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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-visitor-doctors-and-dentists-vat16/business-visitor-doctors-and-dentists-vat16
1. VAT16.1 Who qualifies?
Overseas doctors or dentists who wish to work in the UK may undertake periods of clinical attachments or dental observation posts in order to familiarise themselves with UK working practices. These clinical attachments and dental observation posts are unpaid and involve observation only and not treatment of patients.
Overseas doctors and dentists can apply for leave to enter to undertake clinical attachment or dental observation posts. However, doctors who are already in the UK on leave to take the PLAB test, or on leave as postgraduate doctors, dentists and trainee general practitioners, can undertake clinical attachments or dental observation posts under their existing leave. They will only have to apply separately under the specific rules on clinical attachments or dental observation posts where their period of existing leave (to take the PLAB Test or as a postgraduate doctor / dentist / trainee general practitioner) is due to expire before the end of the clinical attachment or dental observation post.
2. VAT16.2 Requirements
Although all the requirements of paragraph 75G must be met, the main points on which the ECO needs to be satisfied are that anyone seeking entry to the UK in this capacity:
- is a graduate from a bona fide medical or dental school; and
- can provide documentary evidence of a clinical attachment or dental observer post which: (a) Will involve observation only and not treatment of patients (b) Will be unpaid; and
- that they will be able to maintain and accommodate himself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds; and
- that they do not intend to take up employment during leave under this paragraph.
3. VAT16.3 Is entry clearance mandatory?
Entry Clearance is only mandatory for visa nationals
4. VAT16.4 Entry clearance endorsement
Entry clearance should be endorsed:
C: Clinical Attachment. LTE 6 weeks. Code 3 C: Dental Observer. LTE 6 weeks. Code 3.
Entry Clearance should be granted for 6 weeks leave at a time, up to a maximum of 6 months in total.
5. VAT16.5 What is the maximum stay in this category
Extensions of stay will normally be granted for six week periods up to a maximum stay of 6 months.
6. VAT16.6 Switching
Clinical attachments and dental observation posts help familiarise overseas doctors and dentists with UK medical or dental practice. They can be undertaken at any stage of the doctor or dentist’s career and so applicants can switch into this category from leave to take the PLAB Test or leave as a postgraduate doctor, dentist or trainee general practitioner.
Those in the UK on Clinical Attachment or Dental Observer post are not permitted to switch into any skilled employment route under the points-based system.
7. VAT16.7 Examples of refusal wordings
Wording for refusals: Section 1-5 (can be downloaded under ‘Related documents’ on the right of this page).
8. VAT16.8 Does this category attract full appeal rights?
No, only limited appeal rights.