Doctor Visa

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Doctor Visa
Doctor Visa

Doctor Visa

Lee Gathercole and Neezam Romjon explain the process of getting a mortgage if you are a doctor on a visa.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 16/04/2024.

Can I move to the UK as a doctor? How long do I have to live in the UK before I can get a mortgage? 

Yes, you can move to the UK depending on your situation and the visa you would get to come here, but many people do move to the UK as a doctor.

There isn’t necessarily a minimum time that you need to live here to get a mortgage. Some lenders do stipulate a certain time in the UK, but it is more heavily weighted on whether you have a credit footprint or some sort of credit history. You will also need a UK address. 

What visa do doctors get in the UK?

This is an area that is changing all the time. We’re currently in the first quarter of 2024 and  there’s a general election coming up this year, so there could be changes in the near future. 

But my understanding is that most qualified doctors would apply for a health and care worker visa. To qualify for a health and care worker visa you must be qualified and be able to work in an eligible health or social care job. 

You need to work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office, and have a certificate of sponsorship from them. A confirmed job offer is needed before you apply for the visa.  Obviously in the NHS and health sector there’s a huge demand for doctors and other healthcare workers. 

Can you get a medical visa in the UK?

Yes. We deal with a lot of NHS doctors and some are on a health and care worker visa. We also see a lot of tier two skilled worker visas. It’s all down to your specific scenario and the job you’re applying for. 

Does the NHS offer visa sponsorship?

As far as I’m aware they do, because we help a lot of NHS employees and doctors in the NHS to get on the property ladder and find a mortgage. They’d struggle without that sponsorship from the NHS. 

What is the lending criteria for a doctor with a visa? Which lenders will accept applications from doctors with a visa? 

There are differences as opposed to someone who is already in the UK. One of the challenges could be not having a big enough deposit, and the time to date in the UK. Sometimes even the income level can be an issue. There are lots of technicalities. 

The good news is that quite a few high street banks are willing to consider doctors with as little as a 5% deposit. That’s true as we speak today in March 2024, but it could change. There are currently quite a few competitive deals available for doctors on a visa.

Typical documents required would be a copy of your visa and your sponsorship contract. You will need payslips and bank statements. Generally, while it can be a challenge to find the right lender for your situation, that’s where a mortgage broker can come in and help you.

What if I have bad credit and I’m looking to apply for a mortgage with a visa as a doctor?

If you’re on a visa as a doctor, you are already limited in the lenders that you can access. There are fewer banks and building sites that will lend you a mortgage than if you had permanent rights in the UK. 

In that respect, bad credit makes it going to be more difficult, because you’re already fishing in a smaller pool of banks and building societies. It does limit your options, but it’s not impossible. 

It depends on the detail of what’s stopping you from getting a mortgage with a mainstream lender. Just a low credit score is a bit easier to overcome. 

If it’s just due to late payments or missed payments, it will depend on the details. We need to look into the reason you couldn’t pay on time. What were the circumstances, and is there any evidence to show it’s not an ongoing problem? It helps to prove you’re not in financial difficulty.

It also matters how many missed payments there were, how recently and whether you reached the point of default, which is where you miss around six months’ payments. The rest of your credit report is important in showing if the issue was a one-off or if there’s a pattern of behaviour.

In this situation it’s even more important to get specialist help from an experienced advisor that knows both of those areas of the market.

How does remortgaging a property work if I’m a doctor on a visa?

There are similar challenges. Again, it depends on your credit history and time in the UK. If you already own a property and you’ve been in the UK for a year or two, that could work in your favour and make things slightly better for you.

Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage on a visa as a doctor? 

It can be difficult, to put it bluntly, but not impossible. The Buy to Let mortgage lenders that will lend to you on a visa are very limited. There are not many options there. 

It depends on your circumstances – what deposit you have, what kind of properties you’re looking for and what experience you have. Again, your credit score and how long you’ve been in the UK will be factored in. 

It is something we’ve helped a few clients with before, and it does require real specialist knowledge – not only on the visa side but also on the Buy to Let side, which fortunately we are well equipped to help with. 

If you were going out on your own to find a Buy to Let mortgage on a visa as a doctor, I would say prepare to get declined by quite a few lenders.

How do I apply for a mortgage with a visa as a doctor? What does that application process look like?

We see a lot of doctors applying for a mortgage, particularly with a visa. Your first point of call is to get some help from someone qualified who is a specialist in skilled worker visas. 

We do often have clients come to us who have been told by another mortgage advisor that they need a 25% deposit, to have more time in the UK or they don’t have enough income. But we can often find something to suit them. 

We have that understanding of which lenders to talk to. Start by getting your credit report so we can understand what that score might be. In my experience, some clients have taken out some credit just to build up their credit history. 

We help with getting you mortgage pre-approval with the most appropriate lender for you. More importantly, if you’re buying for the first time here, we can support you throughout the whole process until you finally get the keys to your new home. 

In short, don’t try and tackle this yourself. There are not many mortgage lenders that accept people on a visa, and it can be quite a challenge to find the right one for you.

What are the main challenges of getting a mortgage as a doctor on a visa?

It’s not a straightforward area. As soon as you start adding some of the complexities in there like being on a visa and not having permanent rights in the UK, it becomes more difficult. 

You may need a deposit of anywhere between 5% and 25%, which also makes it harder. Being in the UK for less than four or five years can complicate it further. 

As soon as we start layering up all those different complexities, it limits you further and further. So rather than spending a lot of time trying to find the right lender for you, consult a mortgage advisor like us.  We deal with clients in this situation every day and we talk to the lenders regularly about their policies.

Talking to us will save you a lot of time and stress – which I imagine doctors have enough of already.


Some Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on  16/04/2024.

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