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  • Non-EEA Doctors – Immigration Arrangements

    These arrangements are subject to updating from time to time.

    Permission to take up employment will not be given to Non-EEA doctors who enter the State without the correct landing permission and, where applicable, the correct entry visa.

    ARRANGEMENTS FOR NON-EEA DOCTORS WORKING IN THE STATE STARTING 1 JANUARY 2014

    New arrangements have been agreed between INIS, the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation relating to the immigration and employment permits regime to be applied in respect of non-EEA doctors (including locum doctors) working in the State.

    1. Employment Permit requirement – from 1 March 2014

    From 1 March 2014, all non-EEA doctors working in the State, whether in a public or private hospital, will be required to hold an Employment Permit issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Detailed information in relation to employment permit policy and application procedures may be found at http://www.djei.ie/labour/workpermits/

    The length of time of the immigration permission issued by INIS will be linked to the length of time of the Employment Permit. Therefore, doctors will be given an immigration permission of either 6 months or one year subject to the length of time of the contract as stated on the Employment Permit

    See also 5(i) below in respect of Locum Doctors.

    2. Transitional Administrative Arrangements from 1 January 2014 to 28 February 2014 for Doctors working as SHO/Registrars in Public Hospitals

    Between 1 January 2014 and 28 February 2014, SHOs and Registrars wishing to register for the first time and any doctors wishing to renew registration during these two months will be given immigration permission Stamp 1 for a period of either the length of time of the employment contract or for a period of 12 months, whichever is the lesser.

    The current policy of giving permission for a two year period will stop as of 1 January 2014.

    NOTE: Doctors holding Stamp 4 may be renewed on Stamp 4 for two years on condition that they are still continuing to practice medicine.  The exception to this rule is any doctor who was granted stamp 4 permission for 6 months only while their case is being decided by the EU Treaty Right Division in INIS.  Such doctors are not to be renewed for 2 years on stamp 4.

    3. Doctors coming to Ireland to sit the PRES Examination – as from  1 January 2014

    Doctors will be permitted to enter the State to sit the PRES examination. However, all doctors who are given permission to do so must leave the State on finishing 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 given to persons staying in the State without the correct landing permission and, where applicable, the correct entry visa. This is in agreement 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 observe the requirement to leave the State and therefore who remain illegally in the State will not be permitted to apply for an Employment Permit.

    4. Doctors coming to Ireland for Interviews in the Public or Private Sector

    Where an employer wishes to interview a qualified doctor who is currently living outside the State, before making an offer of employment, the recently introduced “Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation” – agreed between the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Justice and Equality (INIS) – may be used in line with the conditions published on the websites of both Departments. Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation

    5. Locum Doctors

    The following new arrangements will apply to -
    (a) doctors entering the State to work as a locum and
    (b) doctors currently working in the State as a Locum and looking for renewal

    (i) With force from 1 March 2014, doctors who provide locum services but who hold employment contracts with and are paid directly by a hospital (public or private) will be required to apply for an Employment Permit in accordance with the new requirements set out in Section 1.

    (ii) Atypical Working Scheme and Locum Doctors
    With effect from 1 July 2014, new administrative arrangements will be put in place for locum doctors who remain the employees of an Agency i.e. locum doctors not directly paid or employed by a hospital (public or private). This category of locum doctor will be allowed work for a maximum period of six months in Ireland as a locum doctor or as an employee of an Agency.

    Doctors in this group must apply under the Atypical Working Scheme before seeking entry to the State.  Information regarding this Scheme is available on the INIS website -Atypical Working Scheme Guidelines.

    As an exception to the normal rule under the Atypical Working Scheme, a doctor working as a Locum may be given immigration permission for up to six months rather than 90 days. The fee will stay the same.

    Doctors working as a locum in the way r described above will only be given immigration permission Stamp 1 up to a maximum of six months. At the end of this permission the doctor must then either leave the State or, should he/she wish to stay and work as a doctor, he/she must have a confirmed offer of employment from a hospital as an employee and have got an Employment Permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation before the expiry date of the six month immigration permission.

    Intermediate arrangements to 1 July 2014 – Any doctors who are now working as self employed or Agency locums, or present for first time registration under this group during this intermediate period up to 1 July 2014 may be given Stamp 1 immigration permission to the end of 2014 or to the end of their contract – whichever is the earlier.

    6. Conditions

    (i) No doctor may take up employment in any capacity until he/she is registered with the Medical Council of Ireland.

    (ii) No doctor may 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).

    (iii) The Employment Permit arrangements must be complied with.

    (iv) Doctors employed in the State must make sure that they are tax compliant.

    (v) All hospitals should satisfy themselves that the doctor has observed with the above requirements before engaging him/her in employment.

    Important: Failure to comply with these conditions may result in an immigration permission being cancelled .

    7. Registration Arrangements

    Doctors who arrive at the Garda National Immigration Bureau or their local registration officer for first time registration or renewal may be registered on showing the following documentation –

    (a) A valid passport.

    (b) Original Certificate of Registration from the Medical Council (or, where the Certificate of Registration is undecided , a printout from the Medical Council’s Register approved of by the HSE or employing hospital will be accepted).

    (c) From 1 March 2014 – a valid Employment Permit if taking up employment contract with a public or private hospital.

    (d) From 1 July 2014 –

    • in relation to  locum doctors who remain the employees of a locum Agency, a contract for service, if providing services to a Hospital/Agency or
    • a contract of employment if an employee of an Agency.

    Please note that 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 about this. .

    8. Observerships

    In accordance with with current practice , immigration permission will not be given to a doctor offered the post of observership in either private or public hospitals.

    Important

    • All Stamp 1 immigration permissions, as described above, are given on the basis of the doctor staying in the type of position held at the time of registration and for the length of time of the immigration permission given .
    • No other type of employment may be engaged in within the length of time of the immigration permission given .
    • Holders of Stamp 1 immigration permission are not permitted to set up or run a business in the State.

    The responsibility rests with health service employers, public and private, to confirm observance with all Employment Permit requirements

    Originally published 27 December 2013 – Updated 14 January 2014