- What visa is best for medical practitioners to enter Ireland?
- Do UK Nationals need to apply for the Non-EEA doctor scheme?
- What are the eligibility requirements for Non-EEA doctors to work in Ireland’s health service?
- What is the visa application process for the Atypical Working Scheme?
- What documents must doctors submit for the application to work in Ireland?
- How much does the scheme cost?
- What are non-EEA doctors under the scheme not permitted to do while in Ireland?
- Does this scheme lead to residency in Ireland?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What visa is best for medical practitioners to enter Ireland?
While there are plenty of employment visas depending on your qualifications and experience, for medical practitioners, the route to take is what’s called the Atypical Working Scheme. This permits non-EEA nationals and, specifically, non-EEA doctors, to work in Ireland.
The Atypical Working Scheme is intended for applicants coming to Ireland to fulfil one of the following roles:
- To fill a position where a skill shortage has been identified
- To engage in work that offers a high skill to an industry, company, postgraduate training places or academic institution
- To complete paid internship relevant to their course of study
- To work as a paid researcher
- To work as a Locum Doctor
- To work as a nurse or midwife
Do UK Nationals need to apply for the Non-EEA doctor scheme?
UK residents that wish to work in Ireland in health services as a doctor, medical professors, or general practitioners do not have many barriers faced to achieve this thanks to the long-standing agreement between Ireland and the UK.
This agreement, known as the Common Travel Area Agreement, permits UK residents the right to move freely to Ireland in order to work in the health service, study at medical school, travel and live there visa-free. This agreement will continue despite the UK exiting The European Union (Brexit). People from Ireland hold the same rights, and they too can freely travel, move, study, work and live in the UK without any visa permits required.
However, many UK doctors who call the UK home are not UK nationals or from Switzerland or the European Economic Area, which means they do not benefit from the same rights of free movement. Doctors who live in the UK by way of another legal immigration route may still apply to work in the Irish health service.
What are the eligibility requirements for Non-EEA doctors to work in Ireland’s health service?
Non-EEA doctors who want to come to Ireland under this scheme have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be registered with the General Medical Council of Ireland and have proof of registration
- Be working as a locum doctor in the Primary Care Sector at a practice
- Not intend to undertake locum work together with another employment permit
- Be registered with only one agency
- Hold a valid healthcare job offer from an Irish agency before submitting the application to the scheme
- Only leave the country for a maximum of 14 days during the 90-day period that you are permitted to work. These 14 days may be taken consecutively or over multiple trips
- Prove that you will leave Ireland on the date or before the 90-day work permission expires
- Be able to provide supporting evidence that confirms your eligibility such as proof of medical school, national training programmes, and any other specialist training places you have undertaken
- Have sufficient money to pay all relevant fees and have enough funds to support yourself during your time in Ireland
In addition, the Irish agency must store all records of work and treatment that the foreign doctor is subject to in the health services throughout their 90-day period in Ireland.
What is the visa application process for the Atypical Working Scheme?
In order to submit your application, you will have to do so from your home country, outside of Ireland.
The application process is completed on an online page where you will be asked to provide your personal details, and information about your current occupation and medical department.
You must also provide a detailed explanation of what your proposed healthcare employment circumstances will be, including who your Irish host body will be and what professional activities you will be involved in.
Candidates will then be asked to provide an extensive list of required documents to confirm if they are eligible or not for the scheme.
What documents must doctors submit for the application to work in Ireland?
An important part of the application for the Atypical Working Scheme is submitting the following documents:
- A copy of your passport that needs to be valid throughout the 90-day work in Ireland
- A signed letter of authorisation that entitles your legal representative to act on your behalf
- Evidence that you have registered with the Irish Medical Council to access healthcare
- A letter stating your valid offer of employment from the Irish agency that highlights your health care tasks, pay/salary, services, and duration of the contract
- Proof that you have paid the application fee to the Department of Justice and Equality
All the documents submitted should be their original copies and must be in either English or Irish. If they are not, they must be translated by an accredited and approved translation company. If you do not submit all of the documents, you increase the chances of your application being rejected or sent back.
How much does the scheme cost?
If you want to apply for the Atypical Working Scheme, you must pay the application fee of €250, through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
Please note that this fee is non-refundable, even in the instance where your application is withdrawn or rejected.
What are non-EEA doctors under the scheme not permitted to do while in Ireland?
In the first instance you must adhere to the following rules:
- You may not enter employment before you register with the Medical Council of Ireland
- You must leave Ireland on the day or before your 90-day long permission expires
- You cannot try to access public funds, but you can access healthcare services
- You cannot undertake locum work while also holding an employment permit
Does this scheme lead to residency in Ireland?
This scheme does not grant doctors and other health services residency in Ireland. Rather, doctors will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days. It is not possible to extend this period.
If you want to stay longer in Ireland, you must return to your home country and apply for the Atypical Working Scheme again. When completing a second application, you must provide details regarding your previous employment, including the dates and locations where you worked as a locum doctor. If you are successful, at least one calendar month must pass between the re-entry into Ireland after the expiration.
Having the opportunity to obtain work experience as a medical professional in Ireland is invaluable. If you are from outside the European Economic Area and wish to experience life and work in Ireland, we advise you to hire our Total Law team to assist you in your application.
Our educated and trustworthy team will support you from the start to the end of the process, ensuring it is as stress-free and as straightforward as possible. Our services are available seven days a week, and you may reach us by telephone at 0333 305 9375 or by speaking to a representative on our online chat.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
If your application is not approved, you will get a letter from the Atypical Working Unit explaining the reasons why your application was not successful at this time. You are not allowed to appeal. However, if your circumstances change and you reach more of the eligibility requirements under the Scheme, you are allowed to submit another application.
The rules of the Atypical Working Scheme state that only the holder is permitted to enter Ireland for the set amount of time listed. This means that your family, including spouses/civil partners and children, will not be able to accompany you to Ireland.
However, if you require that your loved ones come with you, they will need to apply for their own, separate permits that will state different rules and regulations. For example, you could help your dependents apply for a Tourist Visa to Ireland which would permit your family members to enter Ireland to visit you and see the country.