Allocation Assist

Do I need to keep my GMC license registration when working in the UAE?

Do I need to keep my GMC license registration when working in the UAE?

At Allocation Assist, many UK doctors have asked about this question: ‘Do I need to keep my GMC license registration when working in the UAE?

Each situation is different, and it is a personal choice. However, most doctors stay on the GMC register but may choose to give up their license while they are not practicing in the UK.

A license to practice is required to practice medicine in the UK. Holding a license requires you to undergo the revalidation process every 5 years, including annual appraisals, to show that you are keeping up to date and remain fit to practice.

Staying on the GMC registration when relocating to work abroad is usually the best option. This enables you to prove your good standing with the GMC to your new employer or licensing authority. Should you return to work in the UK, whether temporarily or permanently, restoring your license to practice is a faster and easier process than restoring your GMC registration.

What happens if I give up my licence but remain on the register?

To maintain your GMC license registration, you’ll need to keep your contact details up-to-date and pay your annual retention fee. If you give up your license to practice due to relocating overseas, you will not have to undergo revalidation and will also pay lower GMC fees.

However, you will not be able to practice medicine in the UK. You will need to consider very carefully if you are still carrying out any activities in the UK linked to medicine in some capacity. It is your responsibility to establish whether you need a licence to practice. You can still help in emergencies or carry out ‘Good Samaritan’ acts. It may be wise to seek advice from your medical defence organisation or insurance or indemnity provider if you’re concerned about potential liabilities from helping in an emergency if you don’t hold a licence.

How do I give up my licence to practice?

The process is fairly simple and can be completed by logging into your GMC Online account. You don’t need to provide any documents or evidence. However, if you intend to return to practise in the UK at a later date, it is helpful to make a plan for how you will obtain the documents needed for your application to restore your licence.

How easy is it to restore my licence to practice?

The GMC recommend that you apply to restore your licence to practise between two and three months before you plan to start working in the UK. However, several doctors have reported to Allocation Assist that they were able to restore their licence to practice in less than a month. Applying early ensures that there is plenty of time to resolve any queries or submit extra information, if required. You can specify the date when you want your licence to be restored.

You will need to submit a provision of medical services statement from your employer and a certificate of good standing from the relevant medical licensing regulator, such as the DHA in Dubai and DoH in Abu Dhabi.


For more information About GMC license registration when working in the UAE,

Registration and licensing – GMC

Revalidation – GMC

Giving up your licence to practise – GMC

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