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 International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to enter the UK and undertake a period of specialist training for up to two 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 radiologists or trainees primarily from Low and Lower Middle Income Countries (LI/LMI) (according to World Bank Definitions) and DfID prioritised countries.
All doctors practising in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). The usual route to registration for 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 two years, and the applicant must return to their home country upon its expiry.
There are a limited number of Tier 5 visas available, over all specialties. Our ISS exists as part of our commitment to facilitate philanthropic international activity across both our faculties. This is reflected by the MTI prioritisation of Tier 5 visas to those from Lower and Lower Middle Income and DfID priority countries. It is possible for an individual doctor from outside these countries to use the ISS to obtain GMC registration and a Tier 5 visa. However, they are likely to face a considerable delay in receiving their visa, if at all, and we cannot guarantee when or if a visa will be issued if the ISS application is successful. This will lead to a delay in finalising GMC registration and taking up the UK post. We therefore suggest that other routes to GMC registration and obtaining a visa are used by those who are not from the prioritised countries. For further information please visit the AoMRC website
All enquiries regarding ISS should be emailed to the Training Administrator