Non-EEA Doctors - Immigration & Working Arrangements
ARRANGEMENTS FOR NON-EEA DOCTORS (excluding locum doctors) WORKING IN THE STATE
Notice – new arrangements for locum doctors under the Atypical Working Scheme effective from 02 June 2015:
Locum doctors engaged in –
- the Primary Care Sector (General Practice)
- the Hospital Sector
Following a review of arrangements under the Atypical Working Scheme in respect of such doctors, new arrangements recommended by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation have been agreed by those bodies and INIS.
For detailed information please see Atypical Working Scheme Guidelines
- Permission to take up employment will not be granted to Non-EEA doctors who enter the State without the correct landing permission and, where applicable, the correct entry visa.
- All Stamp 1 immigration permissions are granted on the basis of the doctor remaining in the posting as stated on the Employment Permit and for the duration of the immigration permission granted.
- Doctors holding immigration permission Stamp 1 may not set up any type of business, medical or GP practice without applying for specific business permission to do so. See the Immigration/Business Permission section of this website for further information in this regard.
The onus rests with health service employers (public and private) and all doctors to ensure compliance with all employment requirements.
Arrangements have been agreed between the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and INIS regarding the immigration and Employment Permits regime to be applied in respect of non-EEA doctors (including locum doctors) either already working in the State or seeking entry to the State.
These arrangements do not apply to doctors holding immigration permission Stamp 4. Doctors holding Stamp 4 may renew this immigration permission for two years provided they still continue to practice medicine. At all times doctors must remain in compliance with all Regulations, Guidelines and Requirements as set out by the Medical Council of Ireland and /or HSE.
Senior House Officers and Registrars who have been working for 5 consecutive year in a public hospital and were previously Work Permit exempt should read – Senior House Officers and Registrars working in Public Hospital for 5 consecutive years.
EU Treaty Rights - a doctor whose case is being determined by EU Treaty Rights Division in INIS will continue to be granted immigration permission Stamp 4 for six months only (this is in line with all other EU Treaty Rights applications.) The ensuing immigration permission will then be determined by the outcome of the case.
1. Employment Permit requirement
- Since 1 March 2014 all doctors registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau whether for the first time or renewing their immigration permission are now required to hold an Employment Permit issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for public and private hospitals and health facilities (Stamp 4 holders being exempt).
- Senior House Officers (SHOs) and Registrars who were granted immigration permission Stamp 1 for a 2 year period prior to 1 March 2014 and who are currently employed as SHOs and Registrars in a public hospital or public health facility may continue to work without the requirement of an Employment Permit until their immigration permission expires - provided they continue to work in a public hospital or public health facility.
Doctors who are due to renew their immigration permission should ensure that an application for an Employment Permit has been submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the expiry date of their current immigration permission.
(iii) A doctor who has always been required to hold an Employment Permit must continue to do so. This includes all doctors working in a private hospital or private health facility and certain categories of doctors working in a public hospital or public health facility.
(iv) Regardless of the duration of the Employment Permit, the duration of the immigration permission granted will be 12 months maximum e.g. in the case of a Critical Skills Employment Permit (formerly the “Green Card”), which covers 2 years, the immigration permission will be granted in two separate periods of 12 months each – this is in line with all other Critical Skills Employment Permit holders.
(v) Detailed information in relation to Employment Permit policy and application procedures may be found at http://djei.ie/labour/workpermits/
2. Doctors coming to Ireland to sit the PRES Examination
Doctors will be permitted to enter the State to sit the PRES examination. However, all doctors who are granted permission to do so must leave the State on completion of the examination. If successful in this examination doctors may only re-enter the State with an Employment Permit issued by the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and the appropriate visa where applicable.
An Employment Permit will not be granted to persons remaining in the State without the correct landing permission and, where applicable, the correct entry visa. This is in line with current practice in respect of all areas of employment.
Doctors who fail the exam and wish to repeat it must apply to do so from outside the State.
Doctors who do not comply with the requirement to leave the State and who remain illegally in the State will not be eligible to apply for an Employment Permit or make an application under the Atypical Working Scheme.
3. Doctors coming to Ireland for Interviews in the Public or Private Sector
Where an employer wishes to interview a qualified doctor who is currently residing outside the State, in advance of making an offer of employment, the "Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation" – agreed between the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Justice and Equality (INIS) – may be utilised in line with the conditions published on the websites of both Departments - see .
(i) No doctor may take up employment in any capacity until he/she is registered with the Medical Council of Ireland.
(ii) Doctors holding an Employment Permit and Locum Doctors in the Hospital Sector holding a 6-month immigration permission under the Atypical Working Scheme may not take up employment in any capacity until he/she is registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and lawfully holds a Certificate of Registration (GNIB card).
- Locum doctors working in the Primary Health Care (General Practice) Sector under the Atypical Working Scheme do not have to register as no immigration permission granted will be for more than 90 days.
(iii) Doctors must ensure that they comply with Employment Permit requirements.
(iv) Doctors employed in the State must ensure that they are tax compliant.
(v) All hospitals and health facilities should satisfy themselves that the doctor has complied with the above requirements prior to engaging him/her in employment.
(vi) Doctors who are in salaried employment, in possession of an Employment Permit, may not undertake locum work whilst still in possession of the Employment Permit. Also, they may not apply to work as locum doctors unless they have been outside the State for at least 6 months following the expiry date of their Employment Permit. Applications to work as a locum doctor must be made under the Atypical Working Scheme from outside the State.
Important: Failure to comply with these conditions may result in an immigration permission being revoked.
5. Registration Arrangements
Doctors who present to the Garda National Immigration Bureau or their local registration officer for first time registration or renewal may be registered on production of the following documentation –
(a) A valid passport.
(b) Currrent Certificate of Registration from the Medical Council.
(c) A valid Employment Permit if taking up employment contract with a public or private hospital.
(d) An Atypical Working Scheme Letter of Approval if engaged by an Agency i.e. locum doctors not directly paid or employed by a hospital or health facility (public or private).
In line with current policy, immigration permission will not be granted to a doctor offered the post of observership in either private or public hospital or health facilities.
Published 27th May 2015
More about this topic
- Conditions – applicable to all Doctors
- Doctors coming to Ireland to sit the PRES Examination
- Employment Permit requirement
- Locum Doctors - Doctors entering the State as a Locum, Locum doctors seeking to renew their immigration permission and Atypical Working Scheme
- SHOs & Registrars with 5 years work
- Register as a doctor in Ireland