This is my attempt at summarising the process. For a first hand up to date information on applying for the standard visitor visa application go to the UK official government site that elaborately describes the whole process.
All the information here are correct at the time of writing this article (February 2021). I strongly recommend that you read this article as a rough guide and make your decisions based on first-hand updated information gotten directly from the website of the administering agencies. (uk.gov and tlscontact)
This article is specific for applying for a visa to write the PLAB 2 exam in the United Kingdom.
Must Have (culled from the uk.gov website)
- Money to sponsor the trip
- Ties to Nigeria
- Reason to visit the United Kingdom
Must Not Have (Avoid These)
- Too long a duration for a one-day exam
- Stating you want to go to an academy (the academies are not recognised educational institutions to the Uk government)
- Not having ties to your home (Having a job greatly improves your prospect)
- Large unexplained deposits in your account
1st Things 1st
- Get all your documents ready after carefully studying the requirements on the uk.gov site and going through eligibility and documentation on the standard visitor visa page.
- Have 135 dollars ready for payment for the visa (Barter Dollar Card works for this)
Fill in the application form then make payment of 135 dollars at the end. You don’t have to fill the form all at once. You can save and return later.
NB: On selecting the reason for a visa, you select ‘business and entertainment’ , the next page will show the option to now select PLAB 2/ OSCE for your reason for travel.
After filling the lengthy form and paying 135 dollars, download the application form for keeps and upload to the TLS contact document upload site when the time comes.
- TLS Contact: the company that captures your biometric and administers the visa application on behalf of the UK government.
Next => Register For Biometric Capturing
You will be directed to the TLS contact’s site after paying, for the submission of your document and selecting a day for biometrics. The landing page will ask you to select a TLS contact center to carry out your biometric capturing
It is advisable that you have your supporting pdf documents ready for upload.
Next, choose the added services you want to get on the site. You do not necessarily have to choose any, but even if you change your mind and decide you need some added service, you can buy them when you go physically for capturing.
Upload and Capturing
After this, you select your preferred date and time for biometric capturing. Then, the page to upload your documents will appear if you didn’t select assisted uploading of documents. You can do this over a period of time, by saving changes and coming back to continue at a later time. There is a document to guide you in uploading the documents, but the process is pretty straightforward with a responsive webpage.
After uploading and tagging the relevant documents appropriately, submit and leave the application in God’s hands.
The biometric appointment is really simple and quick. You should be done with the whole process in 30 minutes all things equal. Make sure you get there in time so as not to disrupt the flow. (I doubt any Nigerian will go late for a visa appointment)
Their usual response time is between 10-15 working days all things equal.
Essential Documents For Visa Application.
-Cover letter –containing itinerary, reason for visit, accommodation plans and financial description
-Employment letter/ Introduction letter
-Proof of PLAB 2 Booking
-Proof PLAB 1 pass
-Medical License and Registration
If you go through the updated visa application guide on the official page, it is better to make your application yourself. Visa agents do not increase your chances. Most PLAB 2 candidates from Nigeria apply themselves and are rarely turned down
The visa office is looking to make sure that you ;
- have a strong reason to visit the UK (your PLAB 2 booking from GMC)
- have the money to sponsor your visit, so you do not recourse to UK public funds during your visit
- have a strong reason to come back to your country after the exam and not get missing under the radar (It is unlikely that a person gainfully employed in a respectable job as a doctor in Nigeria will just disappear in their country. So, having a job is viewed favourably)
I wish you the very best in the process!