How to Apply for a Physical Therapy (PT) Job in the United Kingdom

Are you a Filipino physical therapist trained abroad, yearning for the opportunity to practice your profession in the United Kingdom? If you’ve found the path to the U.S. brimming with challenges, there’s a promising alternative across the Atlantic.

In this comprehensive guide, tailored to the aspirations of Filipino physical therapists, we’ll delve into the inspiring journey of those who seek a fulfilling career in the UK. Our exploration is enriched by the insights of Grace, a seasoned physical therapist herself, who has not only navigated this path but has also dedicated her efforts to helping fellow Filipinos do the same.

applying as a PT in the united kingdom

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

A Filipino Physical Therapist’s Guide to Building a Career in the UK

The information in this article comes from an OFW YouTuber whose channel is named “Just Upright.” During this special occasion, the spotlight is on the UK’s openness to foreign-educated individuals. The interview features Grace, who comes from the United Kingdom. She’s here to discuss how the UK has become more welcoming to those seeking opportunities, particularly as physical therapist assistants. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

The experienced OFW vlogger knows well the challenges and commitment it takes to pursue a career as a foreign-educated physical therapist. They aim to offer insights into alternative paths for individuals who might have faced hurdles in the US. The UK, as explained by Grace, provides promising options for those looking to work and live there. The vlogger appreciates Grace’s dedication to helping others achieve their UK dreams and is eager to explore her journey and the valuable guidance she offers.

Grace’s Journey: From Struggles in the US to Helping Fellow Filipinos Excel in the UK

Here are some lessons we can learn from the journey of a physical therapist in the UK:

  • Success often requires perseverance and hard work, even in the face of significant challenges.
  • Transitioning to a new country and profession can be a complex process, but it’s possible with determination.
  • Starting from the bottom and gradually working your way up can lead to fulfilling career opportunities.
  • Sharing experiences and knowledge can make a positive impact on the lives of others.
  • The United Kingdom offers opportunities for foreign-trained physiotherapists and healthcare professionals.
  • Overcoming setbacks and setbacks in your career journey is possible with the right mindset and support.

Like many others, Grace faced her share of struggles over a decade while trying to establish her career as a physiotherapist in the United States. Unfortunately, her dream of making it in the US as a physiotherapist, just like the OFW vlogger, didn’t come to fruition.

Grace’s journey took her from the United Kingdom to the US, where she gave her all to break into the American system. However, despite her best efforts, she found herself unable to penetrate the intricate web of the US healthcare system. This challenging experience forced her to return to the United Kingdom.

Upon returning to the UK, Grace embarked on a journey from the very beginning. She started her ascent from the lowest rung of the healthcare sector, working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a healthcare assistant. Gradually, she managed to secure a position as a physiotherapy assistant, which was a step forward. Her determination led her to enroll in physiotherapy school to earn her degree.

During her remarkable journey, Grace encountered numerous foreign-trained physiotherapists from across the globe, each facing their own struggles. Some, like her, remained trapped in the US system, while others found themselves working in menial jobs such as cleaning or factory work. What struck her was that many of these individuals were unaware of the opportunity to use their skills in the United Kingdom as physiotherapists or physiotherapy assistants.

Driven by her own challenging journey and her desire to help others, Grace took a vow to assist as many foreign-trained physiotherapists as possible. She met individuals who were highly skilled in physiotherapy but were relegated to working in factories. Grace pointed out to them that they could pursue careers as physiotherapy assistants, without the need for a two-year diploma or a degree. On-the-job training could provide them with the skills necessary for this role.

Registering as a Physiotherapy Assistant and the Revamped Immigration Opportunities

  • Qualified physiotherapists from other countries can pursue careers as physiotherapy assistants while navigating the UK’s registration process.
  • The UK’s on-the-job training route for physiotherapy assistants sets it apart from the US, where a formal degree is required.
  • Recent changes in the UK’s immigration policies have opened up new opportunities for skilled foreign workers, including healthcare and physiotherapy assistants.
  • Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas are now available for individuals within these categories, making it easier for them to live and work legally in the UK.

For those who were already qualified physiotherapists in their home countries, the path involved navigating the registration process in the UK. While this process could be intricate due to specific requirements, they could work as physiotherapy assistants while concurrently fulfilling the registration criteria, thereby making the most of their skills and experience.

