PLAB Visa Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines and some general advice which might help you, before you apply for a visa.

1. Your Story:

What you write in your visa application might be slightly different from what you actually do in the UK. I’m not saying that you will break any laws in the UK. You must abide by all laws at all times. You must not lie or be dishonest in your visa application. But your story for your visa application can be slightly different from what actually happens.

For example, you will mention a short duration of stay in your visa application. However, if you get a 6-month multiple-entry visa, you are legally allowed to go to the UK as many times you like. But you must always return within the specified amount of time on your visa (which is always 6 months, from the date of issue of your visa).

Here is another example. In your visa application, you might mention that you would stay at a hotel in Manchester. However, you’re not bound by law to stay at the same hotel. At the UK border, you can inform the UKBA about your accommodation. And since you would not be breaking any laws, they would have no objection.

Here, we’ll mostly discuss what you’ll write in your application. What you actually do, can be different, as long as you abide by all the rules and regulations.


2. Be Honest:

You’re a genuine candidate, who wants to go to the UK to take your exam and you deserve to get your visa. It’s very important to be honest. Do not tell any lies in your visa application.


3. Provide Documentary Evidences:

You have to provide evidences and proofs for whatever you write in your application, including proofs of your job, your salary, your bank statement, ownership of any property, your relationship with your sponsor, your accommodation booking, your exam booking.

You also have to prove that you’ve legally earned the money that’s in your bank account. If you’ve been given money as a gift by your parents or by anyone else, you need a signed declaration form from them.


4. Attach a list of Documents:

It would be best to attach a list of all the documents that you’re sending along with your application.You can go through my list of documents that I attached in my third and successful visa attempt, to have an idea of what to attach.


5. Keep Your Story As Simple As Possible:

Tell your story very clearly and in simple words. It’s okay if your story is very lengthy, as long it’s well organized. Do not make things more confusing or complicated than they are. I’ll tell you how to keep your story simple and short.

Remember that I’m asking you to keep your story short, not the length of your cover letter. I’ll tell you what I mean.


6. Stay:

For example, do not write that you will go to London, from there you’ll go to another city to stay with your family/friend(s) and from there you’ll go to Manchester, to take your exam.

It would be best to just say that you’ll go to Manchester, stay at a hotel in Manchester, take your exam and come back the day after. That’s simple.

Go through my post Duration of Stay for PLAB 2 Visa to have a better idea of this.


7. Employment:

It is very important to be employed when you apply for a visa. Because:
i) It adds to your ties back home.
ii) It shows that you’re serious about your career.
iii) It adds to your financial stability.
iv) It doesn’t make a good impression if you’re jobless and you talk about taking an exam in the UK to work in the UK.


8. Finances:

The more money you have in your bank account, the better. If you don’t have enough money in your account, someone else can sponsor you. But you must show documentary evidence to prove that this money was earned legally. I’ve discussed finances in detail in my post Finances for PLAB 2 Visa.


9. How to Present Your Story:

Attach a cover letter. You can use your cover letter to explain your story. Your cover letter will make or break your case. The cover letter being absent from my first two visa attempts played a big role in my visa rejections, since I never explained my story.

I know someone who’s visa was rejected because the objection was, “if you can take PLAB 1 in your home country, why can’t you take PLAB 2 in your home country”. So explain every tiny bit of information, in detail and in a simple way, as if you’re explaining it to an 8 year-old.

Please go through my post How to Compose a Cover Letter to have a better idea of this.


10. Length of the Cover Letter:

There’s no restriction on this, as is evident from the response of the Entry Clearance Officer below. Explain every small bit of detail. Remember that you can never provide too much information. However, missing out on detail can lead to your visa being rejected.

For my third visa attempt, I was interviewed, by the Entry Clearance Officer, via Skype. At the end of my interview, I apologized for writing such a lengthy cover letter and for attaching so many documents, making my application very lengthy. This was the response of the Entry Clearance Officer interviewing me, “Oh! No! No! You have nothing to apologize for. It’s totally okay. It is my job to go through your cover letter and your application, no matter how lengthy it is. You don’t have to apologize at all. It is my job.”


11. Do Not Rush Things:

Do not rush things; specially after a visa rejection. I know people who got their visa in their second attempt, which was immediately after their first refusal. But these people are very rare. I know a lot more people who applied for a visa immediately and were rejected.

