Medical Training Initiative FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the processes involved in applications to the MTI scheme.

14 November 2023

The key thing to remember is that the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) can only sponsor doctors for a temporary worker visa/ MTI visa (previously known as a Tier 5 temporary worker visa) and are not involved with any applications for Tier 2 or health and Care worker visas.


Some Colleges do utilise different visa types as part of their overall package of support for training international medical graduates, however, you should discuss this directly with the College you are working with as your medical staffing team will be required to arrange health and care worker visa certificates of sponsorship in house.

  • Hospitals can contact the MTI team at the Academy for this information at

  • Yes, the paperwork required is the same for all MTI doctors sponsored by the AoMRC regardless of their Royal College or General Medical Council (GMC) sponsoring organisation.

  • No. The Academy only works with doctors who are on a temporary worker (T5) visa. However, they would ask that you actively discourage them from moving to a Tier 2 visa as this undermines the philanthropic nature of the scheme.

  • See above answer.

  • GMC registration is required before the Academy processes the certificate of sponsorship (CoS). The timeframe of doctors receiving GMC registration depends on the GMC sponsor’s process which varies depending on the organisation.

    The time between doctors receiving their CoS to UKVI Right to Work (RTW) clearance depends on when they are due to reach the UK.

    The Academy assigns the CoS within five working days and the doctor can use this to apply for their visa right away. Once the doctor has applied for their visa, they can use their UK Visas and Immigration account to apply for a RTW share code. When the doctor reaches the UK, their employer can use the share code to carry out a RTW check. The Home Office employer checking service usually takes up to five days. 

  • There is nothing the Academy can do to stop this, but they would ask that you actively discourage them from staying as this undermines the philanthropic earn-learn-and-return nature of the scheme.

  • The intention of the MTI scheme is to benefit the healthcare system of the doctor’s home country by providing education and training while the doctor is in the UK that they can take back to their own country, after a maximum of two years. This allows for ethical recruitment of overseas doctors. Employing directly on a Tier 2 visa reduces the healthcare workforce in the home country and we would actively discourage this.

  • Each medical Royal College has members of a different medical specialty. The Academy is the membership body for all the medical Royal Colleges.

  • No, UKVI sets the minimum income threshold for the Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange route at UK National Minimum Wage (NMW). However, it is recommended that an MTI doctor’s total salary should be no less than the minimum point of the pay scale of the grade which most closely matches the level of responsibility carried by the post to which they are appointed (including any enhancements for on call availability, out of hours work). Employers should provide a salary top up for overseas-funded posts that are below the UK NMW.

  • The Academy accepts applications all year round. MTI can cover virtually any medical post if it’s designed to deliver training and education that will benefit the overseas-based appointee (and not disadvantage UK trainees), and where they intend to return to their home country at the end of the two years. GMC registration is usually achieved through professional sponsorship by the Royal College relevant to their specialty.

  • Full FAQ:

    If the doctor is getting payment from their home country and is on a Tier 5 visa, do they have to meet a salary threshold? That is, does the trust have to top us this salary? On a skilled worker visa there are salary thresholds that have to be met, is it the same for Tier 5? 

    Please see the response in the previous question regarding the minimum income threshold.

  • You don’t need to submit any report unless the industrial action takes the doctor beyond the four weeks unpaid leave permitted in any one-year period. If this is exceeded, you must submit an exception report.

    • A candidate who has sat and passed part 1 of PLAB over five years ago would be considered for MTI.
    • A candidate who has sat and passed part 1 of PLAB between four and three years ago would be considered, providing they provide a satisfactory reason for the change in route to GMC registration.
    • A candidate who has sat and passed part 1 of PLAB within the last three years would not be accepted for MTI.
    • A candidate must not have previously failed any part of the PLAB Test.
  • The Academy only works with doctors who are on a Temporary Worker (T5) visa. They have no role in any Tier 2 visa applications.

  • This is a legal requirement of the UKVI.

  • The deanery approves the post and not the individual doctor.  You can apply for deanery approval in advance of appointing the doctor and it is valid for six months.  If no appointment is made within that six-month period, then you will have to reapply for deanery approval as the local situation may have changed.  The dean is approving the post and confirming that it does not disadvantage UK trainees, and that it contains sufficient education and training content and is not simply a service post.

  • There is nothing we can do to stop this following the government’s change of the rules during COVID, but we would ask that you actively discourage doctors from staying in the UK as this undermines the philanthropic earn-learn-and-return nature of the scheme.

If you have any questions on any subject related to MTI, please don’t hesitate to contact the Academy