New Irish work visa application and employment permit system introduced for non-EU/EEA nurses

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The government of Ireland has announced the launch of a new work visa application process for non-EU/EEA nurses who have a contract of employment in the country. The new process will require non-EU/EEA nurses to apply for entry to Ireland via the Atypical Working Scheme.

Irish work visas also available

An employer or worker can apply for the Irish General Employment Permit, this visa is a job-offer based work permit, applicants can work in Ireland in a role that pays at least €30,000 per year; with some exceptions. Both can also apply for the Irish Critical Skills Employment Permit, which is a job-offer based work permit in Ireland in a role that pays at least €60,000 per year; or at least €30,000 per year if the job is on Ireland's Highly Skilled Occupations List .

Atypical Working Visa Scheme conditions

The scheme enables work visa applicants to work in a position that is not covered by other employment rules, including industry sectors with a skills shortage. The new process will further require non-EU/EEA nurses to:

● Complete a compulsory aptitude test or clinical assessment program

● Register with Ireland’s professional nursing board to receive a personal identification number

● Obtain an employment permit via their employer

● Register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS)

The Irish work permit process for nurses will further be applicable to EU-trained nurses who are not eligible for direct registration in accordance with EU Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which governs the recognition of ‘professional’ qualifications.

The new Irish work visa application process for non-EU/EEA nurses outlined

In accordance with the new rules, non-EU/EEA nurses seeking to work in Ireland must file an application via the Atypical Work Scheme.

● All applications filed should include all necessary documentation, proof of an employment contract lasting a minimum of two years, a passport that remains valid for the duration of the contract and a non-refundable, €250 fee. Successful applicants will receive an approval letter that is valid for a period of six months.

● Successful applicants will then be subjected to an aptitude test or training program, which involves completing an approved Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Program or Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland aptitude test.

● Upon satisfactorily completing an aptitude test or training program, non-EU/EEA nurses are required to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland to obtain a personal identification number.

● The final stage of the process is to acquire an employment permit from an employer. At this point those employing non-EU/EEA nurses are responsible for filing an employment permit application.

Under the terms of the new work visa system, non-EU/EEA nurses are not allowed to switch employers or their working location for the duration of their employment contract. Following an employment visa permit being issued, nurses must register with INIS.

Failure to adhere to the terms of the new Irish work visa system for nurses could result in delays to employment start dates or ineligibility to work in Ireland.

Interest in Irish visas increasing is receiving increasing interest in Ireland as an immigration option. If you have a contract or employment in Ireland, this may be worth considering. For many, it is difficult to gain entry or leave to remain in the UK.

In the UK, fewer people now qualify for indefinite leave to remain. The UK Government is likely to take even more steps in future to restrict Tier 2 visas. The Tier 2 allowed skilled workers to work for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence holding UK employer, and eventually gain UK legal permanent residence is one of the few options left for work-based entry to the UK. can help with Atypical Working Scheme, the Irish General Employment Permit, Critical Skills Employment Permit, UK Tier 2 Visa, and UK Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.

If you are a highly skilled worker with good qualifications and experience then we may be able to come up with an immigration route for Ireland. For more information on immigration to Ireland, call the London office on 0344 991 9222.