Even if it’s your first attempt, take your time, make your circumstances as smooth as they can be.

Look at it this way, when you’re 50 years old, it won’t matter if you waited an extra 6 or 12 months to start your career in the UK. But if you’re 50 years old and you’re still in your home country, because you didn’t wait a few extra months, it’s going to hurt you.


12. Good Planning:

Go through all the exam dates and check your academy’s schedule. Book an exam date only once you’re sure that all dates fit perfectly according to your schedule.


13. Early Reservations:

In this country, it helps if you’re a more organized person and if you make plans well ahead of time. If you make early reservations for your exam date, your course, your visa appointment, your airplane ticket, your accommodation, it’s going to help you a lot. Because everything costs a lot more at the eleventh hour.


14. Be Ready to Work Hard:

This visa is the last hurdle in your path to the UK. Passing your exam and getting a job is very easy. If you get your visa, it will change your life forever. Since this visa is so important to you, give it the attention and importance that it deserves.

A part of the reason for my two visa rejections was not taking my visa application as seriously as I should have. In my third attempt, I spent two months on writing my cover letter. Because I knew it would make or break my life. So I gave it the time that it deserved. I delayed my visa application by a month because I wanted to write a proper cover letter. And it was worth the wait.



You’re a genuine candidate who wants to go to the UK to take an exam. You deserve to get your visa. If you prepare your application properly, you should get your visa.


P.S. This post does not cover all the topics that you should be aware of. You must go through my post How to Compose a Cover Letter to have an even better understanding of how to apply for your visa.

71 thoughts on “PLAB Visa Guidelines”

  1. Your post is extremely useful for ppl who are just as clueless regarding PLAB as I am I took my steps and got married in London I would like to know one thing about the visa. If someone has got a spouse visa does that person have to take IELTS UKVI for PLAB 2. Or not? Will be grateful if you could guide me in this regard. Thanks.


    1. Thank you so much for reading the blog and for your kind comment! 🙂 Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to your question. 😦 You can write to GMC at and they will respond in 2-5 working days. Please also let me know when they respond. Thank you again! 🙂


  2. Hello dr Khan,I can’t thank you enough for your blog, it is really informative. Please concerning visa, I already have a uk visit visa which is still valid for a couples of years, can I use that to enter into the U.K. To write plab or do I need to apply for a specific visa for the plab exam?


  3. hey i want to ask about UKVI ielts requiremnt for plab 2 and visa.. i have taken simple academic by AEO in april 16… will it wrk for visa and plab 2…?


  4. Hi, thanks for all the effort you’ve put towards this blog! I’m sure it has been extremely useful for many people 🙂
    I’m planning to write the PLAB 1 exam on June and need to apply for the visa.
    1. Do I still need to provide a cover letter etc, if I am just going for 3-4 days?
    2. Also, what if I don’t have any proof of booking in a hotel/flights yet since it is so much in advance before I even recieved a visa? (Sorry, this is probably a dumb question but I’ve never applied for one before lol)
    3. They require a proof of PLAB 1 booking when I apply for the visa. Is it still likely they can reject the visa despite registering for the exam in UK, using the excuse of exam being available in my country?
    Thanks for your help


  5. Salam..
    I need to know ” Is it necessary to have govt. Job at home country or private job is also okay???”””


  6. Nasir bhai, what is the best visa to apply for plab1? Is it a regular tourist visa or the plab visa. and also if i apply for tourist visa do i have to mention that i will be giving the plab test as they may say then you should apply for plab visa. Thanks bhai.


      1. Why is that brother? Plan I had was to take Plab 1 in september and then do a plab 2 course while results i waiting. After that I will book plab 2 date so I can finish both in trip one.


      2. Thank you for kind and quick answers brother Naseer. I hope all sucess in world to you and that we meet sometime in UK as successful doctors. God bless you.


  7. Hi sir,I really appreciate for all the information you have given.
    I have one doubt,I am planning to take Plab 1 in November in the UK.
    I want to prepare in UK itself,can I get 4 to 5 months permission to stay in UK and take the exam?
    Please,clear this doubt


    1. Hi Gautam,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you for visiting the blog!

      You can apply for PLAB visa for PLAB 1. The visa is nearly always issued for 6 months. So you can spend 4 to 5 months in the U.K. for this.

