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Physician with training from third countries, recognise professional qualification
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The profession of doctor is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to be able to work as a doctor in Germany without any restrictions, you need a licence to practise medicine. The licence to practise medicine is the state licence to practise the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a doctor without an Approbation.
You can also obtain an Approbation in Germany with a professional qualification from a so-called third country. Third countries are all states that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
In order to obtain the licence to practise medicine, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.
In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the licence to practise medicine.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also fulfil other requirements for the granting of the licence. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.
If your professional qualification originates from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
You can also submit the application for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for a licence to practise medicine to the competent authority. You can hand in the application with the documents to the competent office or send it by post. Do not send any originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent body will inform you.
The competent body will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met. Approbation can only be granted if your training from a third country is equivalent to German training.
Examination of equivalence
The competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. The competent body checks whether your professional qualification is equivalent. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German professional qualification.
Possible results of the examination
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authorities can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted your licence to practise medicine.
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Perhaps you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). You have to prove the professional practice. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of the state in which you acquired the knowledge or skills.
However, it may not be possible to compensate for the substantial differences with this knowledge. The competent authority will tell you what the substantial differences are and why you cannot make up the substantial differences through your professional experience.
The decision of the competent body will also state the level of your education and the level required in Germany. You will then not be allowed to work as a doctor in Germany.
If your professional qualification is not equivalent and you cannot compensate for the differences, you can take a knowledge examination. The knowledge examination is based on the final examination as a doctor in Germany. The knowledge examination is an oral-practical examination.
If you pass the knowledge examination and fulfil all other requirements, you will receive your licence to practise medicine.
Who should I contact?
- You have a professional qualification as a doctor from a third country.
- You want to work as a doctor in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable for work as a doctor and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You are mentally and physically able to work as a doctor.
- You have German language skills at the required level. This is usually general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and medical language skills at level C1.
Which documents are required?
The responsible office will inform you about which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:
- Proof of identity (e.g. passport or identity card).
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
- Proof of the content and duration of your education (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
- Proof of your work experience in your profession (e.g. references)
- Information as to whether you have already applied for a licence to practise medicine in Germany.
- You must provide evidence You are allowed to work in the profession in your country of training.
- You do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you must prove: You want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof can be: Applications for a job, proof of your application for an entry visa for gainful employment or personal declaration.
You usually hand in these documents later. The competent office will inform you when to hand in the documents:
- Proof of your personal suitability: criminal record extract or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin. The proof must not be older than 3 months at the time of application.
- Proof of your health suitability: Medical certificate. The certificate must not be older than 3 months at the time of application.
- Proof of your German language skills: Language certificate.
General German language skills at level B2 are a prerequisite for licensure. You can also submit the required language certificate during the Approbation procedure. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the licensing procedure.
The competent office will inform you which documents you have to submit as a simple copy, a certified copy or the original.
If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be done by translators who are publicly appointed or authorised.
What are the fees?
The responsible office will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the time and effort required for processing.
Additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary individually.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The competent office will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents. This may prolong the procedure.
Processing time: 4 MonthsThe competent body will confirm that your application and documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. The competent body will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 4 months.
You can take legal action (e.g. file an objection) against the decision of the competent body within a certain period of time. The decision will then be reviewed. Details on this can be found in the appeal instructions at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the responsible office before taking legal action against the decision.
What else should I know?
With the so-called professional permit you can work for a limited period of time without a license to practice medicine. With the professional permit you are allowed to work under the supervision of a person with a license. You may then only be allowed to carry out activities in a specific area of work. You must meet the following requirements for a professional permit:
- Proof of your professional qualification
- Health suitability
- Personal suitability
- German language skills: You must provide evidence of language skills at level B2 and pass a professional language test at level C1.
You can apply for a professional permit at the competent office.
Letter of equivalence
In the approval procedure, the equivalence of your training is examined (recognition procedure). You can apply for a separate decision on the result of the examination.
Procedure for late repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can either go through the recognition procedure according to the laws mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide this yourself. The competent office will advise you which procedure suits you best.
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Federal Ministry of Health
Professionally released on