This article is the sixth part of Naseer’s Journey Series.

You can find all the articles in this series here –

Image - Dr. Naseer Khan
Dr. Naseer Khan
  1. First article,
  2. Second article,
  3. Third article,
  4. Fourth article,
  5. Fifth article,
  6. Sixth article,
  7. Seventh article.

Part 6

My Cover Letter for PLAB Visa Application

This is the cover letter that I used in my third and final visa application, for which I was granted a visa. I did not use a cover letter for my previous two visa applications.

To,

The Entry Clearance Officer,

UK Visas and Immigration

7th October 2016

 

SUBJECT: VISA APPLICATION FOR PLAB EXAM

Respected Sir/Madam,

My name is Dr. Naseer *** *** (Visa Application Reference Number: ***, Passport Number: ***). I am applying for Business Visitor Visa for PLAB Part 2 examination. I plan on taking my PLAB Part 2 examination on 24th January 2017.

I am a fully qualified doctor. I am registered with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and I have a license to practice Medicine in Pakistan. I am currently working as Resident Medical Officer (RMO) at *** Institute, Karachi.

I’m also registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) the UK, as a candidate to appear in the PLAB examination. My GMC Reference Number is ***. I’ve attached documentary evidence of this.

 

WHY I AM APPLYING FOR THE UK BUSINESS VISITOR VISA FOR THE EXAM:

I am applying for the Business Visitor Visa in order to appear in the PLAB Part 2 examination. I wish to take the PLAB Part 2 examination on 24th January 2017. This exam is held only in Manchester, UK. PLAB Part 2 examination is not held in any other city or country. It is part 2 of the licensing exam for International Medical Graduates who wish to practice medicine in the UK. I passed PLAB Part 1 examination in November 2014 in my hometown, Karachi (only part 1 of the PLAB examination is held in other countries).

Image - letter

WHY I WANT TO TAKE THE PLAB EXAM:

I have worked as a doctor in Pakistan for over two years; now I want to work as a doctor in a better system where I can improve my skills even more. There is no doubt in the fact that the UK’s healthcare system is one of the best healthcare systems in the world. I want to make myself a better doctor by working in the UK and by learning from the doctors in the UK.

After gaining a sufficient amount of knowledge and experience as a doctor, and after serving the UK for a few years, I would like to come back to Pakistan to help the people of my country, like many others, have done before me.

 

MY TIMELINE:

Jan 2014:  I graduated from *** Medical University, Karachi.

Feb 2014:  I started my internship at *** University Hospital, Karachi.

Nov 2014:  I passed my PLAB-1 exam at Karachi.

Feb 2015:  I completed my internship at *** University Hospital.

Feb 2015:  I started working as SHO at *** University Hospital.

Mar 2015:  I applied for a PLAB-2 visa. My request was denied.

Aug 2015:  I did not renew my contract at *** University Hospital.

Aug 2015:  I started working as RMO at *** Institute.

Apr 2016:  I applied for PLAB-2 visa again. My request was denied again.

Since then I have been working at *** Institute as Resident Medical Officer. And after having worked at my current job for 14 months, I am applying for PLAB-2 visa again, for the third time.

I would also like to state that my medical school is listed in GMC’s Acceptable Overseas Medical Qualifications list. I’ve attached documentary evidence of this from the GMC’s website.

There are a few things that I would like to state about my timeline:

  1. I started an internship at my University Hospital as soon as internships became available. I did not waste a single day sitting at home.
  2. I passed my PLAB Part 1 examination during my busy and hectic internship.
  3. Ever since I started working, I have not been jobless for a single day. I have not taken any breaks from work.
  4. a) My internship ended on 07/Feb/2015. I started working as SHO from 08/Feb/2015.
  5. b) My job as SHO ended on 07/Aug/2015. I joined *** Institute as RMO from 08/Aug/2015.
  6. I did not renew my contract as Senior House Officer (SHO) at *** University Hospital and I joined *** Institute as Resident Medical Officer because I wanted my career to move forward. *** Institute is one of the largest kidney treatment centers of South Asia. And it is the only hospital where kidney transplants take place in Pakistan.
  7. As is evident from my timeline, I am serious about my work and my career. I want to become a better doctor and I never want to stop learning.

