Skip to content

United Kingdom

How to apply to join the RCVS Register if you qualified in the UK.

The information on this page is for applicants who graduated more than three months ago. If you’ve not yet graduated or you graduated less than three months ago, please see our UK graduates page.

How to apply

Recognised qualifications

There are eight veterinary schools in the UK awarding RCVS-approved degrees:

  • University of Bristol - Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
  • University of Cambridge - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (VetMB)
  • University of Edinburgh - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S)
  • University of Glasgow - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS)
  • University of Liverpool - Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
  • University of Nottingham - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, Bachelor of Veterinary Surgery, Bachelor of Veterinary Medical Sciences (BVM BVS BVMedSci)
  • Royal Veterinary College London - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed)
  • University of Surrey - Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Science (BVMSci)

Graduates from any of these schools can register with the RCVS once their degree has been awarded.

Visa, immigration and work permit requirements

Membership of the RCVS licenses you to practise veterinary surgery in the UK.

If you have a recognised qualification, you can apply to join our Register regardless of your nationality. However, you may still need a visa to live and work in the UK.

If you’re looking for long-term employment in the UK you may need a work permit, which can only be obtained by an employer.

We strongly advise that you find out what type of visa or permit you need before attempting to enter the UK.

Unfortunately, we cannot give advice on visa or work permit status. You can get information and support from UK Visas and Immigration.


When you fill in your online application form, you’ll be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Identification
  • Proof of your qualifications
  • A letter of good standing


As proof of your identity, we’ll need:

  • A certified photocopy of the identifying page and front cover of your passport
  • A recent passport photo

On the reverse of the photo write:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your signature

Both sides of the photo can be photocopied and submitted with your other documents.

Proof of qualification

As proof of your qualifications, you’ll need to send us an A4 certified photocopy of your veterinary degree.

Letter of good standing

You will also need to send us a letter of good standing. Its content and author will vary depending on which of the following applies to you:

If you’re registering more than three months after graduation and are registered with a licensing authority

Your letter or certificate of good standing should come from your current registration or licensing authority. It’s only valid for three months after the date of issue and must be valid on the day of your registration appointment.

Your letter should be sent directly to the RCVS by the registration or licensing authority and state that:

  • you are registered to practise as a veterinary surgeon by that authority,
  • you are of good professional standing and good character, and
  • you hold a veterinary degree.

It should include – if relevant – details of any:

  • cautions or criminal convictions,
  • absolute and conditional discharges,
  • spent convictions, or
  • adverse findings against you, including professional disciplinary proceedings.

If the letter is not being sent directly to the RCVS from the registration authority, you’ll need to get it certified.

If you’re not registered with a registration or licensing authority

If you are not currently registered with an authority, please submit your application. We’ll contact you with further instructions once we’ve received your application.

Registration form and fee payment

Once you’ve gathered all the documents you need, you can complete the online registration form on My Account. Here you’ll be asked to:

To complete the online application form, you'll need to have an account on our portal, My Account. If you go onto My Account, you'll be prompted to fill in form to create your account. 

Video appointment

Once we’ve received your application, documents and fees, we’ll contact you to arrange a video appointment to complete your registration.

The meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams and you’ll be asked to present your passport.

Application timelines

You can apply up to six months before you’d like to be registered. Please avoid sending your application any earlier than this as we won’t be able to hold it open for you.

We aim to process all applications within four calendar weeks of receiving your application, payment and all supporting documents in the correct format. During busy periods, this may increase to six calendar weeks. Our priority will always be to process your application as quickly as possible.

All applications are processed in order of the date they’re received. Unfortunately we cannot fast track an application.

Back to top