Thought I'd share my recent experience with others who may be going through the same thing. I did not have the time or money to wait around for the completion of the PLAB, so I opted to take the alternate routes to registration. I bypassed the IELTS by getting a letter from my medical school stating that all instruction and tests were done in English. My postgraduate qualification was over three years old, which meant I had to show that my knowledge was kept up to date by providing evidence of continuous work as well as medical education. I'm unclear whether they used my USMLE part III or my ABIM certification as the postgraduate qualification, but both were over 3 years old. They seemed to take everything into consideration. I don't know if everyone is likely to go through the same thing, but when the application reached the Assistant Registrar's office, she had the option of making a decision, asking for further information, or referring to the GMC panel. In my case, she referred to the panel, which meets monthly. After they made their decision, it was another week before I received notification. Though not as expensive or time-consuming, it still took a long time. In all, it has taken me 5 months. Keep in mind that certain parts may have to be repeated if it takes more than 3 months. For example, the declaration of fitness to practice. They may also ask for another certificate of good standing.