Image of a bag for hiking

 

MY DOMESTIC AND FINANCIAL CONDITIONS IN PAKISTAN:

I live with my parents … My brother lives in the UK.

My father is self-employed. He is the main bread-earner.




My brother works as a doctor in the NHS in *** Hospital, UK.

I, my mother … are financially dependent on my father. I do not spend my salary, as is evident from my bank account. My father takes care of our expenditures.

Additionally, I get *** GBP per month from my father for my personal expenditure, which includes money for my everyday needs. This money is handed down to me in cash. I do not deposit this money in my bank account, as I keep the money for my monthly expenditure in my hand.

 

MY BROTHER:

 

My brother, ***, is also a doctor.

He and I graduated from high school together.

We both entered into *** Medical University together.

We both graduated from *** Medical University together.

We both started our internship together, at *** University Hospital, on the same day.

We both passed our PLAB Part 1 examination in Karachi, together.

We both finished our internship together, at *** University Hospital, on the same day.

We both started working as Senior House Officers together, at the same hospital, on the same day.

We both applied for PLAB-2 visas in March 2015. My application was refused. He, however, got his visa.

He went to the UK to take his PLAB Part 2 examination in March 2015. He came back to resume work as a Senior House Officer with me. Unfortunately, he failed his exam.

We both joined *** Institute together, on the same day. He applied for his PLAB-2 visa again in February 2015. He again got his visa. This time he passed his PLAB Part 2 examination and subsequently got registered with General Medical Council, UK.

Both the times when he got his visa, he returned within the specified frame of time. During his stay, he obeyed all the rules and regulations of UK legislation. He was not involved in any wrongdoing or any illegal activity.

Recently he got his Tier 2 (General) Work visa. Now he’s living in the UK with ***. He’s working as a respectable doctor in the NHS in *** Hospital, UK. All his relevant documents are attached in my application.

 

PLAB-2 VISA REFUSAL (MAR 2015):

(Application number: ***)

My application for Business Visitor Visa for PLAB Part 2 examination was denied on 03/Mar/2015 for two basic reasons:

  1. My bank statement did not reflect my income.
  2. I did not attach documents from my UK sponsor.
  3. Why My Bank Statement Did Not Reflect My Income:

 

At the time of this application, I had recently finished my internship and it had been less than a month at my new job as Senior House Officer at *** University Hospital. My income during my Internship and during my work as SHO was only 16,000 PKR per month. In addition to this, I was getting *** GBP per month from my father for my personal expenditure.

In my visa application, I made a numerical error. I wrote my salary as 26,000 PKR instead of 16,000 PKR. It was an unintentional mistake. This is why my bank statements at the time did not reflect my salary, as per my application. I have attached my bank statements from the time while I was working as SHO and you can see that my bank statements reflect my salary of 16,000 PKR. I’ve also attached my Internship appointment letter, which confirms my salary of 16,000 PKR during the internship.

My bank statement did not reflect the *** GBP that I get from my father because that has always been given to me in cash.

  1. Why I didn’t Attach Documents from My UK Sponsor:

I wrote in my application that I would stay in the UK with my relative Dr. *** and that I would visit my relative Mr. ***. However, I did not attach any documents provided by them.

Dr. *** is a distant relative, who had guided me in the first place about PLAB Part 1 and PLAB Part 2 examinations. Therefore I was planning on staying with him in the UK because he was going to help me in preparing for the PLAB Part 2 examination. Not attaching his documents in the application was my fault; I completely accept my mistake. At that time, I did not realize the importance of attaching my UK sponsor’s documents.

Image of city

SUMMARY OF VISA REFUSAL:

My visa refusal was my own mistake. I have never traveled abroad. And this was my first attempt at a visa application. So the process was new for me and I did not fully understand the terms of visa application. I would like to apologize for my mistakes.

