This document is the guide for those who may, unfortunately, be issued a short duration visa that does not cover their exam date or is for less than 6 months. We will discuss the two scenarios separately.
1. Visa Not Covering the Exam Date
A) When such is the case that your visa is ending before your exam date, it is usually a mistake by the clerks in stamping the visa. You just have to follow the following steps.
Contact the UKVI using their website contact form.
B) Write a comprehensive message on this contact form about the problem and mention your application number and passport number. Do not worry about the details as that will come later. The better you make them understand your problem in the first instance the more time you save.
C) Expect a reply in 3 to 4 working days. The first email will be asking certain information about your application and the next will usually be a reference number and request to resubmit your passport to the Visa Application Center (VAC).
D) At this point, I suggest writing a short cover letter detailing your problem. I have attached a sample here.
E) You must reach visa application centre as soon as possible to resubmit your passport. You will also need a copy of the email that the UKVI sent to you and the cover letter you write.
F) Sit back and relax for 3 to 4 days until you get a call to collect your passport. Most of the times it is a happy news.
The date of issue mostly remains unchanged and only the validity is extended.
• The process takes at least 8 to 10 days so please do not worry.
• It is a completely resolvable problem, no need to worry at all. Applying for a new visa or getting it corrected once you are in the UK is a very bad idea when you can
change the mistake so easily.
• There is no way to anticipate or avoid this mistake, the maximum you can do is to plan your visa application such that you have time margin to accommodate these mishaps just in case.
• Once you submit your query on the form, I suggest waiting for 3 days and then sending them a reminder through the same portal.
2. Visa Covering the Exam Date but Visa Being for Less than 6 Months
This is a difficult situation but most of the times people who have requested a correction but most of the times people who have requested a correction have been granted a 6-month visa. It is the ECO’s decision to determine the validity of visa but mostly it is either 3 months or 6 months multi-entry visa. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, please do request a review of your stamp, you would either get it extended or the situation will remain the same so no harm would be done.
Follow the same steps as above but just edit the cover letter. Depending on your
circumstances in the original application, you may mention one of the following reasons
1. You may need to re-sit the exam if, unfortunately, things do not go well. In that case, you would like to retake the exam as soon as possible and save time reapplying visa.
2. If you are successful you would need to register with the GMC within 3 months
and again saving money and time you would prefer to do it on the same visa.
3. You would spend a lot of money travelling and taking the exam so you would like to
wait for the results while in the UK, whatever the outcome be.
4. PLAB Visa is by default a six-month multi-visit one.
Make sure that you do not contradict anything that you stated in your original application or cover letter. Please also make sure to ascertain that you do not plan to overstay the visit or find work during this visa and your visit is solely exam related.
Again, I do not recommend extension of PLAB visa from within the UK in case this
problem is unsolved. It is much better to re-apply. Extension on any visit visa in any country is a spoiler for your visa history.
I would appreciate if all of you, who face this problem and have anything to add, experience differently or share with us their outcome. This will encourage and help our colleagues who have to be in this unnerving situation.
I myself had the similar scenario and my exam date was not covered in my visa. The problem was solved in 9 days.
All the best!
Dr. Reema Rasul.