I would like to start off by stating that I was extremely pleased by the work and time that MDS had put into my case. I believe my matter was dealt in a professional manner and everyone that worked on my case had gone above and beyond to assist and make sure I had a positive outcome.
Being an international medical graduate (IMG) does not always play out so well when you come into a new country with new rules and regulations. I just want to take a moment and tell you my story and what MDS have done for me.
I came to UK in April of 2014, where I had written my PLAB 1 exams and PLAB 2, which I had completed by October 2014. I had a bit of a hiccup with my GMC registration where I had to settle for provisional registration instead of full registration due to my internship training not being completed in India (full 12 months) I was informed by GMC to apply to Foundation Programme 2016. When I had submitted my application in July 2015, I was told by UKFPO that I was not eligible for the programme solely due to my registration, that I should be granted full registration and the programme only accepts candidates with provisional registration. UKFPO had also discussed my case with a senior member in GMC who also agreed. When going back to GMC, they then told me after months of going back and forth that I am not eligible for full registration and need to apply to UKFPO. As many weeks had passed by I had lost my spot in the foundation programme for 2016 and was told to re-apply for the following year 2017. I was completely devastated by that as I thought a whole year wasted of my professional life. So I held my head and thought ok no worries I will re-apply.
After waiting a whole year I re-submitted my application to UKFPO. Which they then told me again I am not eligible for the programme due to my IELTS requirements. I was told that I had to take that test and meet the 7.5 mark in each category. I had been exempted from that exam as my medical school was not listed on the GMC website who required IELTS. UKFPO had overlooked that detail and I had submitted an appeal against their decision. During the time of them receiving my appeal form to the actual date of the appeal process they had sent me an email to resubmit my appeal as it was not opening up, it was not a word document, within 24 hours. I was traveling at that time where I did not check my emails and once I had checked my email the appeal process had passed and I was told to re-apply for next year 2018. At that moment I was upset and furious at UKFPO for not informing me in enough time to resubmit my appeal application form. I was then told by a very good friend of mine about MDS and that they would take care of situation as it seemed that UKFPO was treating me unfairly.
I then submitted my application for review to MDS where I had presented my case and they decided to take my case on.
I remember very clearly I was contacted by a very professional and friendly voice, Nisha Kanungo. After talking to Nisha over the phone I knew she understood my case clearly and was ready to fight it to the fullest. Our main objective was to get UKFPO to reconsider my application as the appeal was submitted on time and it was also clear that their main reason to reject my eligibility application was wrong, as I was exempted from IELTS.
After going back and forth through emails with UKFPO and talking to them over the phone, they had agreed that my application should not have been rejected and I should have been accepted into the programme, however in spite of them admitting their administrative error, they still felt the need not to assist in this matter further and insisted I re-apply.
At this moment not only was I angry with UKFPO, I know Nisha was as well. At that moment we started to discuss other options as well as to continue to fight with UKFPO for dealing with my matter so unprofessionally and carelessly. I was then at that moment considering to go back to India to compete a whole year of internship training, MDS followed up with GMC with that plan and of course GMC did not give any guarantee that I would be granted full registration after completing a whole year. This made me feel as if I was stuck, all doors shutting in my face. MDS encouraged me not to consider India as an option as practicing in the UK would help my career in the future whereas going back to India would complicate my matter further. MDS was adamant for me to get some council advise as to if taking legal action would be beneficial or not. After having a meet with councilor and MDS it was decided to go ahead with a pre-action letter to UKFPO.
What a brilliant letter it was because it got me into the programme and I was then shortly after allocated to start my FY1 training in August 2017. I was over the moon and so pleased with all the work that MDS had done for me and all the hours Nisha had put in working on my case and calling me and taking the time to talk to me and give me advice professionally.
After a few months of getting accepted into the programme, I had come across a visa matter that could potentially take me out of the programme. I had no idea who to turn to, so I immediately called Nisha, who I knew would look into it and do her best to solve this matter. It was very long and hard battle where I was mentally prepared for it to end horribly wrong. MDS does not deal with immigration matters as it is not in their remit of expertise. Getting professional advise from immigration lawyers, they saw that there was no solution/way around this matter.
Again heartbroken with this response and feeling I was defeated by the system again, Nisha and the MDS team did not stop there. They took the matter in their own hands and started to research further into immigration law and looking for some sort of positive outcome. As expected from MDS they did not fall short, they had found a loop hole in they system and somehow managed to solve my visa matter and get me my right to work in the UK as a training doctor.
I can proudly say that I am now working as a foundation year 1 doctor in the UK and loving every moment of it. I am so grateful and honoured to have MDS by my side, if it was not for them I would still be re-applying to a programme that would have just wasted my time and my career.
I would like to especially give a heart felt thank you to Nisha Kanungo. Not only has she dealt with my matter but I feel as if I have made a life long friend. Hands down I know if I am to ever come across any professional matter I can pick up the phone and call Nisha directly and have every faith that she can deal with my situation no matter what. She has proven to be a loyal, intelligent and hard working solicitor that can tackle any case. She had left the immigration lawyers impressed and speechless with her work.
I would also like to thank Sarah Dodds, Banita Sheemar and Pushpa Kadappa for all their assistance and responding to my calls and emails. A very big thank you to everyone at MDS, near the end of my case every time I had called the office, no matter who answered they always knew who I was and treated my matter as if they were dealing with my case first hand. MDS is truly a wonderful team that works very hard and treats all their clients with the outmost respect. Thank you for all your help!