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Frequently Asked Questions

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Last Updated 19 March 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

The government announced on April 6, 2020 that it would pay the registration fees for those returning to Ireland, who does this cover?

The Department of Health will pay the total cost of registration on behalf of fully qualified nurses and midwives seeking registration for the first time in Ireland to take up temporary/fixed term COVID-19 contracts. 

What is the fee waiver and who is it for?

The waiver will apply to those who were previously on the NMBI register and are seeking restoration to that Register to work with COVID-19 having been removed on a voluntary basis or for non-payment of their annual retention fee (ARF) in the past.

If I applied to the NMBI previously and was not successful can I apply again and avail of this fee waiver?

No. This fee waiver applies only for new applicants i.e. those who have never applied for registration or qualification recognition with NMBI.

What fees are being waived?

The fees that are being waived are the restoration fee (€250) and the annual retention fee (€100) from the date of registration until 31 December 2020 at which point retention fees for 2021 will apply.

Does this waiver cover me if I am an overseas applicant?

Only if you are currently residing in Ireland. To avail of this waiver you must provide local proof of address. This demonstrates your ability to start work on a fixed term basis. 
The waiver is there to support those who can immediately help with the pandemic as it puts our health service under pressure

Who can apply for this waiver?

Those who were previously registered are eligible to apply for restoration. The restoration fees and annual retention fee for 2020 will be waived. This does not include those who were issued with a decision letter or were requested to complete a compensation measure prior to the granting of registration.

Are other registration requirements changing for COVID-19 such as language requirements or recency of practice?

No other requirements have changed, the language requirements for registration as indicated on our website and the recency of practice requirements remain the same.

Why are temporary and fixed term COVID-19 contracts being supported with fee waivers and not permanent contracts?

The Irish government is supporting the fees for those who are in Ireland to specifically help with COVID-19. The COVID-19 contracts are there to support the additional volumes and consequentially are of a fixed term nature. If those who take up fixed term COVID-19 contracts wish to stay in Ireland following the pandemic they will, like all permanent active nurses in Ireland need to pay their annual registration fee. 

If a qualified applicant is registering for the first time and nursing or midwifery is their intended full-time career, a registration fee is charged. Intended full-time nurses and midwives should expect to pay their annual registration fee in every circumstance. There cannot be a distinction between those who are on the register and those joining the register for the first time.

I qualify for the fee waiver, how do I apply?

If you are a qualified nurse or midwife who recently returned to Ireland for fixed term work in the context COVID-19, NMBI will waive registration fees and expedite your application.  

If you qualified in the EU, please request an application pack along with evidence of current address in Ireland in an email to:
If you qualified outside of Ireland or the EU, request an application pack along with evidence of current address in Ireland in an email to:

If I was previously refused registration or deemed ineligible for registration can I apply again due to COVID-19?

No. The requirements for registration have not changed so if you were previously refused registration, it is likely that you will be refused again for the same reasons.

How do I provide proof of address?

Proof that you are currently living in Ireland can be provided via one of the following documents:

  • Recent utility bill (gas, phone, broadband or electricity) or mobile phone bill
  • Statement of results or correspondence from your college or university:
  • Bank/building society/credit card or credit union statement
  • Document from a state agency showing your current address (Tax related document)

If fee waivers are being granted for restoration and I have not paid my annual retention fee for 2020– should I not let myself be removed for non-payment and seek free restoration under COVID-19?

The fee waiver has been agreed for those who were not registered on 09 March 2020 and are now seeking restoration to the register. The waiver will not apply to those who are removed for non-payment in 2020.

Does this fee waiver change registration requirements? Do I still need to meet the same language requirements?

Our registration standards have not changed. Only those who have trained through English in one of the countries we recognise or those who have successfully completed an approved language test are eligible for this application pack and registration waiver.

If I am undergoing the process to have my qualification recognised or if I have a decision letter, can I benefit from this fee waiver?

No. If you have a decision letter that requires the completion of a compensation measure, you must successfully complete that compensation measure prior to being eligible for registration.  Those currently undertaking qualifications recognition must complete that process before applying for registration.

If I’m not registered or have compensation measures to undertake, does this mean I cannot offer my assistance to the HSE with COVID-19?

You can still register your interest without being NMBI registered. 

The HSE Page “Be On Call For Ireland” allows for those who are registered as nurses in other countries to offer their assistance with COVID-19. Such persons cannot state however that they are a registered nurse or a registered midwife.

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