International sponsorship scheme (ISS)

Before beginning an ISS application, applicants and UK employers must read the Eligibility Criteria section, to ensure that the applicant can meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the ISS, for GMC registration and for the Tier 5 visa.

What is the International Sponsorship Scheme?

The International Sponsorship Scheme (ISS) operates as part of the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) which is designed to enable a small number of IMGs to enter the UK and undertake a period of specialist training for up to 2 years, before returning to their home country. 

The Royal College of Radiologists’ (RCR) role in this process is to act as the professional sponsor in respect of GMC registration, and to confirm that the Tier 5 visa may be requested by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC).  The RCR offers sponsorship to overseas clinical oncologists or overseas clinical oncology trainees from Low and Lower Middle Income Countries (according to World Bank Definitions) and includes a focus on DFID 28 countries.  

All doctors practicing in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).  The usual route to registration for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) is success in the GMC’s PLAB test.  It is important to note that sponsorship is exceptional and the PLAB test remains the usual route through which IMGs may obtain GMC registration.

The AoMRC is the approved national sponsor for visas under this scheme.  Approved sponsorship will allow an application for a government authorized exchange visa under Tier 5 of the Points Based System Tier 5 Overview.  The Tier 5 visa cannot be issued for longer than 2 years, and the applicant must return to their home country upon its expiry.

IMPORTANT Potential applicants and employers must note that Tier 5 visa restrictions are currently in place and we cannot guarantee when or if a visa will be issued should the application be successful.  The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) website states that applicants from countries not considered DfID priority or LI/LMI countries may apply at their own risk.  For further information please visit the AoMRC website