A relocation guide for doctors moving to the UK


Preparing to relocate to the UK

Once you have secured your ideal position in the UK, agreed a start date and have completed the visa process, you will be ready to begin the final stage of the process – Relocation! We’ve written a relocation guide for doctors to help prepare you for your move.

We’ve broken our relocation guide for doctors into two parts:

Part 1: Before you arrive in the UK

  • Booking temporary accommodation
  • Finding places of worship
  • Checking schools in your area
  • Arranging medical defence cover

Part 2: Once you have arrived in the UK

  • Finding long term accommodation
  • Setting up a UK bank account
  • Sorting a mobile phone
  • Applying for a national insurance number
  • Getting a UK driving license
  • Organising Childcare
  • Collecting your Biometric Visa Permit

Before you have arrived in the UK

There are parts of the relocation process which you can organise before you arrive in the UK. We’ve listed some of the things that you are able to arrange prior to your arrival, such as:

Booking Temporary Accommodation

The first thing you’ll need to do when you arrive to the UK is check into your accommodation. Initially, this is likely to be temporary accommodation.

Depending on who you are travelling to the UK with, we suggest looking into the following options. Of course, we’ll help you with this as well!

  • Booking hospital accommodation
  • Staying in an Airbnb
  • Arranging a Hotel 

For more information on the different types of temporary accommodation available, please click here to read our blog.

Finding Places of Worship

This is something which you will be able to check online quite easily however, if you are having any issues locating places of worship near to your hospital or where you will be living, please contact our team who will be able to assist you in your search.

Checking Schools in your area

We appreciate that if you are relocating to the UK with your children, arranging where they will be going to school will be important for you.

Free schooling in state schools is available to children living in the UK. You can find out which schools are nearby to your new location prior to your arrival.

If you would like more information on how to find and apply for schools, then you can read our guide by clicking here.

Arranging Medical Defence Cover 

As an international doctor relocating to the UK, it’s important to consider your level of insurance to cover your medical practice.

The GMC require all doctors in the UK have adequate and appropriate insurance from the moment that they start practising. If you would like more information on :

  • What is Medical Defence and who should have it?
  • NHS medical Indemnity
  • Types of Medical Defence 
  • Medical Defence providers 

 then you can read our blog by clicking here.

Once you have arrived in the UK

The second part of our relocation guide for doctors details things that you will need to consider and organise once you have arrived to the UK. These include:

Finding Long Term Accommodation

Once you have arrived in the UK, you will be able to view properties nearby to your hospital and sign the paperwork which is essential for any rental property agreement.

To read more on finding and securing long term accommodation in the UK, then click here to read our blog.

Setting up a UK Bank Account 

Setting up a UK bank account is essential once you have relocated to the UK. You’ll need this for a variety of reasons but most importantly, for your employer to pay your salary into!

To read more on how to set up a bank account, which banks to use and what to consider when you are setting up a bank account, then click here to read our blog.

Sorting a Mobile Phone

Mobile phones are an essential day to day item for most people nowadays and when you arrive to the UK, you may need to get a new one. We’ve therefore written a guide for you covering:

  • Popular mobile phone companies in the UK
  • How to apply for a Mobile or SIM only contract
  • What to consider when choosing a phone network

It’s important to note that not all mobile phones from abroad are compatible with UK mobile phone service providers, so this is something that you may also want to check before arriving into the UK.

To read our full blog on arranging a mobile phone in the UK, click here.

Applying for a National Insurance Number

National Insurance number are unique to each individual. They are made up of 2 letters, 6 numbers & a final letter and are used by the UK government to:

  • track how much tax you have paid
  • check your tax allowances
  • find out how much state pension you may be owed

You may have an NI number automatically allocated on your biometric residence card however, if not, then you will need to apply for one. 

For more information on:

  • What is National Insurance?
  • How do I apply for a National Insurance number?
  • What if I lose or forget my NI number?

then please click here to read our blog.

Getting a UK Driving License 

If you hold a foreign driver’s license, you’ll be able to drive immediately when you are in the UK, although you must be insured on the vehicle that you are driving.

There are however time limitations on how long you can use your licence for. To find out more about UK drivers licences and tests, including:

  • How long can I Use my foreign licence for?
  • What is the process to get UK driving license?
  • How do I exchange my driving license from the EU?

then please click here to read our blog.

Organising Childcare

For many overseas doctors relocating to the UK with their families, finding trusted and affordable childcare whilst they are working is of huge importance. It can also be a daunting and time-consuming task, particularly when you’ve moved into a new environment. 

To help you organise childcare in the UK, we’ve written a blog covering:

  • How to find childcare?
  • Checking Childcare providers
  • How much does childcare cost in the UK?
  • Are there any Government schemes to help me?

You can click here to read this.

Registering with your Local Police Station

Registering with your local police station is quite an easy process, although not essential for everybody. You can determine whether you need to register with a police station by checking whether you have a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport.

  • If you do have a visa vignette in your passport, then you are unlikely to need to register with a local police station 
  • If you do not have the visa vignette in your passport, there will be instruction for you to register with your local police station

Collecting your Biometric Visa Permit

Anyone who has applied to come to the UK for longer than 6 months will automatically be issued a Biometric Residence Permit. The BRP card will include your personal identification details and immigration status. 

You will need to collect your BRP once you’re in the UK and must usually do this before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires, or within 10 days of arriving in the UK (whichever is later).

To read more about BRP cards, please click here.

In addition to our relocation guide for doctors, you can download our relocation checklists. Simply contact our team for one to be sent to you.

If you are interested in working in the UK, want to discuss available job opportunities or may have already begun your journey and need further advice, please contact our team today.