In the United Kingdom, aspiring physiotherapy assistants have the advantage of not needing a formal degree, unlike their counterparts in the United States. While the US requires a degree for physical therapy assistants (PTAs), the UK offers an on-the-job training route for those interested in pursuing this career. This distinction presents a significant contrast between the two countries.

Grace goes on to share another piece of critical information with the OFW vlogger, something she had not discussed for quite some time. She mentions that the UK had previously maintained strict immigration policies. However, there’s a recent development that is incredibly promising for skilled foreign workers.

As of the past year, the United Kingdom has notably relaxed its immigration policies. This change is aimed at providing employment opportunities to skilled workers, including healthcare assistants, physiotherapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, and highly qualified professionals. Specifically, the UK now offers Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas for individuals within these categories.

Contrasting UK’s On-the-Job Training with US Degree Requirements

  • The United Kingdom offers a distinct route to becoming a physiotherapy assistant, requiring on-the-job training rather than a formal degree, setting it apart from the US.
  • For those pursuing physical therapy careers in the US, working as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) in the UK is a valuable option while navigating the US certification process.
  • The recent relaxation of the UK’s immigration policies opens doors for skilled foreign workers, including physiotherapy assistants, offering new opportunities for legal immigration.
  • Skilled workers granted Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas have the option to bring their families with them, subject to job requirements and specific criteria. This presents a significant advantage for individuals seeking legal immigration to the UK.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this new opportunity is that skilled workers, once granted these visas, have the option to bring their families with them. Of course, this is contingent upon fulfilling the necessary job requirements and meeting specific criteria. Grace emphasizes that this development represents a fantastic opportunity for a multitude of individuals seeking legal immigration to the United Kingdom.

To further break it down, in the United States, one needs to secure a formal degree to become a physical therapy assistant, and even foreign-trained physiotherapists may choose to pursue this route. However, in the UK, the process takes a different course. Individuals interested in becoming physiotherapy assistants do not require a degree. Instead, they can enter the field through an on-the-job training program. This distinction highlights a significant disparity between the UK and the US concerning the requirements for this profession.

Another key point to highlight is that even if you are a foreign-trained individual, and you’re facing the often lengthy and challenging process of becoming a physical therapist in the United States, there’s still a valuable option. While working your way through the steps to attain a full-fledged physical therapy career in the US, you can work as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) in the UK. This flexibility allows you to gain practical experience in the field and continue honing your skills while navigating the US certification process.

A Gateway for Skilled Professionals and Their Families

  • The UK has opened its doors to skilled professionals, including those in healthcare assistance, physiotherapy assistance, occupational therapy assistance, and highly qualified professionals.
  • Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas are now available for individuals within these skill categories.
  • Families of skilled workers have the opportunity to accompany them to the UK, contingent upon meeting specific job requirements and criteria.
  • The UK’s approach to becoming a physiotherapy assistant differs significantly from that of the US. While the US typically requires a formal degree, the UK offers an on-the-job training route for aspiring physiotherapy assistants.

In another remarkable development, the United Kingdom has extended its welcome to foreigners seeking opportunities to live and work within its borders. This is especially pertinent for those individuals who possess valuable skills. In essence, if you are equipped with skills in healthcare assistance, physiotherapy assistance, occupational therapy assistance, or if you are a highly qualified professional, the UK now offers a pathway.

This path is paved with Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas designed for those within these categories. Importantly, this opportunity doesn’t just benefit the skilled workers themselves; it extends to their families, allowing them to accompany and join their loved ones in the UK, provided they meet the specified job requirements and criteria.

For individuals aspiring to become physiotherapy assistants, the UK offers a unique approach. Unlike the US, where obtaining a degree is typically a requirement for this role, the UK provides an alternative route. In the UK, you don’t necessarily need a formal degree. Instead, the process involves on-the-job training. This divergence in requirements is a significant distinguishing factor between the UK and the US when it comes to pursuing a career as a physiotherapy assistant.

