Doctors providing Locum Services in the Primary Care Sector (General Practice)


Doctors employed and paid by an Agency - 15 to 90 days (consecutive):


General information:

  • All applications for permission to undertake locum work under the Atypical Working Scheme must be made from outside the State.  A copy of the following pages of the applicant's Passport must be submitted as part of the supporting documentation required with the Application Form:
  • biographical page
  • page showing the Landing Stamp entered on the applicant's last visit to the State
  • Doctors intending to find work as a locum must state whether they intend to work in the Primary Care Health Sector (General Practice) or if they intend to work in a hospital. Permission granted will cover one of these categories only. Doctors are not permitted to work in both categories.
  • Locum work may not be undertaken in conjunction with an Employment Permit.
  • Doctors must be registered with one Agency only. The onus rests on Agencies to ensure compliance with this requirement.
  • Agencies may not register on their books a doctor who holds an Employment Permit.
  • The Irish based host body (Agency or otherwise) must keep an up-to-date record of all work undertaken by the doctor during the 90-day time frame and must make this record available to the HSE if requested.



  • A doctor must be in receipt of an offer of employment from an Irish based host body e.g. Agency, Out of Hours Service, General Practitioner, before an application is submitted.
  • A “block” permission of 90 consecutive days will be granted during which time the doctor 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. The Atypical Working Scheme application must be made and approved before the doctor enters the State.
  • Each application must include required supporting documentation and payment of the associated fee.
  • As no single visit will exceed 90 days, successful applicants are not required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
  • The 90 day period will not be extended.


Interim arrangement:

Any doctor currently holding an Atypical Working Scheme “block” 6 month permission to work as a GP locum may avail of that permission until the expiry date. If the doctor wishes to continue working as a GP locum, he/she must then leave the State for at least one month. The arrangements as outlined above will apply thereafter.


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