Standard Visitor Visas for UK Exam Centres

  • March 03, 2022

If you have applied for an exam which is held in a UK test centre, you will need a UK Visitor Visa to enter the UK and sit the exam.

Here we have put together the main information you will need as well as useful links to get you started and we will look at the following:

The first thing to suggest, is that as soon as you receive your results for the first exams e.g. FRCPath Part 1, PLAB 1 etc., start planning the date that you want to sit the in-person exam. This will not only help you prepare for the test itself, but also will ensure that when you apply for the Visitor Visa, you will be prepared for the visa application and appointment, and able to visit the UK within the 6-month visa period.

It is worth noting, that no matter what the guidance and instructions are, visa applications can prove different for everyone, so start working on the application early. 

If you are not sure if you need a visa – you can check here.

You can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa if you are a doctor and are coming to the UK to sit an in-person exam, such as an OSCE, PLAB 2 or FRCPath Part 2 exam. The option you require is a Work, Academic visit or Business visa and the duration is less than six months. 

How do I apply? 

The UK Visa Application for UK examinations can be described in two parts: 

  • Online application for the required type of visa.
  • Submission of supporting documents and providing biometric data (photo, fingerprints) at a visa application centre. 

Let’s take a look at each part in more detail. 

Online Application for the UK Visitor Visa

As part of the online application, you will be required to book an appointment at a visa application centre, you can check the locations available here

You can complete the application in stages; however we advise that you prepare all of the required documentation first, and then complete the online form and upload everything you need in one go. 

A standard UK visa currently costs £95.

Supporting Documents

It is important to note that the required documents will vary from person to person, however two documents are necessary for every applicant: 

  • Your valid passport
  • The email confirmation of your exam (from the relevant Royal College or GMC)

You will then typically require the following: 

  • Cover Letter
  • If your trip is self-funded you will need:
    • Salary certificate
    • Bank statements
  • Letter of Support from your financial guarantor (if applicable)

This is only required if your trip is financed by another person (i.e. family member).

  • Affidavit affirming the declaration of the financial sponsorship

This is done before a notary public and will have to be translated into English. 

  • Letter of recommendation 

Any letter of recommendations will need to come from senior colleagues at your current workplace.

  • Bank Statements

Typically 6 months worth (either yours or your sponsor's if applicable).

  • Monthly payslip

A clear copy is needed with all information visible.

  • Income/Salary Certificate (Yours/Sponsors) 


  • Evidence of Home Address 

Deeds or Nationality Certificate or Home electricity bill where the address is written. This will need to be translated and notarised.

  • A ‘No Objection Letter’ issued by your employer

A ‘No Objection Letter’ for visa is a legal certificate issued by your employer agreeing for you to take off the days for you visit to the UK. In addition, the letter states that you have contractual obligations to return to your country of residence at your workplace.

  • Confirmation of your accommodation in the UK

Or, invitation letter from friends or family with whom you will be staying. You may also require a Council tax and utility bill of the accommodation address. If it’s a family that you’re staying with, you don’t need to worry about proving Sponsorship. If they are just providing accommodation (and your father or mother is your financial guarantor), a simple invitation letter stating your name, your passport number, duration and purpose of your stay is sufficient along with their contact details. The council tax and utility bill is just to prove that the address exists by their name. 

  • Evidence of family members in your home country whilst you travel

These would include Passport copies or National ID copies of your family members.

To complete the online application, here are the required entries: 

  • Your name
  • Passport details
  • Your National ID number, if you have one
  • Your email
  • Travel information/plan: the date you will arrive in the UK and the date you will leave the UK. The arrival date is more important. The itinerary in your cover letter should explain this in more detail.  
  • Choose business, including sports and entertainment as the main reason for your visit
  • After answering 'No's to organised group, travelling with partner, visiting a company or getting paid for business activities—choose Take the PLAB or OSCE
  • In Give details, write down your full itinerary, taken from your cover letter in full sentences
  • Personal information: Your home address
  • Parent details: Father’s and mother’s name, dates of birth
  • Employment details
  • If you are employed and sponsoring yourself, then IMG recommend you arrange for two papers from your employer from the above list a) Salary Certificate b) No Objection Certificate
  • Your own bank account details with bank statements (for the last six months)
  • How much money are you planning to spend on your visit
  • Details of who is covering the costs, if you are not yourself
  • UK accommodation details
  • Travel histories in UK or other countries
  • Any details of visa refusals 
  • Other histories regarding whether you have any criminal convictions
  • Any other relevant information you wish to provide, you can leave this blank

Finally comes the declaration page and it asks you to choose an appointment (date and time) with a visa application centre. Please note that you don’t have to choose immediately, especially if you don’t have all the supporting documents ready. Just save it there and a link will be sent to your email. But as above, IMG Connect recommends that you have all of the supporting documents prepared before starting your UK Visitor Visa application.

What costs can I expect in the UK? 

Whilst your exam(s) will be taken across no more than two days, we advise for candidate to allow themselves a few days for climatisation and revision prior to the exam. When budgeting*, make sure that you book flights, hotels and UK transport to and from the airport in advance to save money.  

Once in the UK, a typical low-cost budget for a comfortable stay will include approximately: 

  • £40 - £60 per night for accommodation depending on your test venue
  • £15 - £25 for food per day
  • £20 for transport per day
  • £50 for Airport transfers (return journey) 

*remember to consider flights & travel insurance costs in your total budget

Always remember to use price comparison websites or Airbnb to find the best value for money and shortest journey to amenities and test venues. 

What happens if my visa application is refused?

You will receive a letter from the Home Office detailing the reasons for rejecting the application - don’t worry, you can apply again. If this happens to you, get in touch with your IMG Connect consultant who would be happy to help you re-apply.

Getting started

Don’t hesitate to get in touch here, or using the buttons above (and below) to discuss doctor job options in the NHS, including discussions regarding a typical doctor salary in the UK and the most suitable hospital locations for you.

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