      However, if PLAB 1 is held in your home country, specially in the month of November, it does not make much sense to go to the U.K. for PLAB 1’s preparation. All the study material is present online and you can easily study for it at home. And because of this reason, your chances of getting a visa will also be thin for PLAB 1 in November.


  8. Thanks for your great efforts.. I woukd like to know which flight website or app can offer a ticket without actual payment or at least free cancellation after the printing the ticket for the visa application.


  9. Won’t the refundabke ticket be useless in the application? I mean because i tried to book a ticket but the page will say that I did not oay yet, so how to concvince the embassy with a refundable ticket while the purpose is convincing them of your actual intention to return to home country??


    1. You’re right. The return ticket that is attached with the visa application is usually expired by the time the application reaches the ECO. However, attaching a return ticket is just to show your intention of coming back.


  10. Hi brother, earlier i remember you had put an example of the cover letter you wrote to the embassy but i cannot seem to find it anymore. Can you put it back up or send me a link to it. ty


  11. Thank you so much. I’ve a query that as i’m not doing job and have taken off for MRCP PACES exam.I saved money for this exam which i earned from my previous job. Also I’ve to return back after this exam because exam is my only priority so how to make my application strong to avoid visa rejection


  12. Greetings Dr. I would like first to thank you for your greet efforts. I want to ask you please about a couple of things:
    shall we mention under where will you stay (the address of Dr hamed accommodation,because i will pay it before application) and any hotel in Manchester at the1tz exam day? or what shall i mention?
    Also in the total cost they ask about during my stay, I will pay in advance for the accomodation, that will cut down the expenses in 1 month to only 300 GBP, is that ok, or I shall say an approximate of 850 GBP in order to avoid confusion with such little money to be s+pent?


  13. Hello. Brother your blog is awsome and you provide guidance in very easy and understandable way.
    My query is that my employer has declined my request for un-paid leaves and now only option left behind is resign with 3 months notice and visit UK for PLAB2. However, this way i will not be able to provide NOC from employer even if i can somehow manage to get employment certificate and salary certificate to work around without showing that I have already resigned from the job. How will this affect my application and journey?


    1. Hello, this is very unfortunate. Since you can not get NOC, the only way for you is to resign. But that would make you unemployed. If I were you, I would’ve done my best to request my employer, telling them that it was my life and career at stake. If they still refused, I would’ve quit and picked a new job; worked at the new job for 6 months and then applied for the visa.


      1. Thank you so much. And does it also imply thay there is no way i can apply for and get my visa without that NOC?
        For that request part, i have already done a lot of effort but unfortunately no positive outcome😩😩.


      2. There are examples of people getting their visas while being unemployed. But those are rare cases and need strong finances and strong ties to their home country.


      3. So it means I CAN apply for visa wothout NOC. only that outcome will be unsure😩😩😩


  14. Thank you Dr. Naseer once again.
    Pls my question is regarding explanation of bank statements. Is it necessary to explain every large transaction that is seen in ones statement? For instance someone paid 1250 GBP into my account in Mid February, which I transferred immediately to another person’s account as per d recipient’s​ s instructions​, and now I am about to apply for my VISA. Do I need to explain that transaction, who it is from and why etc in my cover letter since the money is no longer in my account and it’s not part of the funds i am declaring now as my bank balance for my application?


    1. Yes, you need to explain where, why, how and from whom that money came from. You also need to explain where, why, how and why did it go away from your account. The Entry Clearance Officer wants to know this to be sure that you are not involved in any wrongdoing or any illegal activities.


  15. Hi Dr Naseer.. I am currently residing in Europe. Planning to take plab 1 in September in UK… How long will it take to get plab visa??