Investing in Your Dream: The Value of Self-Improvement

  1. Persistence Pays Off: Grace’s decade-long journey serves as a reminder that persistence and determination can ultimately lead to success.
  2. Adaptability in the Face of Adversity: Grace’s ability to adapt and redirect her path when faced with challenges is a valuable lesson in resilience.
  3. The Power of Hard Work: Both Grace and the OFW vlogger’s stories emphasize that success is born from dedication, hard work, and the courage to push through adversity.
  4. There Are Tools and Resources Available: Grace’s commitment to helping others showcases the availability of tools and resources to support individuals in their pursuits.
  5. Community and Family Impact: Achieving one’s dreams can have a profound impact on family and the broader community, underlining the importance of aspirations that extend beyond personal gain.
  6. The Significance of Perseverance: Grace’s emphasis on the importance of perseverance and not letting go of one’s dreams serves as an inspirational reminder.
  7. Clarity and Vision: Maintaining a clear focus, committing aspirations to writing, and developing a precise vision of one’s desired life are essential steps towards achieving dreams.
  8. Selflessness in Pursuing Dreams: The idea that goals should not solely serve selfish interests but aim to benefit one’s family and others is a valuable concept.
  9. Inspirational Power: Grace’s journey serves as an inspiration to others facing similar challenges, highlighting the possibility of transforming setbacks into opportunities for fulfillment.
  10. Adapting to Changing Circumstances: Grace’s ability to adapt when her dream of living in the United States was deferred shows the importance of resilience and flexibility in the face of adversity.

It’s important to recognize the value of investing in oneself, and while not everyone starts as a millionaire, there’s no denying that good investments can pave the way for a brighter future. When you purchase a course, like the one offered by Grace, or any similar resource aimed at helping you achieve your dream of relocating to the UK or the US, you’re essentially making an investment in yourself. This investment holds the potential to yield significant returns in the form of a transformed life and, perhaps more importantly, the betterment of the lives of your family and those around you.

Grace leaves us with an uplifting message to never abandon your dreams. The pursuit of your dreams is a testament to your worth, and those aspirations are within your grasp. Achieving your dreams isn’t just about personal gain; it can have a profound impact on your family and your broader community. The path may be challenging, but, as Grace emphasizes, hard work is a critical component of any journey towards success.

Reflecting on Grace’s journey is a poignant reminder that the world often sees only the glimmering successes in social media and public platforms. Yet, behind these achievements lies an immense amount of effort and determination.

As Grace mentioned, she spent a decade on her journey, demonstrating that success is rarely an overnight occurrence. It’s born from dedication, perseverance, and the courage to push through adversity. In her case, even after a decade of struggle in the US, she didn’t give up. Instead, she chose to redirect her path and found her calling in assisting foreign-educated individuals and foreigners in the UK. Her goal? To help them leverage their skills for better job prospects, improved income, and enhanced financial stability.

If you find yourself currently grappling with obstacles on your path to realizing your dreams, take heart and heed the wisdom shared by Grace. Embrace the idea that, indeed, there are tools and resources available to support your journey.

You are not alone in your pursuit, and it is vital to persist, as Grace underscores. She emphasizes the importance of perseverance and not letting go of your dreams. If that dream resides deep within your heart, it holds the potential to manifest in reality. However, it will require dedication and hard work on your part.

Maintain a clear focus on what you desire, committing your aspirations to writing and developing a precise vision of your desired life. Your goals should not solely serve selfish interests but also encompass the betterment of your family and, ideally, extend to positively influence those you may not even know yet.

Grace is a shining example of this concept as she dedicates herself to assisting foreign-educated therapists in navigating the complexities of the UK system. Her work is a testament to her willingness to help others find their way to a fulfilling life in the UK.

Expressing her admiration for Grace, she mentions that Grace is indeed an inspiration. While Grace claims to be inspired by her, it’s evident that she, too, is a source of inspiration. Both have endured the challenges and uncertainty associated with chasing a dream tantalizingly close yet seemingly out of reach. In her case, she had her dreams set on the United States, only to have her hopes dashed as she returned to the Philippines after being denied an interview for her U.S. visa. The American dream remained a distant aspiration, but rather than surrendering to this setback, she chose to adapt and find her path to fulfillment.

Requirements and Steps to Apply as a Physical Therapist in the UK

The requirements and steps for a Filipino who wishes to apply as a physical therapist in the UK are as follows:


  • A Basic School Leaving Certificate, which includes proficiency in math and English for effective communication with patients.
  • If you don’t have a healthcare background or formal qualifications, you can consider a short, concise course to acquire the necessary skills for a physiotherapy assistant role.


