Financial Tips for IMGs

This article will go over the costs for international medical graduates associated with applying for a Health and Care Worker Visa and what kind of issues to be aware of once you’ve entered the UK. It is certainly not exhaustive, there are several aspects I have not discussed such as transport, GMC Fees, Indemnity and other insurances etc. These are personal to you and the information is easily available online, therefore, if you have any questions then don’t hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected].

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If you’re looking for Medical Indemnity, the MDU is the UK’s leading medical defence organisation. You can see more details about their membership here.

Key points regarding the Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa is specifically for qualified healthcare and social care professionals who are in short supply in the UK. Those eligible to apply, benefit from a lower application fee and exemption from paying the healthcare surcharge. The visa can be for up to 5 years and can be renewed as many times as you want, as long as you keep meeting the criteria. You can also apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years of living and working in the UK.


  • You must be a qualified doctor, nurse, AHP, or adult social care professional.
  • You must work in the health or care sector, for a UK employer approved by the Home Office, and have a “certificate of sponsorship”.
  • You only need to prove your English Language skills once- you can do so via your regulatory body (GMC/NMC) 

Associated Costs

Visa Application Fees

Up to 3 years: £232/person

More than 3 years: £464/person

The application fee (for you only) is automatically reduced by £55 if you are from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

Proof of Sufficient Funds

  • Be able to show you have at least £1,270 available in a bank account.
  • Your partner will need to show £285
  • One child £315
  • £200 for each additional child

Remember that getting together all the necessary evidence and documentation will incur costs. You will need a valid passport with a blank page for your visa. You may need to have certain documentation certified, which may incur a cost.

Renting and buying a home

Renting a home

Because you will not have a UK address history, the estate agent you use may conduct some extended identity checks, these will take time. They are no longer allowed to charge application fees or administration fees so please do not pay these. They may require 6 months of rent payments upfront, do include this potential cost in your estimates.

Renting in the UK also attracts the following costs (not exhaustive):

  • Council tax
  • Water rates
  • Gas and Electricity
  • Internet/phone
  • TV License
  • Home Insurance

Buying a home

You will need a minimum 3-year address and employment history to get a mortgage. It is worth employing the services of a mortgage broker who is experienced with highly skilled migrants and doctors. I have included one that I have used and found very knowledgeable (there is no benefit to us for using Tom’s services).

You will likely need >25% deposit and may be offered shorter terms of the loan due to your visa. These should be discussed in-depth with your mortgage broker. There are many associated costs with buying a home (see my webinar on mortgages for doctors).

Exceptions to accessible public services

There is a full list of what you can and cannot do due to not having indefinite leave to remain. The key ones are below:

  • No recourse to public funds: You are not eligible for most benefits or the state pension
  • IVF Treatment: You are not eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS. You can access the service as a private patient.
  • You and your family that are on your visa will be considered international students for University tuition fee purposes and will not be able to access a student loan.


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