When you have decided that you will be taking the PLAB route to make your career in the UK, reasonably the very first question that comes up – “How much will the entire PLAB cost?” This article explains the steps as well as the expenses in those steps starting from IELTS/OET and PLAB 1 to working and living in the UK.

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re the all-singing, all dancing crap of the world.” 

Tyler Durden: Fight Club (1999)

But, when you can see this…. or a lot of these after every month…

Your heart sings and dances.

Jokes apart, money is important. And the more important thing is how you spend/plan to spend it. After reading this post, I would advise everyone to sit down and chalk out how YOUR expenses for PLAB journey would be in YOUR currency in three broken down steps below.

Let’s first look at the steps of the PLAB journey

What steps costs how much?

The whole journey from your country to the UK to become a doctor there, involves a considerable sum, an investment. An investment that returns. That being said, it is imperative to know the total cost of PLAB, starting from having a passport to getting a job in the UK.

  • Passport – 3500 BDT (if you don’t have it)
  • IELTS16500 or ~£160 (payable by a Standard Chartered Bank transfer). If you’re taking OET, it costs ~£334 – 36000 BDT. (These are only exam fees)
  • PLAB 1 – £239 ~ 25000 BDT. (Only payable by a credit card)
  • PLAB 2 – £875 ~ 91000 BDT. (Only payable by a credit card)
  • PLAB 2 Preparatory course fee- this can vary.
  • Epic Verification, roughly £250 ~ 27000 BDT
  • Standard visitor visa fees ~ 11000 BDT
  • Airplane round trip tickets ~ 80000 BDT or ~£700
  • GMC registration fees – for doctors who submit their application within five years of passing a primary medical qualification (MBBS) – £153 ~ 17000 BDT. If more than that then £399 ~ 44000 BDT.
  • Rent and living expenses in the UK – £500 to £600 / month. Within 6 months of Visa, if you plan the dates of the course and the exam dates well- hopefully, you will have to stay in the UK for 3-4 months to get a job and return home to apply for a Tier 2 visa. So, 4 months cost ~ 260000 BDT.
  • Police clearance certificate for Tier 2 visa,  500 BDT
  • TB clearance certificate at IOM, $85 ~  7100 BDT
  • Tier 2 visa (General – Health & Care visa) costs, £232 ~  26000 BDT for visa up to 3 years. And, £464 – 52000 BDT, for visa more than 3 years. The difference between the start date and end date mentioned in your CoS determines your length of the visa, regardless of what your contract is. So, if the visa is for 6 months or 2 years- fees remain the same as mentioned (up to 3 years).
  • The plane fare to go to the UK to start the job (one-way), £400 ~  44000 BDT
  • Suggested GBP to take with you to survive first one-two months (until you start getting paid), £1000-1500 ~ 108000 – 162000 BDT.

Let’s breath. Good.

In Total

The entire expenses for PLAB can be broken down in three steps:

  1. From IELTS to going for PLAB 2 in the UK
  2. PLAB 2 visit in the UK including GMC registration
  3. Tier 2 visa processing and going there to start your job

From IELTS till PLAB 2 visit

PurposeCost in GBPCost in BDT
Passport3500
IELTS/OET160/33216500/36000
PLAB 1239~25000
PLAB 2875~91000
Standard Visitor Visa for PLAB 211000
Epic Verification~25027000
Total179000 – 198500

PLAB 2 visit in the UK including GMC registration

PurposeCost in GBPCost in BDT
Round trip airplane ticket70080000
PLAB 2 course550-59560000-64000
Rent and living expenses in the UK (4 months)600*3 = 1800~ 185000
GMC Registration fees156 (fresh grad)/40617000/44000
Total342000 – 373000

Tier 2 visa processing until starting a job in the UK

PurposeCost in GBPCost in BDT
Police Clearance500
TB Clearance test at IOM7100
Tier 2 visa fees (up to/more than 3 years)232/46426000/52000
One way air-plane ticket to the UK40044000
Startup money till you get paid1000-1500108000-162000
Total185600-265600

My GBP to BDT conversion is made on the basis of mid-market rate. I have also rounded up to overestimate to a few hundred so that it accounts for future drastic fluctuation of conversion rate. I would definitely urge you to look up the conversion rate at the time you are making your plan. Fortunately, you may end up with significant lesser estimate than I have given here.

I need to clarify this a bit further. The above cost is NOT an absolute estimate. A lot many things can change and you yourself may find ways to save monies by finding cheaper air tickets or accommodation, thus making your total expenses for the PLAB journey significantly less.

You can look for airplane journey costs in Skiplagged or look for accommodation in AirBnb and get upto £34 discount by signing up through this link – Get upto £34 discount in Airbnb.

The ultimate guide for PLAB expenses

The cost of PLAB and subsequent steps to start working and living in the UK

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I require all this money at once?

    No. As you can see the cost can be easily broken down into three steps. And moreover, you can plan the gap between your PLAB 1 and PLAB 2, or even passing PLAB 2 and applying for GMC registration or between getting GMC registration and getting a job.

  • Do I have to have this amount of money in my bank account for the entire journey?

    You have 2 years after PLAB 1 to clear PLAB 2. You have 2 years after passing PLAB 2 to apply for GMC registration. So, the amount of money needed for your entire journey need not be stored in your account from the beginning of your journey.

  • What is the amount of money I need to show for UK visa? Is it the same?