 

PLAB-2 VISA REFUSAL (APRIL 2016)

(Application number: ***)

My second application for Business Visitor Visa for PLAB Part 2 examination was denied on 18/Apr/2016 on the basis of the following reasons:

  1. No significant change in my personal circumstances.
  2. The cost of my UK accommodation was nearly equivalent to one month of my salary.
  3. Not reasonable to make the proposed expenditure of staying in the UK for 11 days for a single day exam given my domestic and financial circumstances.
  4. I don’t have enough ties to return to Pakistan.

No Cover Letter:

I made the mistake of not attaching a cover letter to explain my case. However, I would like to take this opportunity now to explain my side of the story, which would also make my current circumstances easier to understand:

  1. How My Personal Circumstances Had Changed Since My Last Visa Application:
  2. A) How my circumstances had changed in Pakistan:

When I had first applied for my visa application in March 2015, I was working at *** University Hospital as Senior House Officer. My pay was only 16,000 PKR. My total bank balance was only 81,732 PKR. Conversely, when I applied in April 2016, I was working at *** Institute as Resident Medical Officer. My salary was 49,020 PKR and my bank balance was 302,520 PKR.

Circumstances in March 2015    Circumstances in April 2016

Employment    *** University Hospital    *** Institute

Designation    Senior House Officer    Resident Medical Officer

Salary    16,000 PKR    49,020 PKR

Bank Balance    81,372 PKR    302,520 PKR

  1. B) How my circumstances had changed in terms of staying in the UK:

In my first visa application, in March 2015, I had stated that I would stay with Dr. *** as he would help me in preparing for the exam. However, by April 2016, my circumstances had changed. By now, my brother had already taken PLAB Part 2 examination twice. He had guided me enough about PLAB Part 2 examination and I didn’t need a mentor to stay with, in the UK.

Therefore, I planned a shorter trip and instead of staying with Dr. ***, I decided to book a hotel for my accommodation in the UK. I looked for the cheapest accommodation that I could find in Manchester and I got it booked for 11 days for 45,020 PKR (which was 303 GBP at that time).

  1. The Cost of My UK Accommodation Was Nearly Equivalent To One Month of My Salary:

My salary at that time was 49,020 PKR and the cost of accommodation was 45,020 PKR. However, as you can see, I have never spent my salary since I joined *** Institute. I have saved all of it for my future expenses in the UK. Therefore, spending a month’s salary on accommodation in the UK, while I had six months’ salary saved in my account was not going to be financially strenuous on me.

This is only confirmed by the fact that I now have 13 months of salary saved in my account. As my father bears my financial expenses, I don’t have to spend any of my salary in Pakistan.

3 (A). Staying In the UK for 11 days For A Single Day Exam Given My Financial and Domestic Circumstances:

Since my father had already paid for my exam, this was the cost of my trip for me:

Plane ticket    600 GBP

Accommodation    303 GBP

Living Expenses    200 GBP

Total Cost of my Trip    1103 GBP

The Amount of Money I Had For This Trip    2000 GBP

The total cost of the trip for me was 1103 GBP, while I had 2000 GBP (302,520 PKR – rates taken from Oanda on 18/04/2015, as quoted in my visa refusal letter) in my bank account. So I had more than enough funds to finance this trip for myself, by myself.

Even after spending 1103 GBP, I would’ve had 897 GBP saved in my account; which was not going to be problematic for me, as I do not spend any of my salaries. This is confirmed by the fact that I now have 4838 GBP (648,379 PKR) in my bank account in October 2016.

