Though global healthcare recruitment can be a complicated procedure, understanding the specific challenges and requirements will help you attract and attain the talent you need. In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the main challenges of recruiting international healthcare professionals.

Understand right to work legislation

When recruiting staff from other countries, you’ll need to make sure that candidates are legally able to work in Ireland.

International workers will be required to have a permit to work in Ireland, but there’s plenty of other preparation they’ll need to do before embarking on their new role at your healthcare organisation. This includes:

Candidate Certificate – This must be applied for an International Nurse who receives a decision letter from NMBI to complete either the RCSI exam or Clinical Adaptation.NMBI issue the candidate certificates.

Atypical Visa – this must be applied for the International Nurse to gain legal entry into Ireland. This is applied through the Atypical visa office directly.

Entry Visa – This must be applied for in the International nurse’s own country to allow them to exit their own country legally and travel to Ireland.They do this by applying to their own immigration office.

Applying for permission to stay

Once your Nurse is in Ireland, they’ll need to apply for permission to stay, and register with immigration.

There are several different employments permits an International Nurse can apply for;

Stamp 0

Stamp 0 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period, subject to conditions.

  • You must be of independent means, ie fully financially self-sufficient. Alternatively, your sponsor in Ireland must be of independent means and can support you fully.
  • You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg be treated at a public hospital. You must have private medical insurance.
  • You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS.

You may be given Stamp 0 if you have permission to:

  • Retire to or live in Ireland as a person of independent means
  • Be a visiting academic at an Irish university or college
  • Live in Ireland as the elderly, dependent relative of a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen
  • Extend a short term visit here due to exceptional humanitarian circumstances
  • Work here for an overseas company to carry out a specific task for a limited time

Other

  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 0

Stamp 1

Stamp 1 indicates permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions. Stamp 1 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

  • You must not start a job or enter employment unless you or your employer has obtained an employment permit for you.
  • If you do not have an employment permit you must not engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS.
  • If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 1 if you have permission to:

  • Work here based on an employment permit
  • Operate a business here
  • Work here based on a Working Holiday Authorisation

Other

  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1

Stamp 1A

Stamp 1A indicates permission in full time, paid accountancy training (in compliance with the immigration rules or regulated by the IAASA and with a training contract with a company based in Ireland) for a specified period, subject to conditions.

  • You must not engage in any other business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS.
  • If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 1A if you have permission to:

  • Study accountancy as a trainee & be employed as a trainee accountant
  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1A

Stamp 1G

Graduate Student who currently holds a Stamp 2 or 2A permission

Stamp 1G indicates you have finished your studies in Ireland and have permission to look for employment here under the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to conditions.

  • You can work full time in accordance with employment law provisions but are not permitted to operate a business or be self-employed.
  • If you wish to continue working after Stamp 1G expires, you must find a job that requires an employment permit and then follow the usual application process.

While on a Stamp 1G, your other permissions and conditions remain the same as for Stamp 2/2A.

  • You may be given Stamp 1G if you have permission to:
  • Look for work as part of the Third Level Graduate Programme

  Spouse/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a Spouse/de facto partner of Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements

From the 6 March 2019 the Stamp 1G will also provide for the change in policy to both visa and non-visa required non-EEA nationals, who are Spouses and de facto partners of persons who are currently resident in this State, on Stamp 3 conditions, as the family member of a person resident in the State on the basis of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a Researcher in the State on a Hosting Agreement.

The requirement to obtain a DPSEP has been removed for this group by DBEI. INIS will grant eligible de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission, to reside in this State on Stamp 1G Conditions without the need to obtain a DPSEP from DBEI. This will allow access to the labour market without an Employment Permit.

Summary of employment conditions for spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission

Permitted to work in the State without the requirement to obtain a work permit

Not permitted to establish or operate a Business

Not permitted to be Self- Employed

Renewal of the Stamp 1G registration should be applied for annually, and after 5years on a Stamp 1G, you may apply for a Stamp 4

Periods spent on Stamp 1G are considered as reckonable residence for the purpose of making an application for Citizenship/Naturalisation

Stamp 2

Stamp 2 indicates permission to study a full time course on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 2 is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

  • You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services (eg public hospitals) unless you have an entitlement via other means.
  • You can work in casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours per week during holidays. You must not engage in any other business or trade.
  • If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 2 if you have permission to study the following:

  • English language
  • Higher national diploma
  • Degree (undergraduate)
  • Master’s degree (postgraduate)
  • PhD
  • Other
  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2

Stamp 2A

Stamp 2A indicates permission for full time study in Ireland for a course that is not on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), for a specified period. Stamp 2A is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

  • You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg public hospitals. You must have private medical insurance.
  • You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession.
  • If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 2A in the following circumstances:

  • Semester abroad (ie at an Irish university/college)
  • Study at a private secondary school in Ireland
  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2A

Stamp 3

Stamp 3 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

  • You cannot work or engage in any business, trade or profession.
  • If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 3 if you have permission to:

  • Volunteer, eg with a charity or non-profit
  • Be a minister of religion
  • Join your non-EEA/EU/Swiss spouse/civil partner or family member who is here based on a work permit

Other

  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 3

Stamp 4

Stamp 4 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

  • You can take up employment and are not required to hold an Employment Permit.
  • You can work in a profession, subject to conditions of the relevant professional or other bodies.
  • You can establish and operate a business.
  • You may access state funds and services as determined by Government departments or agencies.

If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire.

You may be given Stamp 4 if you have had permission to work in Ireland:

  • With a valid Critical Skills employment permit for 2 years
  • With a valid employment permit for 5 years
  • As a researcher (ie with a valid Hosting Agreement) for 2 years

You may be given Stamp 4 if you are granted permission:

  • To join your Irish spouse, civil partner or de-facto partner
  • To join your EU/EEA or Swiss family member based on EU Treaty Rights
  • To join a family member who has immigration permission based on Stamp 4EUFAM (ie EU Treaty Rights)
  • To join your family member who is a recognised refugee or has been granted subsidiary protection
  • To remain with your child who is an Irish citizen
  • Under the Investor and Entrepreneur Programme (including spouse/partner & family)
  • For Long Term Residence
  • As a convention or programme refugee, or based on subsidiary protection
  • Register or renew
  • Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 4

Stamp 5

Stamp 5 indicates permission to stay in Ireland without limits on the time you can remain here, subject to other conditions. Stamp 5 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

The stamp will be valid up to the expiry date on your passport.

You may be given Stamp 5 if you have permission to:

  • Remain in Ireland ‘Without condition as to time’ (WCATT)

Stamp 6

Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual-citizenship.

  • You may be given Stamp 6 in your non-Irish passport if you have applied for permission to:
  • Remain in Ireland ‘Without condition’

When you offer a job to an international candidate, it’s your duty to make them aware of these procedures before they accept the offer.

There are some exceptions to these rules, so make sure you’re aware of them during the recruitment process.

It’s also important to remember that recruiting staff from abroad may take more time than employing from Ireland. Candidates need to apply for a visa three months before travelling, and there may be additional time needed to prepare documents such as Employment Permits to support their application.

Know your international registration bodies

Registration bodies are important in making sure that health professionals are trained appropriately and deemed competent and fit to practice.

Despite these challenges, recruiting employees from other countries can be very rewarding and bring important skills and talent to your healthcare business. If you ensure you understand the process of recruiting international candidates, you’ll soon be hiring some fantastic assets to your team.  

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Article Written By:
Alan Hickley & Aileen McCann