    It's very good you're thinking about it now. But let me tell you, the money you will have to spend does not HAVE to reflect on the money you will have to show in the bank account. The bank depends on the visa application. Here you will find a broad discussion about that matter, UK Visa financial sponsorship fiasco.

But one thing for sure, before dreaming the union jack dream, plan and talk about the money with your parents/family. I am saying it again, it’s an investment. An investment that will return, God willing. 

41 thoughts on “How to Plan Expenses for PLAB Journey”

  1. Tnx a lot Ivan vaiya for your thorough discussion. I’m a Bangladeshi intern doctor who is now doing my internship and it will be completed at march. I’m new to your blog and got to know about Plab and all a few months back. I really appreciate your and Ibreez apu’s great initiatives and support for IMGs.

    I want to know is it mandatory to stay in uk after Plab 2 or after GMC registration for job searching? Wouldn’t it just increase the cost? I know I might be sounding silly, but I’m confused.

    1. You are thinking about the right things. No it is not absolutely necessary to stay after PLAB 2. Many waits for results as they think they might get another date within their visa if they fail PLAB 2. Many stays for clinical attachment.

      1. Thank you for your kind reply. About the clinical attachment, is it necessary? Like I heard from some people that they go for observeship or something like that. Then what is that? And is it mandatory to do that for working in uk?
        I know I’m asking too many questions at a time. But hopefully you’ll be kind enough to guide me.

      2. Thanks for your reply. About the clinical attachment or I heard from someone about observeship, is it mandatory for job in nhs? Pls enlighten meme.

    1. As I am not from India, my guess is as good as anyone else. Google or ask fellow Indians living in the UK how they do/did it.

  2. What if we stay a month in uk for plab 2 instead of 3 months as u suggested? Instead of job hunting in uk would it be advisable to do it from home country (india)?

  3. Assalamu alaikum Doctor.
    I am bangladeshi and currently a 4th year medical student in Ukraine. Can I directly apply for PLAB 1 (after passing Ielts ) after my M.D. degree which I will achieve after 6years course in General medicine from Ukraine though I am bangladeshi ?

  4. Vai need to know in details about the stable bank account required to get the visitors visa for sitting in PLAB 2 exam. ie: which bank account is preferable, what type of account is needed, whether it should be dual currency account or not, and how much money do I need to show in my account. TIA

  5. why is that i have to keep a financial backup for 2 months when i already have a job and will get paid eventually after a month?

    1. IELTS/OET has a validity of 2 years.
      If you want to use this one IELTS/OET for both PLAB 1 and GMC registration, then you will have to finish everything within it’s validity time.

  6. Md. Ferdous Hossain

    I need clarification of your following information:
    “If you are applying for your family’s tier 2 visa along with you as well, remember to plan a significant amount of money, as even if you get a 1-year visa, your dependents International Health surcharge (IHS) would be £1200 (for 3 years) per person. This can be refunded when you apply for a visa again but you need to have that amount ready.”
    I have checked about IHS charges for dependents at http://www.gov.uk and used their online calculator. It says 400 GBP per dependent when I fill one year for my tier 2 visa in their calculator.
    Can you please recheck and confirm me about the IHS charges. Is it mandatory to have 3 year visa for dependents?.

    1. It’s from many doctors’ experiences. They did get charged for the three year’s IHS when they applied for their dependents visa. That’s why we gave it as a warning, as we felt it’s better to stay prepared. If you end up paying for 1 year only, you didn’t lose anything, did you?

        1. Md. Ferdous Hossain

          I have found the following explanation on PBS dependent Visa in UK Visa & immigration website:
          ” Periods of grant:
          45. Partners: We will grant leave in line with the expiry date of the Main Applicant’s leave, except where the Main Applicant has been granted indefinite leave to remain. In these cases, we will grant you a period of three years leave. An application for further leave may then be made if required to take you up to the applicable qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain.
          46. Children: We will grant leave in line with:
          (i) a period which expires on the same day as the leave granted to the parent whose leave expires first, or
          (ii) Where both parents have, or are at the same time being granted, indefinite leave to remain, or have since become British citizens, leave to remain will be granted to the applicant for a period of 3 years. ”
          From above, what is your conclusion?

        2. The conclusion is clear that if you (the main applicant) has fixed leave to remain – the dependents will have the similar leave to remain. If the main applicant has ILR, the dependent will be given three years leave to remain.
          But as I have already said, from many doctors’ experiences even though the main applicant had fixed leave to remain, the dependents were given three years leave to remain.

  7. muhammad Ihtisham

    Can i take a break of 8-10 months after passing plab1 ? would they ask me about why did i take a gap after plab1 ?

  8. Tehreem Iqbal

    Hello .
    When i will give plab 2 . I will b leaving my toddler back in bahrain with my husband ..
    My question is what can be the minimum period i go uk , take preparatory course and atempt plab 2 exam .
    Or is there any posibility i can take my 3 yr old son with me ??
    Please reply

    1. As you yourself is going for a visit, you can try applying for a visit visa for your toddler with you showing reasons that he is dependent on you.
      I would suggest that it all takes 2-4 months now, highly depending on how much time you take for preparation.
      Read further here: How to Plan for PLAB 2 & Course/Academy

    1. What are you staying in the UK for?
      Now-a-days you don’t need to be physically present for GMC ID check after PLAB 2. So technically you can leave UK as soon as you are done with your PLAB 2.

        1. You will have to pay as long you stay but you don’t have to stick around for ID check anymore

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