Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists

Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists

Entry clearance is mandatory in this category

To qualify for entry clearance in the Postgraduate Doctor and Dentist category, the applicant must:

  • Have successfully completed and obtained a recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry from either:
    • A UK publicly funded institution of further or higher education; or
    • A UK bona fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance; and
  • Have previously been granted at least two years of leave as a student to complete their medical or dental degree. This must consist of:
    • Leave for the final academic year of their studies as: a student nurse; to re-sit examinations; or to write up a thesis; and
    • Leave as a student (but not as a student nurse, not to re-sit examinations and not to write up a thesis) for at least one other year of their studies. This other year must not include their final academic year; and
  • Hold a letter from the Postgraduate Dean confirming they have been offered a full-time place on a recognised Foundation Programme; and
  • Intend to train full time in their post on a Foundation Programme; and
  • Be able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds; and
  • Intend to leave the United Kingdom unless, after their Foundation Programme is complete, they intend to switch into one of the following categories:
    • A doctor or dentist undertaking a period of clinical attachment or a dental observer post; or
    • A work permit holder; or
    • A highly skilled migrant; or
    • A person intending to establish themselves in business; or
    • An innovator


  • If their study at medical school or dental school, or any subsequent studies they have undertaken, were sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency, they have the written consent of their sponsor to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as a postgraduate doctor or dentist; and
  • If they have not previously been granted leave in this category, have completed their medical or dental degree in the 12 months preceding their application for entry clearance as a postgraduate doctor or dentist; and
  • If they have previously been granted leave as a postgraduate doctor or dentist, are not seeking leave to enter to a date beyond 3 years from that date on which he was first granted leave to enter or remain in this category.

The Postgraduate Doctors and Dentist category is not suitable for those who want to come to the UK to study at medical or dental schools. Such applications are considered under the student Rules.

The fact that doctors and dentists who wish to take Foundation Programmes in the UK are normally paid salaries does not bar them from qualification for entry under this section of the Rules.


The applicant should submit a genuine degree certificate confirming that they have been awarded the relevant qualifications, and also the contact details of their personal tutor so that their academic record can be verified if required. The qualification must have been awarded by a UK educational institution. Degrees awarded by overseas institutions, even those with a campus in the UK, do not meet the requirements of this category of the Rules.

A ‘recognised UK degree in medicine or dentistry’ is one that has been awarded by an institution that is recognised by the UK authorities. These institutions fall into two categories: Recognised Bodies and Listed Bodies. ECOs should check the DIUS website to confirm that the institution that awarded the qualification is either a recognised body or a listed body.

ECOs should check that the institution, which issued the degree qualification, is either a recognised or listed body. This can be done by checking the following websites:

The Department for Innovation Universities and Skills recognised UK Degrees:

Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills – Recognised UK Degrees

Recognised UK Degrees and Awards are also available on the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills websites:

Recognised Institutions or Bodies