GMC registration guidance

Information on applying to register with a licence to practise with the GMC when your primary medical qualification is from Bulgaria

The following information is taken from the GMC guidance on applying for a licence to practise. Links are given at the end of the paper that you can use to refer to specific topics. There are 10 areas that you need to consider.

  1. Evidence of your PMQ
  2. Proof of your knowledge of English
  3. Passport/national identity card
  4. Certificate of good standing
  5. Activities in the last 5 years
  6. Declaration of fitness to practise
  7. Translating documents into English
  8. How to send documents & cost of applying
  9. Length taken to process your application
  10. Coming to identity checks in the UK

Having read this, once you are ready to apply and you understand the evidence that is needed to support your application please log in to GMC Online and choose My Registration then My Applications. You’ll need to log in with your GMC reference number and password as an existing user. If you don’t have a GMC reference number you can set up an account by going to the following link:

Once you’ve started your application you can save it and come back to it later if you need. You have three months to complete your application.

You can’t apply for provisional registration if you qualified in Bulgaria

What you need to do to register with a licence to practise

1. Evidence of your primary medical qualification

  1. As part of your application the GMC will need to see a copy of your primary medical qualification (PMQ)
  2. The certificate/letter of confirmation must include – the exact date you passed your final exam or assessment – get this as soon as possible after your last exam, no need to wait for your graduation
  3. The letter must state your name, DOB, date you finished your degree and title of the award – there is no need to wait for your final certificate/diploma.

2. Proof of your knowledge of English

  1. GMC will need evidence that you have the necessary knowledge of English
  2. IELTsInternational English Language Testing System – certificate must show
    1. That you took the academic version of the testThat you got a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5
    2. That you got these scores in the same test
    3. That you got these scores at the most recent sitting of the test
    4. The original stamp and test report form number
  3. The IELTs certificate is valid for 2 years – it must be valid when you apply for registration with a licence to practise
  4. OET certificate as an alternative: - Occupational English Test – can be accepted, your certificate must show:
    1. You took the medicine version of the test
    2. You got at least grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading, writing)
    3. You got those grades at the same test
    4. Your candidate number
    5. You obtained the grades in your most recent sitting of the test
    6. If you select to enter your OET results and have taken the OET test on or after 9thSeptember 2018 you must make sure that you have selected the General Medical Council as your recognising organisation in the myOET portal so the GMC can verify your scores
    7. OET certificate is valid for 2 years
      1. If you achieved the GMC’s minimum scores more than 2 years ago, and the certificate meets all the GMC’s other criteria, you can prove you have kept your English skills up to date by submitting your original OET certificate and a reference form a tutor or lecturer of a postgraduate course confirming that at least 75% of any clinical interaction (if applicable) that you engaged in during the period of your supervision took place in English
    8. GMC will sometimes accept your PMQ qualification as evidence of your knowledge of English but not from Pleven, Plovdiv and Varna.
    9. Whilst Sofia is not included in the list which is not accepted you would have to show that ALL the course, including clinical activities, was taught in English and that at least 75% of any course related clinical interaction, including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals was conducted in English – if you can’t meet these criteria you can’t use your PMQ as evidence of your knowledge of English.

3. Your passport

  1. You will need to send the GMC a copy of your passport’s photo ID page and signature page
  2. You can also use your national identity card. The card must include a photograph and clearly state your nationality

4. Your certificate of good standing

You only need this if you have been registered or licensed with another medical regulatory authority in the last 5 years even if you have not worked in that country.

5. Your activities for the last 5 years

You need to send details of medical and non-medical experience across the last 5 years, for example:

  1. Clinical attachments
  2. Unemployment
  3. Study leave

You will need to send employer references if you’ve done

  1. Non-medical work
  2. Medical work when you’ve not had registration or a licence to practise with a medical regulatory authority

A standard reference form can be found at:

Each reference form must confirm the exact dates of your employment, indicate that you were of good standing during your employment, outline the nature of your work and show your registration requirements.

Reference forms for any current posts are only valid for 3 months from the date they are signed – but get them done as soon as possible within 3 months of completing your final exams.

