(MTI) International Training Fellowship


What is the MTI scheme

  • A 2 year non extendable visa is offered for overseas doctors who wish to undertake a period of training in the UK The advantages of the MTI scheme includes
    • No adverts The Resident Labour Market Test does not apply and local advertising is not necessary
    • Cost saving Tier 5 Visa costs for the candidate and Trust are £500 compared to £3400 for tier 2 visa.
    • There is no cap on numbers of visas issued by UKBA
    • In control We ( MFT) offers sponsorship for GMC registration and certificate of sponsorship and in control of when we get visa issued
    • Right candidates will come at the level of CMT 2 early in their training career to ensure we have a good experienced work force.
    • Pick the right candidate for extension to a Tier 2 visa.
    • Candidate stays with the trust and does not move for the period of the visa (24 months)

The ITF scheme has been known by several names. (Overseas doctors Training scheme, double sponsorship, MTI Scheme) This is a scheme that allows doctors from abroad to come to the UK for targeted training to return to their country after their period of training. This can only be for a maximum of 2 years and cannot be extended. This is very useful for candidates who have done a specialty and want to come abroad for 2 years.

The National Health Service has prided itself in training doctors all over the world. This involves doctors from various parts of the world coming for a specified period to the UK and then returning back to country of origin.

In order to train as a doctor in the UK, the candidate needs to be registered by the General Medical Council. The GMC recognizes that the PLAB examination (set at foundation year 2 level) may not be appropriate for doctors who have progressed down the route of specialist training. The GMC has approved certain institutions (example Royal College of Physicians) to vet such candidates and provide assurance that they can practice as medical practitioners in the UK. This process avoids the need to do any examinations and provides a 2 year (Tier 5) visa to work in the UK..

What does it involve?

The royal college gives assurance that the candidate is of a sufficient standard to be registered as a medical practitioner in the UK. This exempts them from the PLAB examination. They will have to do the IELTS examination and get the same grades required for all other doctors (Average of 7.5 with an individual score no less than 7.0- Academic version UKVI).

The trust will have to write a job description which has to be approved by the Royal college for the training element of the placement. This needs to include person specification and a timetable.
The trust does not need to issue sponsorship letter or apply for the visa. The appointment does not have to satisfy the Resident Labour market test.

Trust will require to show the following
1. The addition of this candidate will not compromise existing deanery candidates (ie vacant post)
2. An appropriate authority needs to certify funding for 2 years. (approximately £80,000 per year)
3. A letter from the Training program director to certify point (1) above
4. Letter from director of medical education confirming educational value for the post.
5. Letter from the regional Royal college tutor confirming that this person will have adequate supervision clinical and educations.

What does the Trust have to do?

The trust requires to do quite a bit of groundwork to set up an International Training Fellowship. These are training posts and will need all the training opportunities of deanery trainees or allow the trainee to achieve their training goals. At the same time it must not compromise the training of deanery trainees. A job description needs to be made which has to be approved by various authorities


This is a valuable option for the candidate to obtain a taste of UK experience as well as you being able to assess the candidate. This is for a variable period from 2 – 4 weeks. As these candidates are travelling from abroad, any help with accommodation will be helpful.
It helps the candidate if the attachment can be just before start. You can time an interview at the same time.
During the attachment the candidate will be attached to a supervising consultant and will observe procedures, history taking and doctor patient interaction. This is a useful opportunity for the candidate to get a taste of the NHS while not under pressure to complete tasks and will serve as a useful start to post graduate training.
We appreciate that medical staffing will take 4 – 6 weeks to process applications and applications will be made in plenty of time


Capital costs

  1. Promoting the MFT brand overseas and building up links with overseas colleges      Cost £7000

Consultants to meet up with deans/ principals of 6 overseas colleges  and lay out the opportunities and mutual benefits

5 overseas trips  to set up links – This has to be done during holidays (annual leave ) rather than professional leave. Those with links to overseas medical colleges should be allowed to build these links


  1. Website and online application –                                                                                          Cost £3000 

Developing and maintaining an online portal with information, application and information


Recurrent costs

  1. Administration                                                                                                                        Cost £4000

One Band 4 person 0.25 WTE to deal with progressing application, maintain documentation and a single point of contact


  1. Website management and upgrade                                                                                     Cost £1000

The website has to be updated annually to ensure security issues web hosting and management


  1. Maintaining overseas links                                                                                                        Cost £1000

One annual trip to speak to medical schools


  1. Communication, room hire, misc expenses                                                                        Cost £500

Skype calls, room hire etc

Benefits to the Trust


Reduction of locum expenditure 6 – 12 candidates per year joining the MFT at JCF/ SCF levels

Gaps filled at short notice – reduced lag period for joining the trust (3 months)

A waiting list to draw from

Building the Brand reputation overseas

Improving opportunities for local trainees – to attend training sessions with better staffing levels

Getting the right candidate – with overseas postgraduate qualification, within 10 years of graduation

Long term opportunities to get middle grade doctors who will stay long term (Tier 2 visa)

What does the trainee have to do?

The Trainee has to plan on the move to a different country perhaps moving with family to a new country. There are considerable initial expenses and accommodation will have to be sorted. Some trusts may provide some capital funding to the trainee to help with initial costs.

As a general rule
1. Candidate needs to have done at least 3 years in speciality
2. Candidate needs to have clearly identified training needs which will be met in current post.
3. Candidate needs to have a good IELTS score to gain GMC registration
4. Candidate needs a certificate of good standing in all countries that the person worked.

Initial expenses
1. The Trainee will need to identify £2000 for visa (2 years), NHS surcharge, IELTS examination, air tickets, initial accommodation deposit, and living expenses for a month till first salary comes in. This will be £3000 if the person arrives with family (if applicable)

Frequent Questions

Can the candidate work in other hospitals on Tier 5 visa?

Tier 5 visa is not an employer dependent visa. You can study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate) You can also work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship. You can do a second job for up to 20 hours per week. Additionally, you can do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week as well as your main job

Should the candidate get credit for experience abroad?

Yes most hospitals will approve experience abroad, to the top of the salary scale.

Can the candidate change to a Tier 2 visa?

You can but you have to apply from outside the county for a Tier 2 visa. You can attend the interview, get a job offer and then leave the country to apply from outside.


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