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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am seeking iinformation for a TIBETAN REFUGEE living in a

Resolved Question:

I am seeking iinformation for a TIBETAN REFUGEE living in a settlement in NEPAL who has rcently completed his undergraduate studies as a medical doctor. he cannot progress to studying at Post GRADUATE fOUNDATION LEVEL that will lead to registration and license to practice.

He wants to come to the UK for these studies.
He has a willing financial sponsor in the UK

he has all the necessary papers BUT is not entitled to apply for a Passport.
What are the best steps for this bright young medic?

Dr Barbara C. Holl PhD, MSc LLB C.Eng
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
Hi Barbara,

Does he have a travel document?

What form of id does he have

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Gyurme Dorji has the necessary papers to allow him to travel and an id card. They are the normal papers that Nepal issues for refugees whose parents are also refugees.

He has an uncle whose partner is a german doctor and he has been able to travel to Germany.. There appears to be no restriction on travelling overland to India.


However the medical councils will not register anyone who has refugee status to practice medicine as a licensed practitioner.


hence the question in the UK

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



You state "...medical councils will not register anyone who has refugee status to practice medicine as a licensed practitioner".

Are you referring to the governing body for medicine in Nepal?


Are you confident there no such restriction on refugees in the UK?


Sorry for the info requests, it's not a common situation.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The information in Nepal is that a Tibetan refugee cannot proceed from undergraduate status unless he has been accepted by the GMC regsiter for further supoervisded training. Most undergarduate proceed to India but again there are severe restrictions unless you have a lot of money. Hence the question as to what is the policy on immigration in the UK IF the person has found a placement. IF he could get through immigration then he could register with the GMC and then try to get a placement on a two year junior doctor's foundation course.

He would be looking for an assisted place and some financial support from a charity but needs to get through the chicken and egg situation. Immigration as a trainee who may or may not be paid as a juniro doctor and a placement authorised by the GMC Education and Training division. Difficult I know and so does Gyurme Dorji who has been trying and continuing to study but must leave NEPAL to succeed.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
Sorry just to be clear, would he first be studying a pg course of some description at a medical college?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

With a first degree under MBBS Bachelor of \Medical and Surgery, you cannot practice unsuopervised until you have completed what is known as the Post GRADUATE FOUNDATION cOURSE. This is usually a juniro doctors' position where they receive supervised training in a hospital or medical centre that has been accredited by the GMC Education and Training Council. There are regular professional assessments but in reality the training is hands-on under a consultant or senior registrar.


No doctor is allowed to practice as a licensed medic until they have completed this training and training in Nepal is not good enough to provide full registration. I have copies of Gyurme Dorji's degree and one year supervised surgical training that is mandatory for the MBBS.


The chicken and egg syndrome applies here. To get a position for training and registration that you are taking a post as a junior doctor you need a job offer BUT still the UK Immigration may refuse entry. hence the question. CAN HE APPLY for a position and then WILL HE BE ALLOWED TO ENTER for the two year training as above.?

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


This is quite complicated and I'm going to have to do some research on it. It may take me some time to answer.

If you would prefer, I can opt out so that the question is free for other experts to answer?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you Tom

I am willing to let you continue as I know its a tricky question.

The changes to Border Controls is now very complex.

I think you have the picture now.

It comes down to "can a Tibetan Refugee with papers to travel outside Nepal/India work in the UK under the professional supervision of the medical council?" and then the next question is "can a refugee with this status register as a licensed practitioner and continue to work in Nepal and India or elsewhere in the west"


I dont think the answer is very simple.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX you later ( maybe days)

Dr Barbara Holl

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Are you aware of the PLAB test and how it relates to his postiion?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

YES I am aware of the competence test for medics qualified overseas.

I think Gyurme is doing work on this using the online system.

He knows that he will be required to prove his competence in English medical terms and assessment. I dont think this would be a problem but now he has to apply for the test in the UK using a BUSINESS VISITOR visa application.


As a visitor maybe he can apply for a personal interview with the GMC.

Thery as yet have no responded to my request for clarification.

The UK Immigration have also not responded during the past week.

Hence me taking this route.


The route in Nepal and India are closed to him and I have received confirmation to that effect.


Thanks again


Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.





It's the PLAB test I think he needs to take and pass. I gather it's not easy, nor cheap to take however.


If he takes this test then my understanding is that he would then be a doctor qualified to practice in the UK (subject to having leave to remain for this purpose obviously).


Tier 1 out of country application are closed obviousy, so he would have to apply as a Tier 2 Skilled Sponsored worker. In order to do this we would need to do a job on the shortage occupation list:-


See the section on medical practitioners and those areas listed under Non-Consultant, Non-training, medical staff posts. He would require a job offer from an employer licensed to sponsor Tier 2 migrant and would also need to meet the points-based systems requirements in terms of points for elibility:-


He should be able to apply with his travel document.


The difficulty is that the UKBA will be on an adversarial footing from the time of application because they will take the view that as he is a refugee when and if his visa is to expire and he does not/can't apply for an extension he will be a risk of an overstay.

In view of the complications it really would best to instruct a solicitor to prepare his application for him if he can find a licensed sponsor willing to offer him a job.

Kind regards,




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