Prior to October 2nd 2000, single entry VISA's were issued for 6 months, generally as a "tourist" or "for PLAB". Since then VISA's are being issued for upto 1 year or even 2 years, and are multiple-entry. This means that you can travel between India and UK as many times as you want, without having to get a new VISA
The cost of the VISA is Rs.2300/- for a 6 month single entry but these are subject to change and should be found out from the British High Commission at the time of VISA application.
On getting a job, you change your VISA to "permit free" VISA only then you can begin work in the hospital and be paid for it! The change of VISA happens within a day as soon as you produce the GMC registration and take it and your passport to the immigration office.
If you don’t get a job in the first 6 months, your VISA has expired, you could extend it for another 6 months within the UK.
The following are a few of the reasons in the recent past that doctors have been refused visas. In our history of 5 years and more than 5000 letters of support, we have never had a case where in visa was refused irrevocably. Every few months, there are a a few cases who have been refused because of their own mistakes and sometimes entirely inexplicable logic by the visa officer. What we recommend is that you don't lie to the visa officer, that is not a good idea. You should however highlight the facts which will make him comfortable about your UK visit.
Your Finance : You are expected to have some money in your accounts. As a student going for a course, the money expected is pretty huge but as a doctor, a few lacs in the bank should generate confidence in the officer. Property in your name or that of your parents should be of some help as well.
Recent deposits of large amount of money in your bank account is a surest way of getting VISA refused as it makes them suspicious.
Your sponsor's finances: This is perhaps more relevant than your finances in home country. If you have a sponsor do ask him/her to include bank statements for 3 months as well as something to show that they have a house large enough etc.
Purpose of visit: You have nothing to hide in terms of your PLAB and planned training to last a few years in the UK. "Why do you want to train in the UK" is a question you get asked very often and you have to probably tell them something about learning the western ways of medicine etc. "The exchange rate is favourably biased and as a consequence this becomes a financially justifiable venture" is perhaps not best used during a visa interview!
On more than one occasion our doctors have been asked to show a work permit. As a PLAB doctor, you don't need that. You will be working "permit free" and you have to remind that to the VISA officer who may seem not to know this.
VISA extension in the UK: Your visa period has been mentioned when granted and there are 2 possible outcomes. You pass or fail and then run out of VISA time, your VISA may run out just before or after the second attempt. In any case, if you don't have a job before the visa runs out, you can go for a VISA extension. That is pretty much a formality, however this often means you have to show a letter from your sponsor who will give details of his house as well as his/her financial ability (bank statements). If you are sponsored, we do this for you without a charge.
Changing VISA from visitor to "permit free" : You go to the home office with a letter of appointment from your hospital and the GMC registration you can get your visa changed to permit free on the same day. They also ask for a letter from your sponsor and bank statements and if you are sponsored, we do that for you.