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Pharmacists Coming to Work In Ireland: Requirements

Pharmacists from abroad seeking to practise in the rapidly growing Ireland pharmacy profession must understand the qualification recognition process.

We at IAS have expertise in assisting individuals to work in Ireland from any part of the world, be it from a European Nation or non-EU/EEA. Contact us at +353 061 518 025 or message us online.

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    Requirements To Move And Work In Ireland As a Pharmacist

    For pharmacists from non-EU/EEA countries, understanding the third country route is essential, as it provides an opportunity for them to practise in Ireland, ensuring that their qualifications and training align with Irish standards.

    Qualification Eligibility and Other Criteria

    Educational Qualifications

    • Completion of a Pharm/B. Sc Pharm degree, recognised and valid for practise in Ireland. This is especially crucial if the degree was obtained outside of the EU/EEA.
    • Undergo one-year post-registration training in a pharmacy approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).
    • To practise in Ireland, an applicant must be a registered pharmacist with PSI, ensuring their compliance with professional standards.
    • For some candidates, especially those from outside the EU/EEA, an equivalence exam might be necessary to align their qualifications with Irish standards.

    Language Proficiency

    • Effective communication skills in English are essential. This might involve presenting scores from English language tests like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), especially for non-native speakers. Additionally, a language competence assessment may be required to ensure that pharmacists can effectively communicate with patients and colleagues.

    Professional Experience

    • Before practising, pharmacists undergo an adaptation period, ranging from 6 months to three years, to familiarise themselves with local pharmaceutical standards.
    • Passing the PSI Professional Registration Examination is a must to practise in the Republic of Ireland.

    Documents Needed for Applicant

    • Proof of Pharm/B. Sc Pharm degree and any post-registration training.
    • Proof of registration with PSI or documents indicating eligibility for registration.
    • IELTS, TOEFL, or other recognised official language test scores for language proficiency.
    • A valid Ireland pharmacist work permit, especially for those from outside the EU/EEA.
    • Visa documents for non-EU/EEA candidates to enter Ireland.
    • Letters or certificates from previous employers or educational institutions as professional references.
    • Undergo specific health screenings or background checks, depending on the role.
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    If you are an employer and want to hire pharmacists from overseas, reach out to our team for help. Contact us

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      Hiring Pharmacists From Overseas: Employer’s Requirements

      When hiring pharmacists from overseas, employers in Ireland must stick to specific requirements to ensure a smooth hiring process and compliance with local regulations.

      What employers should consider and do

      Verify Educational Qualifications

      • Ensure the pharmacist has a Pharm/B. Sc Pharm degree or equivalent, recognised and valid for practise in Ireland.
      • If the degree was obtained outside of the EU/EEA, it might require validation or recognition by relevant Irish authorities.

      Check Post-Registration Training

      Confirm that the candidate has undergone the necessary post-registration training, preferably in a pharmacy approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).

      PSI Registration

      Ensure the candidate is registered with the PSI or is eligible for such registration. This might involve assisting the candidate with the registration process.

      Language Proficiency

      Verify the candidate’s proficiency in English, especially if they are non-native speakers. This could involve checking IELTS, TOEFL, or other recognised English language test scores.

      Work Permit and Visa

      Assist the candidate in obtaining a valid work permit, especially if they are from outside the EU/EEA.

      Be aware of visa requirements and potential sponsorship responsibilities if the candidate needs a visa to enter Ireland.

      Professional References

      Request and check professional references from the candidate’s previous employers or educational institutions to verify their competence and character.

      Health and Background Checks

      Depending on the role and workplace, conduct background checks or specific health screenings to ensure the candidate’s suitability.

      Contractual Agreements

      Draft employment contracts that comply with Irish labour laws and industry standards, detailing salary, working hours, benefits, and other terms of employment.

      Induction and Training

      Have an induction programme in place to help overseas pharmacists adapt to the Irish healthcare system and pharmacy practise.

      Support and Integration

      Consider offering support in areas like initial accommodation, cultural integration programmes, or mentorship to help overseas pharmacists settle in comfortably.

      Applying For The Work Permit

      For pharmacists looking to work in Ireland, understanding the work permit process is crucial. There are two primary work permits available: the General Employment Permit and the Critical Skills Employment Permit. Here’s a breakdown of the application process, processing times, and fees for each:

      General Employment Permit

      The General Employment Permit is a job-offer-based work permit that allows employers in Ireland to employ foreign nationals in a specified occupation.

      It is the primary permit offered to individuals from outside the EEA and Switzerland to work in Ireland. This permit is available for a broad range of occupations, excluding those which are on the “Ineligible List of Occupations.”

      The permit is initially granted for two years and can be extended. Employers need to demonstrate that they have been unable to find EEA or Swiss nationals to fill the position.

      Application Process

      • Submit an online application through the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS).
      • Ensure the job offer is for a minimum of two years.
      • The employer must prove they have advertised the job in Ireland and the EEA for a specific duration and have found no suitable applicants.
      • Attach the required documents, including a job offer, qualifications, and relevant fees.

      Processing Times

      • The average processing time is between 3 to 6 weeks but can vary based on the volume of applications.


      • €1,000 for a permit lasting up to 24 months.
      • €500 for permits lasting 6 months or less.

      Critical Skills Employment Permit

      The Critical Skills Employment Permit is designed to attract highly skilled individuals into the Irish workforce, addressing labour shortages in specific sectors, including healthcare.

      This permit targets specific professions deemed critically important to growing Ireland’s economy, are in significant demand, and may be in short supply domestically.

      Pharmacists, given their expertise and the demand in the healthcare sector, often qualify for this permit.

      One of the significant advantages of this permit is the fast track to family reunification and a pathway to long-term residency for holders. The job offer for this permit should also be for a minimum of two years, and upon completion of the two years, the individual can apply for a Stamp 4 visa, which allows them to work without a permit.

      Application Process

      • Submit an online application through EPOS.
      • This permit is designed for highly skilled professionals in sectors experiencing shortages. Pharmacists often qualify due to the demand in the healthcare sector.
      • The job offer should be for a minimum of two years.
      • Attach required documents, including evidence of pharmacy qualification, a job offer, and relevant fees.

      Processing Times

      • Generally between 2 to 9 weeks, depending on the volume and complexity of applications.


      • €1,000 for a permit lasting up to 24 months.

      Reach out to our immigration team for help with the legalities of hiring overseas pharmacists. Contact Us

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        Obtaining a Visa To Enter Ireland

        Those planning to work in Ireland and come from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland might need a visa to enter. Here’s a brief overview:

        • Not all nationalities require a visa to enter Ireland. It’s essential to check the list of visa-required countries on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.
        • For those intending to work, a long-stay ‘D’ visa is typically needed. This visa allows you to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days for employment purposes.
        • Visa applications are primarily done online. After completing the online application, you’ll need to submit your passport and other necessary documents to the relevant Irish Visa Application Centre in your country.
        • Supporting documents include a valid passport, job offer or employment contract from an Irish employer, proof of paid visa application fee, and passport-sized photographs.
        • The processing time can vary based on the volume of applications. It’s always advisable to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.
        • Having a visa doesn’t guarantee entry into Ireland. The final decision is with the immigration officer upon arrival.

        How Can IAS Help?

        Guiding Ireland’s immigration process can be challenging, but with the IAS by your side, it becomes much easier. From expert guidance on applications to assistance with document reviews, IAS ensures a smooth transition to your new life in Ireland.

        If you’re looking to make Ireland your new home, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact the IAS today at +353 061 518 025 or online, for personalised assistance and expert advice on your immigration needs.

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