6. Declaring fitness to practise

As part of the application you will be asked to declare that you are fit to practise medicine

  1. Declarations are valid for 3 months
  2. Declarations should be no older than when the GMC approve and grant your application
  3. You have to declare if you have any physical or mental health problems
  4. GMC use the term ‘health condition’ to mean an illness, injury, disability, or impairment – this includes physical and mental conditions.
  5. The questions are
    1. Statement 1 – I have, or have had a health condition(s) which required me to change one or more aspects of my medical training or practice, to enable me to work safely with patients or to continue my training
    2. Statement 2 – I have, or have had, a health condition(s0 which has resulted in an interruption to, or breaks in my medical practice or studies, including retaking part of my course or assessments/exams
      1. An interruption means one or more breaks that have had a major impact on your medical practice, study or clinical placements - for medical students this is most likely to mean breaks where you have become ‘ out of step’ with your peers, for example, a condition means that you will graduate a year later than planned or you had to stop your studies for a significant length of time
    3. Statement 3 – I have, or have had, a health condition(s), which has resulted in conditions being placed or undertakings being agreed in relation to my medical practice, training or registration.
    4. Statement 4 - I have, or have had, a health condition(s) which has been considered under fitness to practise proceedings whether in the UK or overseas
    5. Statement 5 - Is there anything about your physical or mental health, which could prevent you meeting the standards described in our guidance?

If you answer yes to any of the statements the GMC will ask you to provide further information about your health condition in your online application as well as :

  • How it has affected you
  • How it has affected your medical studies
  • How you are managing it
  • Any relevant dates of occurrences and treatment

Once the GMC have this information it will be assessed within 5 working days. In most cases, about 80%, where a health condition has been declared the GMC will make a decision to approve an application within 4 weeks.

7. Translating documents that aren’t in English

  1. For every document that is not in English you must send a copy in the original language and a complete and accurate English translation
  2. All translations must include the contact details of the translation service or translator. This should be attached to the translation and your documents must be stamped and signed by the translation service
  3. Who can translate my documents?
  4. Court or council appointed translations
  5. Reputable commercial translation services

8. How do I send my documents?

  1. When you have submitted your documents, the GMC will e-mail you a list of documents that they will need to see. You must e-mail scanned copies of these documents as one pdf or zip file
  2. You must send the documents within 28 days of the GMC email
  3. If you do not send the documents within 28 days of the GMC email your application will be closed and you will be refunded your application fee less the GMC scrutiny fee
  4. Once you have sent your documents the GMC will make a full assessment of your application. The GMC will contact you if they need more information to support your application – REMEMBER THE GMC CANNOT ASSESS YOUR APPLICATION IF YOU HAVE NOT SENT YOUR DOCUMENTS
  5. Newly qualified doctors benefit from a fixed-term discount on registration fees. This applies to doctors who submit their application within 5 years of passing a PMQ and do not hold, or have not previously held, provisional registration. The fee is £153. The discounted fee covers the first year of full registration

9. How long will it take to process my application?

  1. The GMC aim to carry out an initial assessment within 5 working days – BUT they need all the documents and information detailed above before the initial assessment can be started
  2. The information is your application is valid for 3 months – this is the maximum that your application will be kept open
  3. The GMC will contact you if they require more evidence.
  4. The GMC may also refer your application for advice – they will let you know if they do this

10. Coming to an identity check in the UK

  1. If your application is approved the GMC will invite you to book a place at an identity check – these take place in London or Manchester
  2. You must have an identity check in the UK before the GMC can grant your application
  3. The GMC will take your photo and check your original documents
  4. You have 3 months to attend an identity check once your application is approved
  5. The GMC also ask you to book a place on their ‘Welcome to UK practice event’
  6. The ID check cannot be extended beyond 3 months for any reason

During the identity check the GMC will:

  1. Take a photo and keep it on your account
  2. Ask for your signature and keep it on your account
  3. Take details of your passport or national ID card
  4. Take copies of original documents that you will be asked to take with you
  5. The GMC will disclose your photo to employers on request so that they can be assured of your identity and also to protect you from identity fraud

Download our GMC Registration Guidance by clicking the button below



Evidence of PMQ:

Evidence of your knowledge of English:




Your passport:

Your certificate of good standing:

Declaring fitness to practise:

Information on health issues:

Translating documents that aren’t in English:

How do I send my documents ?

How long will it take to process my application?

Guidance on identity checks