  • Consider enrolling in a physiotherapy assistant course to gain the essential skills for the role.
  • Alternatively, if you already have the skills and qualifications as a physiotherapist, you’ll need to navigate the registration process in the UK.
  • The registration process can be intricate due to specific requirements, so it’s essential to be well-prepared.
  • While processing your registration documents, you can work as a physiotherapy assistant to gain practical experience in the field.
  • Recognize the recent changes in UK immigration policies. As of the past year, the UK has relaxed its immigration policies, making it more welcoming to skilled workers.
  • If you are highly skilled and fall into categories like healthcare assistants, physiotherapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, or other qualified professionals, you may be eligible for Highly Skilled Worker Visas or Healthcare Worker Visas.
  • Furthermore, you have the opportunity to bring your family with you to the UK if you meet the specific job requirements and criteria.

Visa Application Process

  1. **Determine Visa Type:**
    • Choose the specific visa type based on your qualifications and goals. Options include Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas, depending on your category.
  2. **Eligibility Assessment:**
    • Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen visa category. Requirements may vary depending on whether you are applying as a physiotherapy assistant or a skilled healthcare professional.
  3. **Gather Supporting Documents:**
    • Collect all the necessary documents to support your visa application. Typical documents include:
    • Passport
    • Proof of qualifications and certifications
    • English language proficiency test results (if required)
    • Proof of job offer or employment contract
    • Tuberculosis (TB) test results
    • Criminal record certificate
    • Financial documents to prove your ability to support yourself and any dependents
  4. **English Language Proficiency:**
    • If your chosen visa category requires English language proficiency, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, be prepared to take and submit your scores.
  5. **Secure a Job Offer:**
    • Find a job as a physiotherapy assistant or in a related healthcare field in the UK. It’s essential to have a job offer before applying for your visa.
  6. **Health Requirements:**
    • Undergo a medical examination, including a TB test, as part of your visa application process. You must be in good health to work in the UK’s healthcare sector.
  7. **Criminal Record Certificate:**
    • Obtain a criminal record certificate, often referred to as a police clearance certificate. This document may be required to demonstrate your good character.
  8. **Online Application:**
    • Visit the official UK government website and complete the online visa application form. Ensure that you provide accurate information and upload the required documents.
  9. **Biometrics Appointment:**
    • After submitting your online application, schedule a biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Center. During this appointment, your fingerprints and a photograph will be taken.
  10. **Visa Fee Payment:**
    • Pay the visa application fee as per the current rates. Keep the payment receipt as proof of payment.
  11. **Wait for a Decision:**
    • Once your application is submitted and biometrics are recorded, you’ll need to wait for a decision on your visa application. Processing times may vary.
  12. **Receive a Visa Decision:**
    • You will be notified of the visa decision. If approved, you’ll receive a visa vignette in your passport.
  13. **Travel to the UK:**
    • You can travel to the UK once your visa is granted. Ensure you comply with any conditions and requirements specified in your visa approval.

Please note that visa requirements and processes are subject to change, and it’s advisable to check the official UK government website or consult with relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information before initiating your visa application. Additionally, working with an immigration consultant or lawyer experienced in UK visa applications can be highly beneficial throughout the process.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve unveiled a world of opportunities for Filipino physical therapists and physiotherapy assistants aspiring to build their careers in the United Kingdom. The journey to fulfilling your dreams may involve overcoming numerous hurdles, but with dedication and the right information, you can navigate the path to professional success.

As you’ve learned, the UK provides a unique platform for those entering the healthcare sector. Whether you’re a skilled healthcare worker, physiotherapy assistant, or a highly qualified professional, the UK beckons with open arms through Highly Skilled Worker Visas and Healthcare Worker Visas. These pathways offer you the chance not only to advance your career but also to bring your loved ones along on your journey to a new life.

Throughout this guide, you’ve gained insights from the experiences of individuals like Grace, who persevered through their own struggles and emerged as beacons of inspiration. Grace’s story exemplifies that dreams are not measured by how quickly they are achieved, but rather by the determination to press on even when faced with adversity. Her journey demonstrates that success is an outcome of resilience, dedication, and the willingness to transform obstacles into stepping stones.

If you find yourself navigating a challenging path to realize your dreams, remember that support and resources are available. The tools to succeed, including on-the-job training and short courses, are within your reach. Embrace the belief that your aspirations are attainable, and consider the positive impact your journey can have on your family and your community.

The story of Filipino physical therapists in the United Kingdom is a testament to the potential that awaits you. While there may be obstacles along the way, the fulfillment of your dreams is not only personal; it has the power to uplift the lives of others. So, take the first step, invest in yourself, and press forward. The UK is ready to welcome your talents and skills, and the world is waiting to witness the impact you can make.