The Employment of Non-EEA Doctors in Ireland
In Ireland, non-EEA nationals are permitted to undertake certain short-term contract work which is not covered by the Employment Permits Acts.
Applicable circumstances under this scheme can include:
- Where a skill shortage has been identified
- Work which provides a specialised or high skill to an industry, business or academic institution
- Paid or funded short-term employment (or internship) where this is beneficial or integral to the course being studied by 3rd level students outside of Ireland
- Work as a Locum Doctor
- Work as a nurse or midwife under the Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme/RCSI Examination
- Work as a paid researcher for up to 90 days
This is known as the ‘Atypical Working Scheme‘.
Under this scheme, specific rules and arrangements apply specifically to non-EEA doctors. These rules have been subject to amendments in recent years, so may lead to some confusion.
Our immigration lawyers in Ireland have up-to-date knowledge and training in all aspects of Irish immigration law, including the Atypical Working Scheme for non-EEA doctors.
To find out how IAS can assist you throughout this process, contact our client care team on (+353) 061 518 025.
What are the conditions for non-EEA doctors applying to work under the Atypical Working Scheme?
Non-EEA doctors who wish to work in Ireland under the AWS must meet the following criteria to qualify:
- All doctors must be registered with the Medical Council of Ireland
- The individual must be working as a locum doctor in the Primary Care Sector only
- Locum work must not be undertaken in conjunction with an Employment Permit
- Doctors must be registered with one agency only
- The Irish based agency or host (for example General Practitioners) must keep an up-to-date record of all work undertaken by the doctor throughout the 90 day period whereby permission has been granted; this record must be available to the HSE if requested
- To recruit non-EEA locum doctors, the Irish agency/host body must possess a valid license from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)
What requirements must non-EEA doctors meet?
There are some important conditions to be met by non-EEA doctors who intend to work in Ireland on a short-term basis under the Atypical Work Scheme (AWS).
- The doctor must have received an offer of employment from an Irish-based host body (for example an agency or General Practitioner) prior to submitting an application
- The doctor must only exit from and re-enter into Ireland equating to a maximum of 14 days during the 90 day period that they are working in the State under the AWS. The 14 day period permitted may be taken consecutively or over multiple smaller exit/re-entries
- The doctor must leave Ireland on or prior to the expiry of the 90 day short-term work permission
- The individual’s application must include all necessary supporting documentation complete with payment of the relevant fee. If an application is successful, the applicant will be issued a letter of approval which remains valid for 90 days from the date of issue. However, if this is not used within the 90 day period, a new application will be required under the AWS
- The permitted 90 day period will not be extended
What is the application process for non-EEA doctors?
To apply to undertake locum work as a non-EEA doctor in Ireland under the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS), it is crucial to note that all applications must be made from outside of Ireland.
You will be required to complete an application form which requires the following:
- Your personal details
- Details about your current employer and your current occupation
- If you are a 3rd Level Student studying outside of Ireland, details of your academic institution and course are required
- Details of your proposed employment/service in Ireland under the AWS – this includes information regarding your Irish host body (e.g. agency or GP) and your contract
In addition to submitting this application form, you will also be required to compile and submit sufficient supporting documentation.
Another key condition with regards to applying for permission under the AWS is that, when the individual’s 90 day permission has expired, the doctor must leave Ireland but may make a new application immediately upon departure from the State.
However, it is required that at least 30 days elapse from the expiry date of the initial 90 day permission before the doctor enters the State again.
For help with your application, call the Immigration Advice Service’s client care team on (+353) 061 518 025.
Our dedicated immigration lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience in all matters of Irish immigration law, which includes assisting with the AWS for non-EEA doctors.
Whether you require legal advice or practical assistance with your application, IAS can help.
Which supporting documents are required within the application?
Within your application to work as a non-EEA locum doctor under the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS), you must provide the following supporting documentation:
- A colour copy of your entire, up-to-date passport that remains valid for at least the duration of the 90 day permission you are applying for
- A signed letter of authorisation which instructs that your legal representative may act on your behalf (if a legal representative/agency is submitting your application on your behalf)
- Evidence of your registration with the Irish Medical Council
- A letter which confirms the offer of employment from the Irish based host body (the agency/GP you will be employed by). This letter must outline the job description, your salary whilst in Ireland (in Euro), the duration of the contract and details regarding the dates and locations of your proposed employment
- Proof that you have paid the application fee to the Department of Justice and Equality (this is a cost of €250)
Returning to Ireland as a locum doctor following permission previously granted for this purpose
If you have already worked as a non-EEA locum doctor in Ireland under the Atypical Working Scheme and wish to do so again, you must first leave the State before submitting a new application.
Within your new application, you must submit the following additional supporting documentation:
- Evidence to prove the dates and locations of your employment under this scheme in Ireland under the previously granted permission
- Evidence of compliance with tax obligations by both the agency (or Primary Care employer) and the applicant
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If you are a non-EEA national who wishes to work in Ireland under the AWS as a locum doctor, you must pay an application fee of €250.
It is important to note that this cost excludes lawyer fees.
The Immigration Advice Service has an abundance of knowledge and experience in immigration law, having established itself as a leading organisation of immigration lawyers in Ireland and the UK.
This includes preparing and submitting visa and nationality applications, helping with asylum claims, submitting judicial reviews, appealing decisions and providing detailed, tailored legal advice.
If you require help with any immigration matter, call IAS on (+353) 061 518 025.
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