How to Convince the ECO

The Entry Clearance Officer (or the ECO) is the person who is responsible for checking if you qualify for entry to the UK. This article will discuss how you can convince the ECO that you deserve to get your visa.


What The ECO Will Look For

It is very important to understand on what basis the ECO will make a decision regarding your visa clearance.

A) That you're a genuine candidate

The ECO wants to know if you’re a genuine candidate for PLAB 2 examination or if you have other motives for coming to the UK.

How to convince the ECO?

1. Career Outlook
Mention details of your career journey to show how much time, effort and money you’ve invested on your career. Be very generous with this information. Do not hold back any piece of information that might show your dedication towards your career. Show that PLAB is just a part of your journey in becoming a better doctor.

2. PLAB 1 Result
Attach your PLAB 1 result to show that you’ve already taken part 1 of the exam.

3. PLAB 2 Booking
Mention the fact that GMC is expecting to see you on your exam date, which is a proof enough that you’re a genuine candidate. Also mention that if your ECO wants, he can call the GMC to confirm this piece of information.

4. GMC Reference Number
It doesn’t hurt to attach your GMC Reference Number documentation, just to show that you’re a genuine candidate.

B) That you have sufficient funds

The ECO wants to know if you can finance your trip, without asking for any financial help from the UK Government.

How to convince the ECO?

Show sufficient funds in the bank account. Show documentary evidence to prove that this money was earned legally. I’ve discussed Finances in detail here.

C) That you will return within the specified frame of time

The ECO wants to make sure that you will leave the UK at the end of your trip.

How to convince the ECO?

1. Employment
Mention the fact that you work and you’re traveling to the UK on a leave of absence from work. If you have a training job, you can write how difficult it is to get a training post; how hundreds of candidates apply for it and only a few are selected. So it is very important and you wouldn’t give up on it.

2. Family Ties
Mention all your family that you’re leaving behind. Mention your bonds with them. It’s okay if you’re not married and you don’t have kids. Mention how special your bond is with your parents and siblings. If you’re married or have kids, that’ll improve your chances of getting a visa.

3. Exam Booking
If possible, make a post-graduation exam booking in your home country; this would also show a motive to leave the UK after your PLAB exam.

4. Savings, Properties, Other Income
If you have any of the above, you can mention them, along with proof of ownership to show your ties to your home country.

20 thoughts on “How to Convince the ECO

  1. Hello Dr. Nasser, thanks a lot for your very positive and down to earth comments. They are very informative and helpful. However, I have a question concerning documentary evidence of having earned money in my account. I am a member of a staff multipurpose cooperative in my place of employment. It’s a financial scheme wherein members contribute any amount they wish monthly (this money is deducted from source from the Federal government headquarters from where the salaries are paid) to their personal savings within the society so that they can access their savings or any type of loan(based on how much they have saved up) to accomplish any financial project of their choice at any given time. The evidence of this monthly deductions from source also appears on my monthly payslips and my contribution is 16% of my salary. This body will be paying a lump sum equivalent to about 3750 pounds in about 5 or 6 weeks before I apply to my account which i will be explaining to the ECO as part of my savings ( but the money is actually a loan I am eligible for because I have saved up with them 50% of this amount and I will only have access to this my savings after I have completed the loan repayment) . Now my question is apart from the evidence of this contributions in my monthly payslips, do I still need to furnish another documentary evidence of the source of this funds? Or Shud I just play safe by asking them to pay a lesser sum that will not alert much suspicion to my acct and then save more from my salary coupled with reducing my monthly contributions to the body to less than 16% in the preceding three months before I apply? Many thanks in advance

    1. 1. Loans do not add to our financial worth, as far as visa applications for PLAB are concerned.

      2. If you have money in your bank account, that counts.

      3. If you do go ahead with the plan you mentioned, you will have to provide details on this scheme, on an official letterhead. The amount being deducted from your pay every month is not a proof. Unless your pay cheque mentions the details of where this money is going and explains it.

  2. hello. my problem is, I do not have much in my account. I have a sponsor and I have documentary evidence of support. Do I really need to submit my own statement of account?

  3. salam.
    You have done great work sir!

    I wanted to know once the interview is done, how long does it usually take for the visa to be approved / denied?

    thanks in advance.

  4. Hello dr nasser
    Regarding finances
    I have about 3000 £ on my bank account more than 6 months but the problem is i cannt prove their source since they are a gift from my mother as he sold an asset he had, she had no job no bank account no pay slips, will the ECO get convinced or not ? Will i have to change my startegy and apply when i have a job ? Will it differ or i will also have to explain the source of the starting balance ?

    1. It’ll be difficult to convince the ECO without any source of income for the money you have. And yes, you’ll always have to explain the source of the starting balance.

  5. Thanks for the useful information sir..
    Sir I have a doubt? You have asked us to convince the ECO that we have job and strong bonds her in our place.. What if we clear plab2 and apply for a job and get the job then they won’t ask us to leave UK as we have mentioned all the above during visa approval??
    Pls clarify.. Thanks.. Regards..!!!

    1. They will. You will leave the UK and apply for work visa from outside the UK.

  6. Hello Dr Naseer,
    I have a question regarding applying for PLAB visa,, when you mentioned in your blog about explaining a couple of things e.g explain to the ECO about your employment, explaining funds , explaining why father is sponsoring you,…etc , do we write these in the cover letter or where exactly.

  7. Hi Dr Naseer,

    I gave someone a substantial loan which will show on my bank statement. Would it affect my application in any way?
    Would it be ok for the loan to be refunded using the same account?
    Thanks in anticipation of your prompt response.

  8. good evening dr khan , i just want to know about married couples willing to do plab 2 together
    which is better to be married or single ?

    1. Being married or single does not matter. Studying and practicing hard is what helps people in passing PLAB 2.

      Whether you can do this while being married or not depends entirely on you.

      All the best! 🙂

  9. Hi Dr. Khan , I am married and I have one kid , can I bring them with myself to live in UK on Tier 2 dependent visa if yes is she required to do IELTS or any prerequest please ?
    Thanks in dvance

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