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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Tier 2 Sponsorship

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is the Tier 2 Sponsor for all Medical Trainees and Dental DCT and ST trainees in Scotland.

NHS Education for Scotland is responsible for issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to Medical trainees and Dental DCT and ST trainees, requiring Tier 2 sponsorship on behalf of the trainees' current employer*. The Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship will cover the duration of the training programme only and all rotations, up to a maximum of five years if required for the programme, as per Home Office regulations.

It is anticipated that this arrangement will be more attractive to Medical trainees and Dental CT and ST trainees as it minimises the administrative and associated costs incurred. Trainees will only have to apply for a new visa when their programme comes to an end, or after five years for programmes exceeding five years in duration, rather than the previous process which required trainees to re-apply every time their employment changed as a result of a change in rotation.

We trust that this information will be received as a positive step towards generating efficiency and enhancing attractiveness to working in Scotland for all Medical Trainees and Dental DCT and ST trainees employed by the NHS in Scotland.

*Please note: sponsorship is dependent on a trainee being appointed to a Medical Training post or Dental DCT or ST post in Scotland. The issuing of a COS does not guarantee a post. Applying for a visa and being granted the right to work in the UK is only one part of employers pre employment checks. Trainees must ensure they meet all of their employers pre employment checks before they will be eligible to start a post.  If an employer advises NES that a trainee no longer has a post, sponsorship will be withdrawn immediately. Please be aware that due to timescales set by Home Office legislation, the COS may be issued to trainees whilst other pre employment checks are still ongoing.


2020 Recruitment 

For posts commencing in 2020 in Scotland, a Tier 2 Dental DCT or ST Trainee currently sponsored by NHS Education for Scotland is exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and is eligible to be offered a dental training post anywhere in Scotland through the National selection process. Please note: this policy applies ONLY to Tier 2 dental trainees currently sponsored by NHS Education for Scotland who have applied to, or wish to be restricted to an offer for, a dental training post within Scotland. 

If you are recruited to a Dental DCT or ST training programme in Scotland and are NOT currently sponsored by NHS Education for Scotland but will require Tier 2 sponsorship to be eligible to commence in post, the Resident Labour Market Test may apply in your instance. Please refer to the recruitment guidance for the specific specialty you are applying to for more information. 

From 6th October 2019, all Medical posts will be on the shortage occupation list, meaning that medical trainees are no longer required to satisfy the resident labour market test.  

Any trainee who requires Tier 2 sponsorship to be eligible to commence in post, will be contacted by NHS Education for Scotland to request the essential information required for their Certificate of Sponsorship application shortly after they have accepted a post. Trainees will be asked to provide the data via an online system. 

If you have accepted a post and require Tier 2 sponsorship, but have not been contacted by NES, please contact the NES Tier 2 Sponsorship team as soon as possible at: 


Tier 2: Health and Care Visa  

As of 4 August 2020 the Tier 2 (Health and Care) visa has been made available to Medical and Dental trainees from outside the EEA and Switzerland. 

Further information regarding eligibility and how to apply, please follow the below link to the Home Office guidance 

The Home Office has released guidance for those Health and Care workers who paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) on or after 31 March 2020. The guidance can be found here :

Any information you may need can be found on your Certificate of Sponsorship letter. Should you have any questions please contact NES Tier 2 team will not be able to assist with any queries relating to the IHS refund. 


Useful Information – Home Office Information 

You may wish to familiarise yourself with the below as early as possible prior to application submission.  


Criminal Records Certificates 

The Home Office requires those applying to come to the UK as a Tier 2 doctor or dentist in training, and their adult dependants, to produce a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have been resident for 12 months or more, consecutively or cumulatively, in the previous 10 years, aged 18 or over. 

If applicants are successful in being appointed to a training programme in the UK, and require Tier 2 sponsorship, they will be required to provide the criminal record certificate to the Home Office when they make their visa application. As it can take some time to obtain a criminal record certificate, applicants should begin the process of seeking certificates, if required, at the earliest opportunity.  Please note, that this is for entry clearance applications only, so will only be applicable if applying from outside the UK. 

Details of how to obtain such a check from the relevant authorities abroad is available on the Home Office website at: 

If the country concerned is not listed, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate for further details. Contact details can be found at: 



The following guidance documents provide further information on the NES Tier 2 sponsorship arrangements and how to access the NES Tier 2 system and provide the details required: 

Tier 2 Process Flow Chart - provides an overview of the process and what information will be required at each stage.

Tier 2 System: Trainee Roles and Responsibilities - confirms how to access the system and what data must be provided for the COS application

Standard Operating Procedures for NES & Terratiorial Health Boards (this document is under review and will be available shortly)- Appendix C of this document is particularly relevant to trainees.

Please note: the above documents currently only refer to medical trainees, but the same processes will apply to Dental DCT and ST trainees too.The guidance will be updated to include Dental DCT and ST trainees shortly. 

Frequently Asked Questions- we have developed FAQs which should answer most of your queries with regard to the Tier 2 sponsorship process for Medical Trainees and Dental DCT and ST Trainees in Scotland.



Contact Us

If you have any queries with regard to Tier 2 sponsorship, please contact the NES Tier 2 Sponsorship team at: 


Useful links: