Licence to practise as a veterinarian with a professional qualification from the EU/EEA/Switzerland
The profession of veterinarian is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a veterinarian in Germany without restriction, you need a license to practice medicine. The approbation is the state approval for the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a veterinarian without a license to practice medicine.
Even with a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain a license to practice medicine in Germany. In order to obtain the licence to practise medicine, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.
A professional qualification from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland is usually automatically recognised when you apply for a licence to practise medicine. However, there may also be deviations from this rule. It depends on the state in which they completed their education and at what time. If you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your country of training, your professional qualification will be automatically recognised. If automatic recognition is not possible, the competent authority will compare your professional qualification with the German professional qualification. It carries out an equivalence test-
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the issuance of the permit. Other requirements are, for example, sufficient knowledge of the German language and health suitability.
If your professional qualification does not originate from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, different regulations apply. You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for a licence to practise as a veterinarian with the competent authority. The competent authority will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met.
As a rule, the automatic recognition procedure applies if you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your country of training. This means that if you also meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised without an individual equivalence test.
Vocational training that you started before the EU/EEA accession of your country of training or that does not correspond to the legal designations can also be automatically recognised. To do this, you must provide a certificate that your professional qualification meets the minimum standards of the EU ("certificate of conformity"). If your vocational training does not meet the minimum standards, you will have to prove your professional experience. You must have worked as a veterinarian in the country of origin for 3 years without interruption in the last 5 years prior to the application. This must be confirmed by the competent authority of your country of training.
If the requirements for automatic recognition are not met, your training will be reviewed individually. The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification. The competent authority will check 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 exam
If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognised. The authority 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 a licence to practise as a veterinarian.
Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? You may be able to make up for the differences through your professional practice, other veterinary knowledge, or skills. You must provide proof of professional experience. 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 essential differences by this knowledge. The competent authority will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the significant differences through your professional practice. The decision from the competent authority also states the level of your training and the level required in Germany.
If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can take a compensatory measure. The aptitude test refers to the main differences in your professional qualifications. On the basis of the equivalence test, the competent authority decides which sections of the examination you have to take.
If you pass the aptitude test and meet all other requirements, you will be granted a licence to practise as a veterinarian.
Who should I contact?
Seek personal advice from an IQ counselling centre on this procedure and your qualifications. The advisors will also help you with your documents before submitting your application. The consultation is free of charge.
If you are abroad: You can also use the hotline to reach the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA). This offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition process and carries out a location consultation.
- You have a professional qualification as a veterinarian from the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
- You want to work as a veterinarian in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable to work as a veterinarian and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You can work mentally and physically as a veterinarian.
- You have German language skills at the required level. As a rule, these are 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?
- Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed as a result of marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
- Proof of the content and duration of your training (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
- Proof of your relevant professional experience as a veterinarian (e.g. job references)
- Declaration that you have not yet submitted an application for a licence to practise medicine in Germany
You only need to submit the following document if your professional qualification was completed before a certain date (cut-off date). The competent authority will inform you:
- Certificate of Conformity: Certificate from your country of training that your training meets the minimum standards of the EU.
- If there is no certificate of conformity: Certificate that you have worked continuously and legally in the profession for at least 3 years in the last 5 years prior to the application.
In most cases, you will hand in the following documents later:
- Proof of your personal suitability: extract from the criminal record or official certificate of good conduct. The proof must be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.
- Proof of your health suitability: Medical certificate. The proof must be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.
You will need to submit the documents in the form of copies. In certain cases, the competent authority may require certified copies of the documents.
If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who are publicly appointed or authorised.
What are the fees?
The costs generally depend on the amount of work involved.
In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (e.g. lodge an appeal). The decision will then be reviewed. Details on this can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision. You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (e.g. lodge an appeal). The decision will then be reviewed. Details on this can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.
What else should I know?
Freedom to provide services
Do you only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? In this case, you usually do not need the state permit. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another country of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You will need to prove your professional qualification.
- You must report your activity in writing to the competent authority.
The competent authority will inform you.
Certificate of equivalence
In the approbation procedure, the equivalence of your training can also be checked. You can apply for a separate decision for the result of the examination.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can either go through the recognition procedure in accordance with the laws mentioned here or in accordance with the Federal Expellees Act. This is up to you. The competent authority will advise you on which procedure is right for you.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.