3 (B). Staying For 11 Days:

It was a single day exam, but it was not possible for me to travel to another country for an exam for one day. I was going to travel for the first time in my life; therefore I needed time to adjust to the surroundings. I needed time to adjust to the weather as well, as Manchester is a lot colder than Karachi, even in June. And above everything else, I needed time to prepare and to revise for my exam. This is how I was going to spend those 11 days in the UK:

Day 01    07/Jun/2016    Arrival

Day 02    08/Jun/2016    Studying Medicine

Day 03    09/Jun/2016    Studying Surgery

Day 04    10/Jun/2016    Studying OBGYN

Day 05    11/Jun/2016    Studying Pediatrics

Day 06    12/Jun/2016    Studying Ophthalmology + ENT

Day 07    13/Jun/2016    Studying Examinations

Day 08    14/Jun/2016    Studying Manikins

Day 09    15/Jun/2016    Exam Day

Day 10    16/Jun/2016    Relaxation + Meeting Relatives

Day 11    17/Jun/2016    Departure

  1. Not Enough Ties to Return To Pakistan:

My refusal letter stated that I do not have savings, properties or other income. I am not married and I do not have children.

At the age of 27, no doctor in Pakistan earns enough to buy a property. I do have a good amount of savings as I’m saving money for my trip to the UK. Yes, I am not married and therefore, I do not have children. But I have a very strong bond with my parents, as I am their eldest child. And I’m always going to return home, to see my parents.

My brother’s record shows a family history of good behavior in the UK. He visited the UK twice to take his PLAB Part 2 examination, as he failed the exam in his first attempt. He returned within the specified frame of time on both occasions. And now he’s serving the NHS UK as a doctor in ***. We’ve both grown up in the same home, with the same set of values. As our academic record shows, I and my brother are very similar people, with a similar personality and similar traits.

My record shows that I’ve never been involved in any wrongdoing. I work 60-80 hours per week. And I’ve never taken a break from work, not even for holidays. I am serious about my career. I cannot even think about staying in the UK for more than the proposed time limit.

 

SUMMARY OF VISA REFUSAL:

I felt I had a pretty good chance of getting visa clearance but I made the mistake of not attaching a cover letter to explain my case.

letter

MY PLAN FOR THE UK TRIP IN JANUARY 2017:

I was originally planning on studying and revising my books for my PLAB Part 2 examination, in the UK for a week, to get comfortable with my surroundings. However, in light of my previous visa refusal, I’ve decided to complete this revision and preparation for my exam back home in Pakistan.

I’ve shortened my trip to only four days. I will be traveling to the UK on 22/Jan/2017. I would return back to Pakistan on 25/Jan/2017. I will be staying for a total of only four days. This is my plan for those four days:

Day 01    22/Jan/2017    Arrival

Day 02    23/Jan/2017    Preparation for Exam

Day 03    24/Jan/2017    Exam Day

Day 04    25/Jan/2017    Departure

 

PLAB Part 2 Examination Confirmation:

I have booked my PLAB Part 2 examination for 24/Jan/2017. My father has already paid the fee for this exam. I’ve attached a confirmation of this booking along with my application.

 

No Objection from my Employer:

I’ve taken an unpaid leave of absence from *** Institute for two weeks, from 16/Jan/2017 till 29/Jan/2017. They’ve issued a No Objection Certificate regarding my trip, which I’ve attached with my application.

I will return back to Pakistan on 25/Jan/2017. After having worked and studied nonstop for so long, I will rest for four days. I will resume work at *** Institute from Monday, 30/Jan/2017.

 

Accommodation:

I will be staying at Hatters Manchester, 50 Newton Street, Manchester City Centre, M1 2EA, United Kingdom, from 22/Jan/2017 till 25/Jan/2017. The cost of this stay would only be 41 GBP. I can easily afford this since I have 648,379 PKR (4838 GBP) in my account. I’ve attached confirmation from Hatters Manchester for this stay.

I will not be visiting any friends or relatives in the UK since I will not have the time or need to see anyone in the UK. My brother has already guided me in detail about the exam since he’s taken the exam twice. I will stay at Hatters Manchester and spend all my time in studying for the exam.

 

Provisional Airline Booking:

I will be traveling to the UK on 22/Jan/2017. I’ve made a provisional airline booking via Emirates Airline. I’ve attached the provisional ticket along with my application. The cost of this ticket is 463 GBP. I will make a confirmed airline booking once my visa application is approved.

