration. As possibly you will have spouse visa before you work, you won’t need a Tier 2 visa, thus no need for IELTS for UKVI.

  37. Hello,
    I would like to know if you would be exempted from IELTS for UKV1 if you carry a British passport.. cause the UK wasn’t in your list of countries mentioned above.. so can you please clarify/?
    Thank you

    1. If you have a UK passport, you don’t need a work visa. You don’t need a IELTS for UKVI also then.

  38. Hello i have appeared in ielts ukvi
    And got 6.5 band overall and results as follows
    Obviously i can’t give plab
    What should i do if i don’t want to give plab
    Can i apply for tier 2 visa???
    Or i should give ielts of idp or British council other than ukvi one….

    1. 1) You can’t take PLAB with those results, but they can be used for your TIER 2 visa.
      2) If you don’t want to take PLAB, why are you concerned with IELTS?
      3) TIER 2 is the work visa. It can only be obtained after getting GMC registration and a job along with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
      4) You can appear in the academic version of the IELTS if you wish or try the OET:

  39. Hello
    I have read some where that you need to get 7.5 in each module for foundation year 2 job…is that true?

    1. I think you may be referring for the UKFPO program. For that, minimum 7.5 in each module and overall is required.

    1. Hello, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Are you asking regarding visa for PLAB 1 or for PLAB 2?

  40. when i apply for NARIC before GMC registration , does it cancel ielts academic , as i took plab1 and still have to take plab2 …. or should i wait till i finish GMC registration to make sure that my ielts academic delivered to GMC and then apply for NARIC ?

    1. UKNARIC and IELTS are totally unrelated.
      You can start the process of NARIC anytime if TIER2 visa is your target for NARIC.

  41. Ah ok, I though naric can help with the matter. So I guess if I don’t have English speaking nationality and even though my degree was in English from Romania it is still not enough.
    Thank you

  42. after completing MRCP in home country and oet given . for tier2 visa/ UKNARIC can be applied excluding ukvi right?

    1. Ibrahim Ivan

      MRCP then OET will get you GMC registration just fine.
      Later on when you get a job in the UK, while you apply for TIER 2 visa, your knowledge of English can be proven by EITHER “IELTS for UKVI” (4.0 in all) OR UKNARIC.

  43. hi can i know the -2-year validity of ilets or oet test is working till doing plab 1 or 2 or gmc registeration or what ???thanks in advance

    1. No. It depends on your primary medical qualification, if it was taught in a non-English speaking country then you can not get exempted even if you’re a British citizen.

  44. Asalaamoalikum Ibrahim brother,
    I have already done with IELTS academic and took PLAB1 March one. I am not taking risk of sitting for UKVI before completing GMC registration. I want to ask, can I apply for UK NARIC now? and later i dont need UKVI for Tier 2 visa?

  45. Hi Ibrahim,
    Thank you for your insight. What I’m getting from reading your posts re: getting into NHS through PLAB for IMG, to get a job as F1 in August 2019 I’d have to:
    May 18: Sit IELTS UKVI & score 7.5 overall, 7 in each component
    June 18: Register with GMC for provisional registration & PLAB 1 test sitting
    July – Aug 18: Apply for eligibility & sit PLAB 1
    Sep – Dec 18: Sit PLAB 2 & SJT
    Jan – April 19: Provisional F1/F2 placement to be assigned by NHS/GMC
    July – Aug 19: Start F1
    Am I correct on this proposed timeline? I’m graduating from an EU country in May 18.

    1. PLAB 1 only happens 4 times a year in the UK. So that’s the time you will have to adjust.
      March, June, September, November. Out of this four, only march and nov happens overseas.

  46. If there is more than 2 years gap between ielts UKVI, plab 1, gmc registration and UK visa due to any reason.. We need to give ielts again as it is valid only for two years? For gmc registration I think they want recent and valid one? ForUK visa will they accept without two year criteria or for that also valid with required scores?

