Are you eligible?
To be eligible to work as a veterinary surgeon in the UK, you must be a national, or European Union Rights Entitled Person (previously known as Community Rights Entitled Person), of an EU member state and hold a recognised EU veterinary qualification. This requirement is set out in Annex 5.4 of EU Directive 2005/36/EU.
Please note: veterinary surgeons wishing to practise in the UK must be able to communicate effectively with clients, including in written and spoken English. Where there are significant doubts about an applicant’s language ability, s/he will be given the opportunity to provide additional evidence of their English language ability and the option of passing IELTS level 7 (or an equivalent English language qualification at the same level or higher).
What’s involved in the registration process
The application process takes 15 working days from the moment we receive your application form, all your required documents in the correct format and your payment. However, we recommend you submit your application, including all documents and payment,at least eight weeks before you intend to start working in the UK. (We receive a high volume of applications and cannot guarantee that you will get your preferred registration appointment date if you submit your application later than this.)
You must submit all the documents listed below before your registration appointment. (We cannot process your application or confirm your appointment unless we have received all your documents.)
We will email you within three working days of submitting your application, to confirm successful receipt.
We will email you within 15 working days to confirm your registration appointment, or if we have a question about your application.
If you have any questions about the registration process, either before or during your application, please contact the Registration Department on 020 7202 0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you need to send us
You will need to send us the following:
Completed Initial Enquiry Form for EU Graduates. (This can be downloaded from the 'Related documents' box)
A photocopy of the identifying page and outside front cover of your valid passport or your EU identity card; or evidence that you are a European Union Rights Entitled Person (EUREP). (For security purposes we electronically screen all identity documents and any issues are automatically reported to the Home Office and police);
An A4 photocopy of your formal EU veterinary qualification certificate as issued by the university in its original language, and also a certified English translation where necessary;
All the text on each submitted document must be translated by a qualified translator or translation company.
The translation will need to be stamped and signed by the translator, or the translation company will need to certify it as a true translation.
Items such as signatures and crests should be described and should not be pasted into the translation. For example [signature of Rector], [crest of University], [stamp of University].
Please note - We will send you a confirmation email within 3 working days of receiving your application to confirm it has been successfully received. If you are sending your documents by email, due to the large size of some of the attachments, please ensure you receive a confirmation email of receipt, as this guarantees your application has been successfully received. We recommend you send large attachments over several emails.
Payment in full of your initial registration fee
A letter or certificate of good standing (evidence of your good character)
- A letter/certificate of good standing provides us with written evidence of your good character. It must be supplied by the competent authority of the member state where you are currently practising including, where relevant, details of any cautions and/or criminal convictions (including absolute and conditional discharges and spent convictions), and/or any adverse findings (including professional disciplinary proceedings) against you, with a certified English translation where necessary.
- The letter/certificate will need to be addressed to the RCVS. The letter/certificate is only valid for three months from the date of issue and must cover the period you intend to register.
Please note if you are requiring a 'Good Standing Certificate' from anywhere within Italy, this can only be issued by the Italian Health Ministry.
Please note if you are a new graduate of a veterinary school/college listed under the European Union registering within three months of the date of graduation, a formal letter issued by the Dean/Principal/Rector of your institution will be accepted as evidence of your good character. The letter should confirm the exact date of graduation [DD/MM/YYYY] and that you were a student in good standing, including, where relevant, details of any cautions and/or criminal convictions (including absolute and conditional discharges and spent convictions) and/or any adverse findings (including professional disciplinary proceedings) against you.
Please note your proof of current registration and letter/certificate of good standing may be provided in one document.
Additional requirements by country
There are additional requirements for qualifications obtained from particular countries – please check the following list and click on the relevant country:
We will need to have received all your documentation and payment in full before we can confirm your registration appointment.
Registration appointments take place at 11am on most Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year at the RCVS offices in Westminster, London. Please note dates can become fully booked very early, so please provide two preferred registration dates.
You will need to bring;
- the originals of all the documents you submitted (as listed above)
- your original passport or ID card to the registration appointment.
We cannot accept certified copies of documents. Failure to supply the correct documents will result in you not being able to complete your registration and you will need to attend a second registration appointment.
Your registration fee
The registration fee covers your membership (registration/licensure) up to 31 March following the date of your registration and the amount will vary depending on this date.
Please allow seven working days for payment to clear. Payment will need to have cleared before we can confirm your registration appointment.
How to pay
You can pay by:·
- Cheque - drawn on a UK bank made payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please allow at least 14 days for clearance)
- Card payment – we accept Visa and MasterCard
For your own security we cannot accept card payments by email. Card payments can only be accepted by completing and returning the separate 'Card payment authorisation form', (This can be downloaded from the 'Related Documents' box).
- Banker's draft – payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
- UK postal order – available from UK Post Offices, payable to the ‘Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (please write your name on the back of your payment)
- Bank transfer - you will be sent our bank details once your documentation has been processed.
Visa/ Immigration/ Work permit requirements
Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK. It does not exempt you from UK visa, immigration or working requirements. Information and assistance can be obtained from UK Visas and Immigration.
Our contact details
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
62-64 Horseferry Road
T 020 7202 0707
F 020 7202 0740