UK Clinicals and Spouses Visas

Tower BridgeFor those of you who are planning on going to the UK for clinical rotations, the UKBA has recently made some changes regarding visas for spouses that are important to know. Thank you to AUC Spouses Jamie Grove and Melissa Hollingsworth for providing the following post regarding these changes:

Attention All Spouses

All spouses considering pursuing clinical rotations in the UK should be aware of recent UKBA changes. In the last year, the rules for dependent/spouse visas have changed.

AUC clinicals no longer qualify spouses for visas, because it is not a level 7 program and the program is less than 12 months ( There have been some spouses recently who have applied for visas and been denied.

The rest of us have had to come in as a tourist for less than 6 months, and attempt to leave and return again in order to stay the full core rotations. Unfortunately, this is not always as simple as just leaving and returning. By trying to leave and come back again, it is obvious you are trying to live in the UK longer than 6 months. (Page 15 –¬†

Recently, one spouse was detained and nearly deported after returning from a long trip back to the states. This spouse now has a warning in her passport and on her file and is not able to travel anymore without being deported. Some other spouses have been allowed back in without a warning, however most have decided not to leave the UK anymore due to the risk of being deported. Two main reasons for choosing the UK for clinicals are the practical experience for the students, and the ability to travel around Europe, which is too risky now for spouses as there is no guarantee of being allowed back into the UK. The school is currently unable to help us with this situation, as it is a UKBA issue. There have even been reports of British Nationals being questioned at the border, so it seems that in general the UKBA is just getting tougher about entry.

It is recommended that families interested in UK clinical rotations do not stay more than 6 months. This means not doing full core rotations in the UK anymore. This is the only way to avoid all the hassle and risk of deportation. Had some of us known this prior to choosing full cores in the UK, it is likely we would have chosen differently and planned on less than 6 months. We just want all spouses to be fully informed of what is currently happening with UK clinicals and visas, so that they can make informed decisions.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Jamie Grove
Melissa Hollingsworth
-you can also contact either of us via Facebook-

2 comments to UK Clinicals and Spouses Visas

  • Zainab

    Hi Benji,
    Thank you for providing SUCH an awesome tool for students like me who are opting for caribbean med schools but have nobody to speak to for guidance. I just have a few big concerns before I begin my journey in Med school. Can you please help me? I will really appreciate it!. Firstly, I want to work with a community service based organization once I am done with school. Do I need to do my residency, if I was interested in more administrative work?. Secondly, I do not want to pick my career over family life, is there still hope for a girl to do both at the same time? and how so?. Your response will make sooo much difference in my life right now. Please reply as soon as you could. Thanks!


    • Benji

      Hi Zainab,
      First, thanks for reading my blog and for the question. If you plan to practice medicine at some point in your life, I would most definitely do a residency program after you graduate from medical school. If you only want to do administrative work and nothing else, I wouldn’t recommend going to medical school. There may be other degrees that are better fit for that type of position and put you in less debt by the time you graduate, such as getting an MPH or an MBA. Delaying your residency may also make matching for a residency much harder down the road, as many residency programs require that candidates have graduated within a certain number of years, and the delay may not look favorable on your application. Medicine is a broad field with multiple career path opportunities, and some have better working hours than others, giving you more time for family life. How you run your business also matters. I’ve met solo family practitioners who run a solo business where they work almost everyday of the week for long hours, often because they do the administrative and billing work themselves, whereas I’ve met other doctors in the same field who may outsource the less medically relevant tasks to others, and work with other physicians who may cover each other, giving themselves more time for family. I would really consider what you want to do. Medical school is not easy, and not everyone makes it through. But it is also very rewarding, as you gain knowledge and experience working with people and putting the skills you learned to good use in the care of others first-hand.
      All the best to you Zainab,

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