 

FINANCES:

I am working at *** Institute as a Resident Medical Officer. My current salary is 53,922 PKR. I am attaching my bank statement and my pay slips as a proof of this. I have 648,379 PKR (4838 GBP) in my bank account. The cost of my trip is only 584 GBP.

 

How My Financial Circumstances Have Changed Since My Last Application:

When I had last applied, my salary was 49,020 PKR. My total bank balance was 302,520 PKR.

After an annual increment in my salary in July 2016, my salary now is 53,922 PKR and my bank balance is 648,379 PKR. My bank statement and pay slips reflect these numbers.

As you can see, my financial circumstances have improved significantly.

Circumstances in April 2016    Circumstances in October 2016

Salary    49,020 PKR    53,922 PKR

Bank Balance    302,520 PKR (2000 GBP)    648,379 PKR (4838 GBP)

 

Total Cost of the Trip:

Since I planned a shorter trip and I made earlier reservations; I found a cheaper airline ticket and a cheaper accommodation. This reduced the cost of my trip significantly. The cost of my trip is only 584 GBP.

Plane ticket    463 GBP

Accommodation    41 GBP

Living Expenses    80 GBP

Total Cost of my Trip    584 GBP

The Amount of Money I Have For This Trip    4838 GBP

 

SUMMARY OF MY TOTAL COST OF TRIP:

In comparison to my previous visa application, my total cost of the trip has nearly halved (because of a shorter trip and earlier reservations) and my total bank balance has more than doubled (because I did not spend any of my salaries). I have more than enough money for this trip. I will be financially comfortable in the UK for this short trip of four days.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM MY UNCLE AND FATHER:

I’m comfortable as I have enough money of my own; I do not think I will require financial support from anyone else. However, in light of my previous visa refusal, my uncle and my father are willing to support me financially, if need be. Both of them have supported me financially in the past.

 

My Uncle’s Financial Support:

My uncle, ***, is my father’s brother (you can confirm this from my father and my uncle’s Pakistani Computerized National Identity Cards). He’s very close to me. He’s helped me financially at other occasions. He’s like a father and a mentor to me. He has no problem in financing my trip if need be.

He has more than enough funds to provide for this trip. I’ve attached his relevant documents along with an affidavit signed by him, stating that he would help me financially, if the need arises.

I did not attach my uncle’s documents in my last application because I felt I had enough money to finance my trip myself. I still feel I have enough money to finance my trip, however, due to the reasons of the refusal of my previous application; I am attaching my uncle’s documents.

featured image

My Father’s Financial Support:

As I’ve stated before, my father is the main bread-earner of our house. He supports himself, my mother, ***. He earns enough to meet all of our needs. He paid for five years of medical school fee ***. My PLAB Part 2 examination fee of 840 GBP is also paid by my father.

My father runs a business of ***. His business dealing is mostly through the post office and not through his bank account. This explains why he does not have a healthy bank statement. Nearly all of his transactions are through the post office in cash.

To prove this, I’ve attached a letter from the post office, stating my father’s monthly income from the post office, which is over *** PKR /month (*** GBP).  I’ve also attached an affidavit signed by my father, along with his other relevant documents.

SUMMARY OF MY FINANCES:

I have more than enough funds for my UK trip in my own bank account, from my own earnings. I will only be spending 12 percent of these savings, which will not be problematic for me, as I do not have to spend any of my earnings in Pakistan, as is evident from my bank statement. My total cost of the trip is also a lot less than before. I will also have my uncle and my father’s financial backing if the need arises.

United Bank Limited will provide a UK based ATM card to me, so all my funds in my bank account will be accessible to me in the UK.

 

MY CURRENT VISA APPLICATION IN LIGHT OF MY PREVIOUS VISA REFUSAL:

My previous visa application was refused under paragraphs V4.2 (a), (c) and (e). I would like to address those concerns for my current visa application:

“(a) will leave the UK at the end of their visit”

I would like to assure you that I am going to leave the UK at the end of my visit, as I have to join my responsibilities as Resident Medical Officer at *** Institute.