    1. It takes 2 to 4 weeks to get a visa for PLAB from Pakistan. I am not sure about your country of residence. It would be ideal to post this question on Facebook to take guidance from others who know more. Good luck! 🙂


  16. hi sir…i want to know about plab regarding—
    IMG student ko kitna job milta he ….kitna salary…how many years to become consultant….details about residency or post graduation course …is it possible to do post graduation after plab…. …passing rate…practice in australia after plab…abt medicos life style …workload…problems faced by IMG …
    google kiye to ..koi bolta he plab 2 me pass nhe karate he ….koi bolte he salary kom he ..aur koi bolte he consultant banne me 8 years lagate he …koi bolte he 14 hr duty korna parta he aur koi bolte he life style accha nhe he aur koi bolte 2 years lagta he job milne mei… become consultant der we dont need to do post graduation…


  17. ‘New immigration rules state that non-European doctors will not be given training even at junior levels. PLAB is just an assessment whether a doctor from another continent is capable to work as a physician in their location.’—–IS IT TRUE?????


  18. Hi, can you just give me an overall idea how much time needed to complete visa process if we submit all correctly? Well it be few days, weeks or months?


  19. Salam dr Naseer, your blog has been really informative. I have recently given my step 2ck exam and I want to give plab 1 this year. Also I ll be travelling to the US for my step 2cs. My question is can I apply for plab 2 visa while staying in the US on a visitor visa. Are my chances good or should i come back to my home country and apply for the visa? And do I need to work somewhere in my home country while applying for a plab 2 visa or can I apply without it? And what are the chances for foreign graduates to get into a training program. I’ll grateful to you if you please clear my queries. Thanks 🙂


    1. Walekum Salam!

      I’m not sure about applying for a UK visa from the USA. If you really wish to take the route, it would be better to post on Facebook to check with others if they’ve tried the same.

      It’s best to be employed when you apply for the visa as it gives you a reason to come back home.

      Training is very easily found in non-surgical specialties (with a few exceptions).

      Good luck! 🙂


  20. What if you studied abroad and did internship there and after that you found another job like teaching English or waiter to save money for plab? It means all this time you were not doing anything medically related. Will that cause a problem at the visa?
    Or what if you were at home and doing some volunteer work at the hospital sometimes? While waiting to write plab


    1. GMC issues a complete refund of your exam fee in cases of visa refusal.

      Send an email to GMC, along with a copy of your visa refusal letter. The GMC will ask you to log in to GMC Online and cancel your exam. Cancel your exam only after instructions from the GMC. Upon cancellation, 50% of the fee will be refunded immediately. The other 50% will be refunded in a week or two. They money goes back to the same account or the credit card.


  21. Hi Dr. Naseer thank you so much for the informative blog..I have following query
    If I’m visiting UK with my family for leisure can I apply for plab exam? Also do I have to mention in the application that I’m planning to give Plab exam or avoid mentioning it.
    Your advice would be really appreciated
    Thank you


  22. Hello Again Dr Khan :
    I’m waiting for my PLAB 1 results and I wat to be ready for PLAB 2 Visa. I have read all of your helpful posts and I have a Question : I opened a bank accout 3 months ago and my father deposit his money in my account as a gift. Is there any problems in doing that ? I will provide a declaration form but do I need to provide how my father got this money ?
    Also I have 2900 GBP in my account Is this enough ?


  23. Hi naseer,
    I am from Pakistan, I completed my internship this May after which I gave IELTS, fcps and plab 1 and currently I am not enrolled in any job. I wish to apply for the u.k visa in January next year, is it too late for me to get a job now ? Should I apply without job or should I delay my Visa application? I do have a sponsor.


  24. Hello Doctor,
    Thank you for your guidance. It’s really of great help to many who knew nothing much about the process in the plab journey.
    I’m from India working in a government hospital and I’m leave since a month due to personal reasons. I’m planning to give my plab 1 in March and then later book my visa for plab 2 after the results.. so is it a wide advice to join back now as I may not get leave again when I need it for writing my plab 2. So will it be a good option to join back now and leave my job completely just before starting my visa proceedings or to leave my job now itself as I have a doubt that if I continue doing my job until just before going for visa and leave it then, will it be a problem for my visa as they might get a doubt that as I have left my job and I may not return back? I don’t have any idea about these process so I got this doubt.. kindly enlighten me. Thanks in advance.


  25. What happens if your plab 2 visa is rejected and you have already paid for your exam?Can u ask the gmc for a refund or rescheduling for another date?


  26. Can a plab2 visa entitle to stay well beyond your exams enough for you to do an Id check before returning home .I d like to save on flights and possibly get a job offer before returning home


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