Irish Visa & Work Permits for Nurses – What do you need to work in Ireland as a Nurse?

Working in Ireland can be a very rewarding experience. However for first time Nurses arriving in Ireland, it is best to be aware of the Irish Visa and Work Permit requirements before travelling.

Visas/Work Permits

Citizens of certain countries need a visa in order to come to Ireland. You may apply for an Irish visa at your nearest Irish Embassy or consulate. A visa does not confer any right to live or work in Ireland.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens:

If you are from an EU member state or one of the countries (except for Bulgaria and Romania) of the EEA or Switzerland, you are entitled to come to work in Ireland. You do not need an employment permit. You are entitled to have your dependents come to live with you. If you are a spouse or civil partner of an EEA/Swiss national who is exercising the right to free movement, then you have similar rights to work and live in Ireland. There is also a system of mutual recognition of qualifications between the EEA countries.

Other countries:

If you are from another country then generally you need an employment permit. There are four different types of employment permit:

  • Green Card permit,
  • Work permit,
  • Intra-company transfer permit,
  • Spousal/dependent work permit.

For more information regarding Visa and Work Permit requirements in Ireland, please visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website

All nurses and midwives who practise in Ireland must by law be listed on the Register of Nurses and Midwives which is maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). Currently around 65,000 nurses and midwives who are practising in Ireland are included on the Register.

The NMBI provides a range of registration services which are detailed in this section of the website.  They include:

  • Collecting and processing the Annual Retention Fee which is paid by all registered nurses and midwives to ensure that they retain their registration.
  • Processing of applications from nurses and midwives who trained overseas and who want to practice in Ireland.
  • Providing a range of registration services, such as applications to join different divisions or to become a postgraduate candidate or to approve Advanced Practice positions.
    Ensuring that student nurses and midwives are listed on our Candidate Register.

Before you commence the application process, please:

  • Read the Guide for Overseas Applicants
  • Identify which Application Group (1, 2 or 3) applies to you
  • Understand NMBI’s five-step application process

If you require further advice on registering with the NMBI, please check for more info.


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