What’s next after the adaptation?

A few months back, I wrote about my success in earning my registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. Along with it, I have received several questions over a period of time and one of the most common is, what’s next after passing the adaptation?

Brace yourselves, drama incoming…

After 6 weeks (in some cases, 12 weeks) of hard work in order to pass the adaptation program, it was one of the most triumphant days when your clinical nurse manager will tell you that you have been deemed competent to be a registered general nurse in Ireland. You’d be rejoicing and praising the Lord God for the success and you would be simply overjoyed.

But the truth is, this is the day that would mark another chapter of your life as a nurse in Ireland. You will be entering another phase and it is the reality of officially becoming a member of the staff, one who is not hiding behind the shadows of a preceptor. One who is expected to carry a tad more responsibility in the patient’s care. I won’t deny the fact that I was struggling during my first few weeks. I would shed tears and I would always look forward to my rest days or to the paydays. However, I’m not generalizing because not everyone experienced what I did. What I’m trying to point out is there will be a possibility that you will be overwhelmed with everything.

This is what it is and I don’t mean to scare the hell out of those doing the adaptation. Instead, I want to let the readers know that you will have to bring a lot of perseverance and determination to turn out victorious in this challenge. Cry if you must but quitting should never be an option. Always remember, many Filipino nurses dream of where you are right now. Count your blessings and acknowledge that you are blessed. Do that and you will be okay.

Putting aside the drama, the real purpose of this entry is to actually share some insight about the paperwork needed after the adaptation and receiving the PIN from the NMBI, specifically about the…

Critical Skills Employment Permit

As foreigners of this country, we are required to have an employment permit to legally work in Ireland. This was previously called a Green Card Permit but since late 2014, changes have been made about this. Being nurses, we belong to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List thus we are allowed to apply for a critical skills employment permit. The employer or the employee may apply for the permit. Usually, it is the employer who sponsors the permit so take a second look at your job offer if your employer does because the permit costs 1000 Euros. Coordinate with your Human Resources staff about the application of the permit because there are a couple of forms to be signed.

Updating the Garda with your change of status

By this time, you should already have a Garda Registration ID/card which was registered based on the Atypical Working Scheme approval letter that you had upon entry to Ireland. However, once you receive your Critical Skills Employment Permit, you are required to register your change of status with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Delay in registering or updating with Garda National Immigration Bureau could affect applications in the granting of long-term residency and/or citizenship. Take note, an employment permit is not a Residence Permission. You will still be granted STAMP 1 in your new Garda ID but in their system you are a critical skilled worker and this would mean you are now starting your countdown towards earning a STAMP 4 in your residency status.

What is Stamp 4?

Subject to having complied with their previous immigration and employment permit conditions and being of good character, you will be issued with an immigration permission which allows you to reside and work in the State without the need for a further employment permit. That’s basically what Stamp 4 means. This also means you can have the liberty to change your employer, in cases where you want to explore a different working environment. This will be for two years, which is then renewable. On achieving 60 months (or 5 years) residency permission, Critical Skills Employment Permit holders will then be permitted to make an application for long-term residence, details of which are available on www.inis.gov.ie.

If you do not satisfy the qualifying criteria you will be issued with a Stamp 1 by the Garda National Immigration Bureau and you will still be required to hold an employment permit in order to work in the State. So try as much as you can to be a good foreigner in this country and keep your records clean. Don’t commit any foolishness (such as drink driving) because I have encountered and heard of Filipinos who were denied citizenship due to that.

(Read more on Critical Skills Employment Permit here.)

What’s next after Stamp 4?

Irish citizenship!!! I guess that would deserve a more detailed blog post. As of now, I’ll focus on my continuous transition and never-ending learning in my workplace. Work hard, save more and be happy!

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