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Effective from 22 November 2019, and following detailed consultation between the Atypical Working Scheme Unit and the HSE, amendments have been made to the terms of the Atypical Working Scheme for doctors providing locum services in the Primary Care Sector. These changes relate to the cooling off period before submission of a new application and to the intermittent travel arrangements permitted to an individual availing of this Scheme.

Details of these amendments can be found here: Doctors providing Locum Services in the Primary Care Sector (General Practice).

Please note that these changes only apply to applications for Locum Doctors working in the Primary Care (General Practice) Sector seeking permission under the Atypical Working Scheme.

02 December 2019



The Department of Justice and Equality (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service - INIS) in agreement with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, administers the Atypical Working Scheme. The purpose of the Scheme is to provide a streamlined mechanism to deal with atypical, short term employment or certain other employment situations which are not governed by the Employment Permits Acts or by current administrative procedures under the Employment Permits Acts. It was also agreed with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Health and the HSE that the Scheme should include locum doctors who are employed and paid by an Agency and nurses / midwives who are undertaking the Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme or RCSI Examination.


Applications under this Scheme must be made from outside the State and the applicant must not travel until in possession of an Atypical Working Scheme Letter of Approval and, where applicable, the appropriate entry visa. A letter of Approval issued under the Atypical Working Scheme will remain valid for 90 days from date of issue. If not used within that time, a fresh application will be required under this scheme and a new application fee will apply.



The Atypical Working Scheme applies to non-EEA nationals who, in certain circumstances, are required by a company/organisation based in the State to undertake work –

  1. where a skill shortage has been identified;
  2. to provide a specialised or high skill to an industry, business or academic institution;
  3. to facilitate waged/funded short term employment/internship where beneficial or integral/necessary to the Course being studied in respect of 3rd level students studying outside the State in approved/accredited institutions (medical and unwaged/ unfunded internships are not permissable);
  4. as a Locum Doctor (employed and paid by an Agency – Hospital Sector or Primary Care Sector (General Practice));
  5. Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme/RCSI Examination;
  6. as a paid researcher for up to 90 days (non-renewable). For other permission to work as a researcher, please see Stamp 0 permission.


Not Eligible

The Atypical Working Scheme does not apply to –

  1. persons already lawfully resident in the State;
  2. persons entering the State for employment purposes of up to 14 calendar days (inclusive/consecutive);
  3. persons entering the State for business purposes of up to 90 calendar days (inclusive/consecutive) e.g. attending meetings/seminars/conferences, sales trips etc;
  4. persons who may avail of permission under the Van Der Elst Judgment;
  5. persons who avail of the Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation initiative;
  6. persons in possession of an Employment Permit issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation;
  7. persons in possession of an Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit in another jurisdiction;
  8. persons whose employment will impact on the 50/50 rule of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation regarding employment of EEA/non-EEA nationals in an Irish based organisation (Section 12, Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014).



Applications will be considered by INIS and, where applicable, in consultation with the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for assessment of possible impact on the labour market.

Applications to avail of the Atypical Working Scheme may be made by the non-EEA applicant or an Authorised Legal Representative through the online application portal (Atypical Working Scheme). If completed by an Authorised Legal Representative, a Letter of Authorisation signed by the applicant must be submitted with the Application Form.

A letter of confirmation from the Irish based host body should also be submitted as part of the application. An application under this initiative does not guarantee a positive response.

Information about the documents that must be submitted with your application can be found in the Atypical Working Scheme - Required Documents Reference Guide


Processing Time

Please allow for a processing time of at least 20 working days.


Entry Visas

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. A processing time of up to eight weeks should be allowed for the processing of a visa application.

For further details about making such application, please see Criteria and Conditions and General Information .

Queries – any queries or requests for clarification should be submitted to INIS via

Applicants should ensure that they read the Criteria and Conditions/General Information sections of these Guidelines before making an application.

Conditions and General Information
Online Application Portal (INISOnline)
Detailed instructions on how to use the Immigration Online portal
Frequently asked questions about using the Immigration Online Portal


Published 23 January 2017

Page updated 03 September 2020

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