Medical Training Initiative

Medical Training Initiative

A government authorised scheme allowing doctors from low and middle income countries to undertake anaesthesia training within the NHS for a maximum of 24 months.


India added to the COVID-19 red list travel ban countries

From Friday 23 April 2021 (4am, UK time) India will be added to the UK’s COVID-19 red list travel ban countries. This means that anyone who is not a British or Irish National or who do not have residence rights in the UK, will be banned from entering the UK. From 4am Friday 23 April, if you have been in India in the previous 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British, Irish or third-country national with residency rights. If you are travelling from India to the UK with your valid Tier 5 visa with the purpose to start your MTI placement on or after 4am 23 April 2021, you should be allowed to enter the UK, but you will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. Details on how to book a quarantine hotel can be found here-

Everyone allowed to enter England who has visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days must:

  • quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel
  • take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining
  • follow the national lockdown rules

Further information and the government’s guidance about the Coronavirus red list travel ban countries can be found at


Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in UK from a 'red list' country

If you have been in or through any of the countries listed in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.

If you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK,  you will be able to enter. You must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days and you cannot used the Test to Release scheme. More information here.

Employers are expected to pay for the costs for the hotel quarantine and testing of their international recruits. More information here.

Mandatory COVID-19 test for those arriving in England from Monday 18 January 2021

The government has announced that as of Monday 18 January 2021, all international arrivals to England will have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they board a plane, train or boat. The test should be taken up to 72 hours prior to departure. Arriving in England without proof of a negative test may incur a fine of £500. Further information on the mandatory COVID-19 testing can be found here.

Also, all international travellers to England, will  have to fill out the online Passenger Locator Form and self-isolate for 10 days. You may be able to reduce your self-isolation period after international travel if you are eligible under the Test to Release Scheme.  Under this scheme, you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating after having been in England for 5 full days. You can find a list of providers of such test here  Please be aware that the Test to Release scheme is not available to anyone who has been in or through any country that is subject to a travel ban in the 10 days before arrival in England.


Update on Immigration Health Surcharge reimbursement launch 

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is paid at the point of visa application that enables access to the NHS for most non-EEA nationals applying for temporary leave to enter or remain in the UK.
In May, The Prime Minister announced that Health and Care staff would be exempt from the IHS and in August this year Home Office and DHSC launched the Health and Care Visa which exempted applicants from the IHS. The new reimbursement scheme covers staff such as cleaners, care workers and porters and their dependents who are outside the scope for the Health and Care Visa but who work in health and Social Care.  
You are eligible if:
•    you are a non-tier 2 visa holder who has paid the Immigration Health Surcharge; or
•    you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS); and
•    you have worked in health or social care role for at least an average of 16 hours per week since 31 March 2020
You must provide payslips for the period you are claiming. Visit  to start a claim.                                                                                                                                       

The Medical Training Initiative (MTI) is a government scheme designed to assist doctors with proven ability in anaesthesia/Intensive Care/Pain Medicine from low and middle-income countries (lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries), according to World Bank Definitions, and includes a focus on DFID 28 priority countries, to pursue further specific specialist training in the UK. Doctors can come to the UK for up to 24 months under the UK Border Agency’s Tier 5 immigration rules, before returning to their home countries.

The MTI scheme utilises unfilled training capacity within the NHS, to allow eligible International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to gain from opportunities on offer. The training received by IMGs on the MTI scheme will vary, however the training will follow the CCT Curriculum. The level at which, and the specific training available, will depend upon the IMGs competence, the IMGs specific interests, and training available within the placement hospital Trust. IMGs will agree their specific training objectives with their Educational Supervisor at the start of, and throughout their placement. 

Doctors who undertake training via the MTI route will benefit from world class clinical training, and also gain non-clinical skills such as medical education and leadership. These skills will be significant benefit, not only to the Doctors themselves, but also to healthcare systems and patients in their home countries. 

The MTI scheme is philanthropic in nature and not a route suitable for Doctors who intend to remain in the UK for longer than 24 months. 

The College will act as the ‘professional sponsor’ through the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) who is the overarching visa sponsor and is responsible for issuing the Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship, which enables an applicant to apply for their Tier 5 visa. The Certificate of Sponsorship will only be issued if the application is supported by the College. The Tier 5 visa is issued for a maximum two year period.

Our role

Sponsorship from us through the MTI will equip International Medical Graduates with:

  • GMC registration: to train in the UK, doctors have to obtain registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). The normal route to registration is to pass the GMC’s Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test. The GMC grant exemption from PLAB to anaesthetists sponsored by the College through MTI
  • a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for a Tier 5 visa: this process is managed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • eligibility to sit FRCA examinations
  • twelve months of free College membership: this allows IMGs to take advantage of many member benefits, including access to journals and the College's Lifelong Learning platform.


It is important to note that obtaining the required paperwork and obtaining approval can take a significant period of time. Whilst we cannot be specific about timelines as each case is different, it is not uncommon for the process of applying for an MTI position to take between three to six months. We ask that prospective MTI doctors and hosts read the information provided carefully, as providing the required information in a timely fashion will reduce processing times.

If you have any queries or require further information please contact us via or call us on +44 (0)207 092 1559