Veterinary Registration Requirements for Overseas Graduates
The veterinary registration requirements for overseas graduates in veterinary medicine wishing to work in the UK are simple. They must be a member of the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). Once registered, they can apply for any full time or veterinary locum vacancy available that suits their experience.

The registration requirements for the RCVS are detailed below, and without being so registered, you will be unable to be legally employed as a veterinary surgeon in the UK, irrespective of any other qualifications you may hold from your own country or elsewhere - this requirement also applies to UK nationals born in this country.

Registration requirements for EU Citizens
Nationals of the EU (European Union) must possess a EU veterinary qualification that is listed in Annex 5.4 of the 2005/36/EU Directive. In other words, you must be a qualified veterinary surgeon of an EU state or accession country.

Your application can take up to eight weeks to be processed, although most are completed within six weeks or under. However, do not bank on it and make your application for registration with RCVS as soon as you can. You can make no application without it - you can apply, but it will not be considered.

Procedure for Application:
  1. You will require the Initial Enquiry Form that should be completed in English: you must be able to demonstrate a good grasp of the English language to work as a veterinary surgeon or locum within the UK.

  2. You will have to enclose the relevant fee along with the undernoted documentation to substantiate your application.

  3. A copy of your veterinary qualification, together with an English translation if necessary, that has been notarized as an accurate translation. This is the degree or diploma that you would normally frame and hang on your wall. It should be photocopied onto A4 sized paper.

  4. Where relevant, such as from Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia, you will need a copy of the State Examination Certificate, with the same notarized translation as above.

  5. You will also need a copy (no more than 3 years old) of the proof of your registration as a veterinary surgeon within any EU member state, again with the notarized translation.

  6. Proof of your nationality: a photocopy of your passport will do (the page with your photograph) or a member state I.D. card. Any other legally acceptable evidence of the fact that you are an EU citizen will do.

  7. You will also require some evidence of your good character and that you are of good professional standing in the country in which you practice. This should be in the form of a letter or a Certificate of Good Professional Standing issued no more than 3 months ago by a competent veterinary authority. Again with an English translation, notarized above, and addressed specifically to the RCVS.

  8. Don't forget to include the fee. You will be informed of fees on application, though they are also advertised online.

Graduates form Specific Countries or States.
There are also specific conditions for veterinary surgeons who have graduated in specific states in the European Economic Area, such as:

A. Estonia
If you graduated as a vet in Estonia prior to May 1st, 2004, you must provide an 'acquired rights certificate' from a competent authority in Estonia certifying that you have been practicing veterinary medicine in Estonia for no less than 5 consecutive years over the seven years prior to the issue date on the certificate. If you qualified after the above date, you must provide a similar certificate, but referring to three consecutive years during the five years from the date of issue.

B. EU States Where Qualification was Prior to EU Membership
If your veterinary qualification was awarded prior to your country entering the EU, or if it was awarded in Bulgaria or Rumania at any time, you will require a Compliance Certificate according to Article 38 of Directive 2005/36/EC, together with a notarized translation in English. You will also have to send an Acquired Rights Certificate as for Estonia above certifying that you have been engaged as a veterinary surgeon for three consecutive years during the five years before the certificate was issued.

Graduates in Veterinary Medicine from Specific Countries
These refer specifically to break-up countries. If you have graduated from the countries currently known as Slovakia and the Czech Republic in what was known as Czechoslovakia prior to August 20th, 1991, the Balkan states of the USSR (August 20th, 1991 for Estonia, August 21st, 1991 for Latvia and March 11th, 1990 for Lithuania) or Slovenia while part of Yugoslavia prior to Jan 1st, 1993, you should request the specific conditions applying to the Acquired Rights Certificate relating to you.

Registration Appointment
You will get an appointment for registration in London once the registration form and documents have been received. While you must call to arrange a date for that at least 2 weeks before the appointment date, you are better to arrange it well in advance of that since they are normally full up for 3-4 weeks in advance. Also, if you don't arrive in time for the appointment it will likely be cancelled.

Take note that the appointments are in Belgravia House in London, so you must be able to get there. It can be very expensive if you have not sent all your documentation, but you will likely be informed of that fact. You must also bring all the originals of the documents of which you sent copies.

The Veterinary registration requirements for overseas graduates all sound very complicated, but once you get into it, it is not really. Every individual who registers with the RCVS []has to do the same, and once are registered then you can work anywhere in the UK, and since veterinary surgery is classified in the 'skilled worker shortage' category, you could also eventually receive a permanent residency visa if you want one.


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