What Visa Do I Need to Work as a Vet in Ireland?

By Aisling O’Keeffe MVB CertSAM ISFMCertAdvFB

Ireland, often known as the Emerald Isles, is famous for its beautiful scenery, mountains, and cliffs along with vibrant towns, Irish music, and of course Guinness. The home of St. Patrick, it’s steep in traditions and culture and it’s no surprise that it’s been voted one of the top 10 places in the world to grow up. It has plenty of job opportunities for vets, but what do you need to work as a vet in  Ireland? Do you need a visa? We’ll discuss everything that you need to know.

Want more information about working as a vet in Ireland? Register Today with The Vet Service, and our UKIreland advisor will be happy to help with all your Ireland Vet Job needs.

Do You Need a Visa to Work in Ireland?

Have you been thinking of moving to Ireland to work as a vet? Well, Ireland has vast opportunities for veterinary surgeons. There’s demand for small animal vets, mixed vets and large animal vets alike. You can work as an employee, locum or avail of the many internships, residencies, new graduate vet programmes and partnership opportunities available. You can choose to live in a bustling city like Cork, Galway or Dublin or perhaps in a small idyllic town where the vet is an integral part of the community.

Regardless of whether you want to move up the ladder or move to a quiet scenic Irish village, you need to know what’s required to work as a vet in Ireland. There are a few things that you need to do to move to Ireland and practice as a vet. Firstly you may need a visa depending on your nationality and what country you are a citizen of.

Some people may not require a visa and can travel freely to Ireland and find a position as a vet. You do not need a visa to come to Ireland if;

  • You are a citizen of the EU or EEA (the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) or Switzerland.
  • You have a residence card issued by one of the above countries.
  • You have a UK short-stay visa and qualify for the short-stay visa waiver or the British-Irish Visa Scheme
  • You are a school student from an EEA country and you’re travelling to Ireland as part of a school trip.
  • You are a citizen of a listed country


For more information and for full details on listed countries get in touch. 

Do I Need an Employment Permit?

If you are not from the EEA (EU, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), Switzerland and the UK you may need an employment permit to work in Ireland. You usually do this after you’ve been offered a job. You can apply for the employment permit yourself from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment or your new employer may do this on your behalf.  For a more complete understanding of the types of employment permits make sure to speak with our team of expert advisors.

Registering to Work as a Vet in Ireland

Apart from checking if you need a visa to work in Ireland, you’ll also need to register to work as a vet. This will be with the veterinary regulatory body, the Veterinary Council of Ireland (also known as the VCI).  Accepted qualifications include veterinary degrees from Irish universities recognised by the VCI, UK universities accredited by the RCVS, American universities recognised by the AVMA and Australian universities accredited by the AVBC. If your veterinary degree isn’t recognised by the VCI, you can apply to have your qualification assessed by the VCI. As English is the language spoken in Ireland, if you haven’t studied veterinary in Ireland or the UK, you may also be asked to provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

Finding Work as a Vet in Ireland

Finding a job is often the first step in coming to Ireland. As a vet, there are ample opportunities available in most parts of Ireland and you won’t have an issue finding a job regardless of whether it’s small animal, mixed or large animal. You can search through the different Ireland Vet Jobs  available with The Vet Service. An employer will often help you move to Ireland and assist you with applying for employment permits and visas if needed. Some may even offer a relocation bonus to help with moving fees.


Ireland is a fantastic place to live and work as a vet. There are many job opportunities available in both the city and country areas. If you’re from the EU or UK, you’re free to live and work in Ireland without a visa or an employment permit. If you’re from a country outside of the EU or UK, you may need to apply for a visa. This can take up to 8 weeks and your future employer will often assist you and we make sure that they do.

Contact us today and explore a range of veterinary jobs we have to offer such as; Vet Jobs in Ireland, Vet Jobs in The UK, and diverse roles worldwide such as  Vet Jobs in The USAVet Jobs in AustraliaVet Jobs in New ZealandVet Jobs in Canada, and further international vet jobs.

Register today with The Vet Service and see how we can help you with your vet career. We have lots of opportunities available!

Don’t forget to check out our other Visa blogs:

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