  47. Please help me get this straight.

    To sit for the plab exam, an overall of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each subtopic is required.
    However, to apply for a TIER 2 visa, an overall of 4.0 is sufficient, but still need a higher band for GMC registration? Am i correct?

  48. Mohammad Abedalnabi

    I am from Domenica, however I graduated from medical school in Egypt, and now doing my master degree in University of Manchester in the UK .Do I need IELTS? Thanks in advance

  49. Hello Ibrahim. Thanks for sharing these information. Could you please shed more light on NARIC English Language Assessment Service? Can it be used in place of IELTS? I mean, if i go through NARIC, do i still need to take IELTS? Thanks in anticipation.

    1. For PLAB/GMC registration, UK NARIC is NOT accepted. You will have to prove your English language proficiency by IELTS (of you are not from the exempted countries!).
      However, for TIER 2 visa you can skip “IELTS for UKVI” (if you hadn’t taken already) and show a NARIC instead.

  50. Thanks for the info doc.i hv passed plab 2 in november and applied for gmc registration but i need to know i have 2 Ielts certficates 1 valid simple academic ielts and other is my ukvi ielts is expiring on 5 december. I am waiting for gmc verification of my documents and then I’d like to go for ID check in January (plab visa till feb). Should I take ukvi ielts for future job purpose or going for Uk NARIC is better option.

    1. First of all, congratulations!
      You’ll be basically done with GMC Registration that’s why your worrying to score required scores in all modules is over. However, you didn’t mention when your general IELTS will expire. if that also expires within a few months, I will suggest you go for IELTS for UKVI again, as it will help in your visa (surely) also in your job application/interviews. later on.
      UK NARIC takes much more time compared to IELTS for UKVI. Yes it may cost a little less, but that’s what you have to weigh.

  51. Thanks for these detailed info.
    Do you think the academic ukvi will work for settelment application or later citizenship as some people are sayiing it must be general not academic
    While in the requirements it mentioned only ielts 4 or above in SELT which are the same centres for ukvi

    1. IELTS for UKVI is needed for ILR or citizenship.
      Here’s the breakdown. To apply for ILR/citizenship:
      1. IELTS Life Skills at B1 – pass
      2. IELTS for UKVI (Both General & Acedemic) – 4.0 in listening & Speaking only.
      Academic version of any IELTS is superior than the general version, as it is required to obtain professional registration in the UK. So, it is wrong to think that where general is accepted, academic wont be accepted there.
      Here’s further info-

  52. Hello, thank you for the wonderful review. Please, even though the IELTS result is not required for PLAB 2, can one take PLAB 2 (having passed PLAB 1) with an expired IELTS result? For instance, if one’s IELTS expires in November, 2017, can they take PLAB 2 in February, 2018 with the expired IELTS?

    1. Yes. They can. There’s no problem with that.
      But you’ll have to keep in mind that IELTS (preferebly IELTS for UKVI) has to be taken and scored required before you can apply for GMC Registration after passing PLAB 2.
      Bottomline, neither for PLAB 2 nor for PLAB 2 Visa, you need to have IELTS.

  53. Dr. Mohammad Abdur Rahman

    Could I know whether IELTS UKVI is valid for Ireland medical registration or for other countries as well?

  54. Is it possible to obtain a UK NARIC certificate without having any NHS job experience? I have given academic ielts in the UK as I was on a dependent visa, but now I’ll be starting my job soon and will need an independent visa. So should I appear for UKVI Ielts or apply for the NARIC certificate?

    1. UKNARIC is not related to your job experience at all. It’s just a comparison of your medical degree on UK standard. To obtain Tier 2 visa, both IELTS UKVI and UK NARIC are acceptable. It’s totally up to you which one you want to pursue.
      IELTS UKVI will cost a but higher than UK NARIC, again the results of IELTS will be out on a fixed date, but you don’t know by when your post will reach UK for UKNARIC, i.e. UKNARIC may take longer time than UKVI IELTS.
      Hope you got your answer.

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