Information for doctors coming to Ireland to practice medicine

If a medical practitioner wishes to practice medicine in Ireland, they are required by law to be registered with the Medical Council. It is an offence to practice medicine within the State while unregistered.  The Medical Council’s Register consists of four divisions - Trainee Specialist Division (including Internship Registration), Specialist Division, General Division, Visiting EEA Practitioners Division.

Read more below for information on;

Registration with the Documentation required by all Category 4 applicants Medical Council

The Registration Rules outline the criteria for registration in each of the three main Divisions of the Register. The four main categories of applicant for registration on either the general or specialist division are:

  • Category 1: Graduates of Irish medical schools
  • Category 2: EU citizens who graduated in an EU medical school and/or their qualifications are recognised under EU Directive 2005/36/EC (recognition of professional qualifications for EU citizens)
  • Category 3: Non-EU citizens who graduated in an EU medical school and/or their qualifications would be recognised under EU Directive 2005/36/EC (recognition of professional qualifications) if they were an EU citizen.
  • Category 4: Medical practitioners who do not meet the criteria for any of the above categories.

The Pre-Registration Examination System (PRES) (Levels 2 and 3 of the Application process) must be passed by Category 4 applicants for trainee specialist or general registration, unless they are exempt.

Specialist registration is specifically for medical practitioners who have completed specialist training recognised by the Medical Council and can practice independently as a specialist. A number of eligibility categories are presently available for registration in the Specialist Division of the Register.

  • Category A: Completion of an approved training programme in Ireland
  • Category B: Completion of specialist training in an EU/EEA member state
  • Category C: Acquired rights in an EU/EEA member state
  • Category D: Trained as specialist in 3rd Country and recognised as specialist in EU/EEA member state
  • Category E: Completion of training & experience not automatically recognised under EU/EEA law and assessment required.

The Application Process

To determine what division of the Register you may be eligible for please click here. Eligibility is based on your stage of medical education and training.

Once you have determined what division you think you might be eligible for, submit the relevant application form, photo, fee and required documentation for assessment and verification by the Medical Council.

Request all relevant competent authorities (registration/regulatory bodies) with whom you have been registered in the past five years to provide a Certificate of Good Standing / Certificate of Current Professional Status directly to the Medical Council.

If you are required to pass the Pre-Registration Examination System(PRES), you will be informed how to enrol for the examination.

Once the Medical Council is satisfied that all required documentation has been received and it has verified the documentation, a decision will be made on your application.


The Pre-Registration Examination System (PRES) consists of two parts. Level 2 is a written examination and is currently in the form of a Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) examination. Level 3 is a clinical examination and is currently in the form of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination. (OSCE)

Category 4 Applicants Checklist

Category 4 applicants are graduates of a medical school in a third country (outside EU/EEA/Switzerland) and qualification listed in WHO/IMED) and may be eligible to apply for General Registration and Trainee Specialist Registration.

To apply for registration, you must include the following documentation with the applicable application form.  If you do not include all the required documentation your application cannot be processed.  The Medical Council reserves the right to return incomplete applications and/or declare them invalid.

o  Completed Application Form

o  Documentary evidence of effective communication skills which are sufficient for the practice of medicine. For further information click here

o  An original Certificate of Current Professional Status/ Good Standing, dated within the last 3 months, which is to be sent directly to the Medical Council from all overseas registration authorities with whom you are or have been registered with within the past five years NOTE: If the name on your degree differs to the name on your Certificate, we also require the authority to confirm that you are one and the same person.] AND, where applicable, Sworn Declaration re unregistered practice (a standard Declaration is obtainable directly from the Medical Council).

o  4 x recent colour passport-size photographs signed on the back by the applicant

o  Notarised/attested copy Internship Certificate or Certificate of Experience or equivalent. [In the case of Pakistan, the Certificate of Experience must be from the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council, which certifies internship experience]

o  Intern Training Verification Forms from each hospital where you completed your internship training

o  Hospital Verification Form from the relevant regulatory body where you completed your internship training

o  Notarised/attested copy evidence of Higher Qualifications (if applying for an exemption from the PRES on the grounds of a recognised higher qualification)

o  Letter from the relevant postgraduate training body in Ireland confirming your participation in an exempted postgraduate training programme under Rule 10 (d)

o  Current non-refundable application fee (up-to-date fees available here).  Please note that the registration year runs from 1st July to 30th June.  If you are deemed eligible, you will be required to pay the appropriate registration fee prior to being registered.  If a doctor is registered during the registration year, they are required to pay a retention fee on or before the following 1st July.