I’ve taken an unpaid leave of absence for two weeks from *** Institute, which expires on 29th January 2017. As the letter from my employer states, I have to resume my duty at *** Institute from Monday, 30th January 2017. Therefore it is not possible for me to overstay my visit in the UK.

I’ve had this job for 14 months. My seniors and my employers love me and motivate me. My record shows that I’m a workaholic and I’m serious about my career. I will not give up on my current job or on my career. Therefore, I will most certainly return back to Pakistan to resume my duties at work.

“(c) is genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes”

I have booked my PLAB Part 2 examination and my father has already paid 840 GBP for its fee.

The PLAB Part 2 examination is conducted by the General Medical Council UK. I’m a registered member of the General Medical Council UK. My GMC Reference Number is ***. I’ve attached documentary evidence of this.

I’ve also attached a confirmation from the General Medical Council UK for my exam invitation. The General Medical Council has invited me at their Clinical Assessment Center at Manchester, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, the United Kingdom on 24th January 2017 at 08:30 AM.

All of the above show that I’m genuinely seeking entry into the UK as a visitor, to appear in the PLAB Part 2 examination. You can confirm my registration details with the GMC UK and my exam invitation from the General Medical Council by calling them at +44 161 923 6602 or emailing them at gmc@gmc-uk.org or plab@gmc-uk.org.

“(e) must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.”

As I’ve explained in detail before, I have 4838 GBP in my bank account and my cost of the trip is only 584 GBP. I also have my uncle’s and father’s financial backing. Therefore, I will not run out of money. I will not work in the UK and I will not access public funds. I have a shorter trip of 4 days, and I have more than enough money for this trip.

If my father can pay my exam fee of 840 GBP, financing this trip of only 584 GBP should not be a problem for us.

 

SUMMARY OF MY VISA APPLICATION:

I am an honest person, a law-abiding citizen, and a sincere and hardworking doctor. I have attached a few letters of recommendation from my senior doctors. I have been working as a doctor in Pakistan for the last two and a half years, without a break. I come from a family of doctors. My brother is already working in the UK as a doctor. My sister is working as a doctor in Pakistan.

I’ve had two visa rejections for PLAB Part 2 examination. These refusals have hurt me mentally and I have been traumatized by them; these refusals have halted my career progress. However, I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ve tried to explain my case to you as best as possible. I’m staying positive and I hope that I’ll be granted a visa this time.

I will obey all the rules and regulations of the UK legislation. I will return within the specified frame of time. I will not overstay my visit.

I have more than enough funds to finance my trip. My financially circumstances have greatly improved. The exam is already paid for by my father. It is unlikely, however, if the need arises, my father and my uncle are willing to help me financially. I will not work in the UK. I will not seek aid from the UK’s public funds.

I have a genuine invitation from the General Medical Council UK to appear in the PLAB Part 2 examination. I am genuinely seeking entry into the UK as a visitor.

I have verified my statements on oath at the District Central Office Karachi on 4th October 2016. I have attached the signed affidavit.

I would by highly grateful to you if you grant me visa clearance to appear in PLAB Part 2 examination in Manchester and to make a success story out of my life.

If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.

Thank you! Have a nice day!

Yours’ Sincerely,

Dr. Naseer *** ***.

General Medical Council Reference Number: ***

Pakistani Computerized National Identity Number: ***

Pakistan Medical & Dental Council Registration Number:***

Residential Address: ***

Phone Number: ***

P.S. Internship in Pakistan is also known as Foundation Year Programme or House Job

P.P.S. All PKR to GBP conversions in my cover letter were done by taking rates from Oanda on 07/October/2016 (1 GBP = 134.030 PKR), as rates from Oanda were quoted in my visa refusal letters.

 

 

 

Image - Dr Naseer Khan
Dr Naseer Khan

 

Acknowledgements

This article was originally published on 7th February, 2017, on the author’s blog – Naseer’s Journey. We republished it here after editing with the permission from the author.

Here is the link to the article on Naseer’s Journey.

 

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