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The day you appear in your PLAB 1 exam, I would suggest the next day you start working on your UK visa for PLAB 2. Why? No matter how much instructions and guidelines you follow- your case will be unique. It won't match with anybody else’s, and if you maintain your cool you can do it all by yourself.
It will be a long discussion. So, I thought I will break it into parts. This part is only for the Online UK Visa Application for PLAB 2 part. Posts about other parts will follow subsequently.
An overview of the whole process
Do I need a Visa for PLAB 2?
First, check if you need a visa.
For taking the PLAB exams, the reason is "Work, Academic visit or Business" and surely the duration is less than 6 months.
What type of visa do I need?
Go here to be sure for yourself that what you need is a Standard Visitor Visa to appear in PLAB exams.
The UK Visa Application Process
The UK Visa Application for PLAB 2 has basically two parts:
- Online application for the required type of visa.
- Submission of supporting documents and providing biometric data (photo, fingerprints) in a visa application center.
Online Application for UK Visa
Now you continue with the Access UK platform and keep answering questions one after another. It would be prudent to save and continue later a lot i.e making an account there with your email. Don't worry, nothing goes into submission till you finally see the declaration page at the end of your online application. The things you need to know BEFORE your online application: (I would suggest collect all the info in the list below as soon as you can)
- Your name. Very Important.
- Your passport details.
- Your NID (any form of National ID) number (if you have it). Check this Wiki link, to understand which one is your country's NID.
- Your email ID.
- Travel information/plan: The date you will arrive in UK and the date you will leave from UK. (The arrival date is more important. The itinerary in your cover letter should explain this elaborately. Please check my cover letter template in supporting documents for UK Visa post)
- Choose business, including sports and entertainment as the main reason for your visit.
- After answering No's to "organized group", "travelling with partner", "visiting a company or getting paid for business activities"--- you'll see the main reason. Choose Take the PLAB or OSCE.
Many applicants write that they are going to "visit a company/organisation" stating their PLAB 2 course/academy. This is a mistake. These academies are not approved organisations to invite you to the UK. Your main purpose of visit - "Taking PLAB exam", not to primarily visit a PLAB 2 academy.
- In Give details, just write down your itinerary (the plan during your entire stay) from your cover letter in sentences.
- Personal information: Your home address. Even though we moved to different addresses through out my life, I just put my age in how many days you lived here. And also I live with my family if you don't own the house.
- Parent details: Father's and mother's name, dates of birth. (Pro-tip: The last portion of the name only is the family name. ALWAYS. E.g. Khan Mohammad Chowdhury Sirajuddoula. Here, Given name: Khan Mohammad Chowdhury; Family name: Sirajuddoula. Another one--- Something Harun-ur-Rashid. family name: Harun-ur-Rashid; Given name: Something.)
- Employment: Depends on the gap between when you're applying vs when you finished internship. If its three- four months- I would suggest you say you're unemployed and you have no money of your own even if you're locumming the hell out of every clinic. Avoids explanations. It's not mandatory to be employed while you are applying for a UK visitor visa. It all depends of how transparently you are presenting your case, both you intention-to-visit wise and financial sponsorship wise.
- But, if you are employed and sponsoring yourself, then I would strongly recommend you arrange for two papers from your employer. a) Salary Certificate b) No Objection Certificate. And your own bank account details with bank statements (for the last six months with explanation of big transaction, if any). (There's a lot to discuss here but I will go on with what I did- unemployed and not a dime in my name)
- How much money are you planning to spend on your visit? - tricky part. It depends on 2 things-a) The duration of your visit, b) How much liquid asset/ readily withdraw-able money you are showing.The more the duration, the more you have to spend. The more liquid assets you have, the more you can show that you plan to spend. More & more. I would suggest whatever you show you’re planning to spend, at least three times that amount should be in liquid assets. e.g. you said you will spend 2000 GBP for your visit. Your financial sponsor should at least show s/he has 6000 GBP as readily available money. Not a rule, I repeat, this is not a rule. It's just what I did. This part is more explained in UK Visa Financial Sponsorship Fiasco.
- Who's paying if you don't? I made my father my financial guarantor.
- UK accommodation details. Most of the cases these addresses aren't verified (that doesn't mean that you'll lie) - that means you don't HAVE to stay there when you're going to the UK. It's just to see whether you planned it or not. It's better if you figure out a place already. Here's how to find an accommodation in the UK, when you have no family or friends to stay with.
- Then other travel histories in UK or other countries. (If you have it you fill them)
- Any visa refusals and all that stuff.
- Other histories regarding whether you were involved in any crime against humanity and your support or membership to any terrorist organisations home and abroad.
- Convictions and other penalties.
- Any extra information. I kept it blank.
Actually not done. Then comes the declaration page and it tells you to choose an appointment (date and time) with a visa application centre. Don't choose as yet if you don't have all the supporting documents ready. Just, save it there and a link will be sent to your email.
Here is the REDACTED COPY of my Online Visa Application. Hope this helps.
Submission of Supporting documents
Pleas check UK Visa for PLAB: Supporting documents for further details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Must I apply for UK Visa for PLAB 2 from my country of origin?
No. If you are in another country with work or student visa, that is if you're legally there then you can apply from there. But not if you are a visitor there.
The name spelling of my parents/my address is different from my other documents- what should I do?
Many passports in the world does not have the person's address/their parents' names in their passports. So having slightly different parents' names or address or spelling mistake on your passport should not worry you. ALWAYS use whatever is in THEIR official document, which you will be providing as a proof. Your visa is NOT dependent on the spelling of your parents' names.
Can I get a 2 year UK Visa for PLAB 2?
The duration of your visit visa is dependent on the reason for your visit. PLAB 2 is a one-day exam, asking for 2 year visa for that is not feasible at all. The shortest duration of visit visa is for 6 months, which is what you should apply for.
So your input to the online application should be done by now. Next step will be getting the documents ready.