Frequently asked questions about working in Ireland

Frequently Asked Questions


Below you will find some of the answers to the questions you probably have in your head! We are sure that there will be more queries along the way, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to discuss things further with you.

Q: How long can I stay in Ireland?

A: EU Doctors (both GP and hospitals):

If you are an EU citizen, there are no restrictions to how long you can stay in Ireland, you can live and work here for as long as you wish!

Non-EU GP Doctors:

GP doctors who do not hold EU citizenship will be required to obtain AWS (Atypical Working Scheme), and entry visa, where appropriate. AWS permits you to stay in Ireland for a maximum of 90 consecutive days after which you are required to leave Ireland for one month before you can come back under another AWS. AWS should be obtained when you already know the approximate date and duration of your visit here. You are responsible for covering the cost of AWS permit; however Locumotion will be delighted to assist you with applying for it.

More information can be found if you click here and click here

Non-EU Hospital Doctors:

Non EU hospital doctors wishing to work in Ireland must be in possession of a General Employment Permit for contracted periods of employment. This must be applied for before arriving into the country, and once in possession of a written offer of employment and Irish Medical Council Registration. Most hospitals will make the final application once they have received your supporting documentation.

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Q: I am a GP doctor from outside EU and I would like to work in Ireland as a locum doctor. How does Atypical Working Scheme affect me?

A: As of May 2015, there are new regulations related to the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS), which allow non-EU doctors to work in Ireland as a locum GP.

You should ensure that the application for AWS is made from outside the State.

Applications under this Scheme must be made from outside the State and you should not travel until in possession of an Atypical Working Scheme Letter of Approval and, where applicable, the appropriate entry visa. If your application is successful, a 'block' permission of 90 consecutive days will be granted during which time you may undertake work as required in the Primary Care sector (General Practice) only. This 90-day period, which covers all aspects of a person's time in the State, will commence on date of entry to the State and will expire on the 90th day thereafter. A doctor must leave the State on or before the expiry of the 90 day permission. At least one month must elapse from the expiry date of the 90 day permission (regardless of how long within that time frame the doctor was actually present in the State) before a new application to undertake another locum contract may be made.

In the case of visa-required nationals, a copy of the Letter of Approval issued by INIS under this Scheme must be included as a supporting document when applying for an entry Visa. An entry Visa may not be applied for prior to the approval of an application under this Scheme.

Each AWS application costs €250.00. As no single visit will be longer than 90 days, you will not be required to register with the GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau).

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Q: Will I be responsible for my own indemnity cover?

A: When working as a General Practitioner in Ireland, you will be responsible for your own medical indemnity. The cost will depend on such factors as your education, experience, the nature of planned work (e.g. daytime practice only, out of hours) etc. It is best to enquire directly with medical insurance providers to get a better understanding of the costs involved, however, do keep it mind that this is only possible once you hold the IMC registration. Why not to get in touch:

MPS (Medical Protection Society), you can call on 0044 113 241 0533 (or 1800 509 441) or send an e-mail to; check out their website:

Medisec, you can call on 00353 1 661 0504( or 1800 460 400) or send an e-mail to; check out their website:

Please note that in order to receive the certificate of membership you will have to provide the payment. You will have two options:

  • Paying in full by credit / debit card
  • Paying by Direct Debit (monthly installments), this option is available only when you are a holder of an Irish bank account; if you were interested in opening a bank account while still outside of Ireland, do get in touch with us for further assistance

If you have your medical indemity cover organised in your own country, do check with your provider if they will cover you for any sessions abroad.

When working as a Hospital Doctor, a hospital offering you the placement will also look after your indemnity cover, so you do not have to do anything in this instance.

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Q: I am a GP doctor that just recently registered with you and I am ready to come over to Ireland for some time to work. How do I start?

A: First of all, congratulations, we are always delighted to welcome more doctors on board!

When successful in your interview with our Medical Director, we will start the process of completing your file (gathering your documentation) and preparing for your potential arrival, when your plans are known. As soon as your IMC registration is through, you will be assigned a Placement Coordinator. Placement Coordinator acts pretty much like an account manager for you and will be in touch to check with you flight information and the details of your trip. He or she will be responsible for organising your work schedule, gathering any outstanding documents and assisting with any administrative tasks that you will face coming into the country for the first time, e.g. organising your PPS number (Personal Public Service number), opening a bank account, etc. He or she will provide you with needed advice and guidelines when it comes to any questions you may have.

From the clinical side, it is important for you to know that your Placement Coordinator will schedule a Clinical Orientation for you with one of our Medical Directors, the meanders of the Irish healthcare system will be explained to you at that time and you will told all you need to know to start working in this new environment. This will be also an opportunity to ask our Medical Director as many questions as possible! This is a very helpful introduction to the Irish healthcare system that should give you confidence when starting your first placement. You will further receive some induction and support from your placement hosts. And we are always here for you also.

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Q: How much does it cost for medical registration/licensing and a work visa?

A: Medical Council registration costs vary depending on the type of registration applied for. Full fee breakdowns can be had if you click here.

The cost of a General Work Permit is covered for you if you take up work in the HSE. The Atypical permit costs €250.00

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Q: What is the cost of living like?

A: The cost of living in Ireland varies depending on the area of the country. Dublin is on average 1/3 more expensive than the rest of the country. The following link gives an idea of Dublin prices. click here

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Q: What is the climate like?

A: Officially, Ireland's climate is described as temperate. As we are on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, what this actually means is that extremes of temperature and weather are relatively rare. It rains frequently, although by no means every day! In many cases, showers are short and light, and you'll often hear the phrase "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes!".

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Q: Can I bring my family with me on my work visa?

A: You can bring your family, although adults may require their own work permit in order to work (or may not be permitted to work depending on their profession). Information on this can be found if you click here and at

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Q: Am I responsible for organising my own accommodation?


GP Doctors:

Locumotion will be happy to arrange and pay for the first night of your accommodation when you are coming into the country. Your Placement Coordinator will organise it for you.

Depending on type of work you will be involved in, there are various arrangements in place afterwards:

When working in Dublin, being that daytime GP practice, or urgent care clinics, you will be responsible for organising your own accommodation.

If you work as a GP locum doctor in the GP practice outside of Dublin, your host GP practice will organise and pay for your accommodation on the nights of your placement. This is usually a local B&B. Do keep in mind that the host GP practice will cover the cost of the accommodation for you only (and not members of your family, if there are any travelling with you).

Working in the out of hours centres, accommodation is not provided by your employers. However, if you work an overnight shift (also known as red-eye shift), some of the co-ops (though not all) will provide some accommodation allowance, to contribute towards the costs.

Finding accommodation - short term or long term - can be quite challenging particularly in the capital, with Dublin experiencing high demand and low supply at present. This task is easier in terms of choice and costs associated if you decide to settle outside Dublin.

Hospital Doctors:

It is currently quite challenging to find accommodation in some areas of the country. Larger towns and cities are facing high demand and low supply, but with a bit of patience accommodation can be found to suit any budget.

You might explore some accommodation options on:

  •, private rental of rooms and houses - handy for just few nights
  •, often feature local B&Bs in rural parts of the country
  •, mostly long term rental and sharing options

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Q: Can I drive on my current overseas driver's license?

A: If you have a driving licence issued by an EU member state you can drive in Ireland as long as your existing licence is valid.

Ireland has agreements with certain other countries/states that designate them as recognised states for the purposes of driving licence exchange. These are: Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, Taiwan, Ontario Province of Canada and Manitoba Province of Canada. There are further regulations surrounding some of these agreements. Please follow the link to below to find out more.

If you are not from any of the above countries and you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from your own country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months). If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months you can apply for an Irish driving licence but you will need to go through the full driver licensing procedure.

The comprehensive information on the regulation regarding the driving license can be found if you click here.

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Q: Do I actually need a car?

A: Working as a GP locum doctor, being that in daytime surgeries, out of hours centres or combining the two, it is vital that you have an access to a car, as this will give you a greater exposure to placements. Without a car, you would be limited to public transport only and this would greatly limit your options for work (it would simply not work in most parts of the country). So, to put it simply, yes, you do need a car.

There are plenty of rental companies to choose from and rental cars can be quite reasonable priced. We do not work with any particular companies, but you will be choosing between the standard international brands, like Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Thrifty etc. Do remember to check various companies for quotes, as the prices can vary at times.

Alternatively, some of EU doctors that come over to work here choose to drive with their car to Ireland.

Working in a hospital setting, you will be working in one location only, and so, work wise, it is very much your personal choice whether you would like to get a car or not.

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Q: What are the tax rates?

A: When working in Ireland, you will be responsible for paying taxes here on the income earned; how much you pay depend on the number of factors, e.g. your status, whether you are registered as a company or not, the amount of time you will spend working here in a tax year etc.

The standard rates for the PAYE (Pay as You Earn) are: 20% for earnings up to €33,800, and 40% for earnings above that threshold. You will receive some tax credits, which have the effect of reducing your tax by the amount of the credit. Tax credits vary depending on your personal circumstances.

More information on the tax system can be obtained here:

For Irish Revenue website - click here.

For the Citizen Information website click here.

If you would like professional advice, we can recommend Cregan Accountants that specialise in financial advice for medical professionals. Visit their website:, call on 00353 1 890 3222 or e-mail (mention Locumotion when enquiring!).

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Q: What is a PPS number and will I need it?

A: A PPS number is your Personal Public Services number, a unique reference number that helps you access public services in Ireland; you will use this number in correspondence with State agencies, e.g. the Revenue, Department of Social Protection and Health Service Executive. When working in Ireland, even briefly, you must arrange for this number. Luckily, this is quite straightforward, and you only need to do it once.

You cannot apply for PPS no. from abroad, you will only do it once in Ireland. You will be asked to produce some documentary evidence of residing in Ireland. Once here, your Placement Coordinator will explain the process of applying for PPS number in more detail and Locumotion Ireland will assist with required documentation.

If you would like to read a little bit more on the subject, please visit this please click here.

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Q: Will I need a bank account?

A: Yes, you will have to have an Irish bank account. The process of opening one is quite straightforward and it usually takes less than a week and one visit to the bank. Locumotion Ireland will assist you with it, explaining the process and providing confirmation of correspondence address. At this stage you do not need to take any further steps, unless you need to open an Irish bank account in advance. If this is the case, please contact us to further discuss it.

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Q: I have more questions!

A: Well, that's ok and it is perfectly normal. Just get in touch with us and we will happily assist.

Our phone number is 00353 1 299 3550, for GP recruitment you can contact (Aga); for the hospital recruitment send a message to (Rosanna).

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