Major changes to working arrangements and immigration permissions for most non-EEA doctors have been announced today by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

Doctors who have been working here for more than two years will immediately be able to access a Stamp 4 permit and spousal work rights. Stamp 4 offers the right to work without preconditions.

The changes will also significantly reduce the administrative burden for affected doctors and will make Ireland a more attractive place for doctors to relocate to, helping fill posts in hospitals around the country.

The Tánaiste said: “Today I’m delighted to announce further changes that will make it easier for doctors to get on the pathway to residency and to give their spouse an unlimited right to work. I believe it will make Ireland a more attractive place for doctors to move to and remove many time-consuming interactions with multiple departments, including my own.

“The work of these doctors is an example of how migration has enriched Ireland and infused our country with new knowledge, new ideas, culture and energy. Our health service simply would not function without doctors, nurses and support staff from outside the EU.

“This change will be good for the health service and lead to efficiencies in the employment permit and visa system.”