Foreign professional qualification Recognition as a nurse
The profession of nurse is regulated in Germany. The recognition of your professional qualification is necessary so that you can work in the profession in Germany. This procedure is called: granting permission to use the professional title.
I submit an application to the competent authority. How does that work?
You can also apply if you do not yet live in Germany.
- You can send the application by post to the competent office. Do not send originals!
- Perhaps you can send the application by e-mail. Ask your responsible office beforehand. At a later stage in the recognition procedure, you may need to submit the original documents or the certified copies.
- Sometimes you can apply online. At a later stage in the recognition procedure, you may need to submit the original documents or the certified copies. For the online application, use the Internet portal of the federal state in which you would like to work.
The competent body will process my application. What does that mean?
- The competent authority receives the application. It will confirm to you after one month at the latest that the application has been received. Once the competent body has received all the documents from you, it will process your application.
- The competent authority carries out an equivalence test: it compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification. In doing so, the competent body shall take into account your professional experience, other qualifications and qualifications.
- The recognition procedure takes a maximum of 4 months. At the end, the competent authority will send you a notification with the result.
The competent authority informs me of the result in a notification. What results are possible?
- Result: Recognition
- Your professional qualification and the German professional qualification are equivalent. They also meet all other requirements. Your professional qualification will be recognised. You have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification.
- Result: No recognition
- There are significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification. You cannot compensate for these differences with your professional experience and other knowledge in the profession. Therefore, your professional qualification is not equivalent to the German professional qualification. They do not get recognition.
- In most cases, you can make a compensatory measure. This allows you to compensate for the essential differences.
- You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. Details of this procedure can be found in the information on the right of appeal at the end of your decision. We recommend: Talk to a counselling centre first before you object or sue.
I don't get any recognition. What can I do?
- If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can make a compensatory measure. With a compensatory measure, you can compensate for significant differences. Significant differences are listed in your notification.
- There are several compensatory measures:
- Adaptation period
- Suitability test
- The competent authority decides which compensatory measure you need to take. This is stated in your notification.
- If you successfully complete the compensatory measure, you will receive a certificate. You must submit this certificate to the competent authority. The competent body shall examine the certificate. If you then meet all the requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification.
Who should I contact?
The responsibility lies with the Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family.
- Equivalence of your professional qualification
- German language skills at level B2
- Personal suitability
- Health suitability
Which documents are required?
- Application form from the competent body
- If there is no application form: an informal application
- 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 content and duration of your education (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
- Proof of your professional experience in your profession (e.g. employment references)
- Information about an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Then indicate to which body you have submitted the application.
- You do not live or work in Germany yet? Then you may have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof is e.g. applications for a job, invitations to job interviews, personal declaration about your project.
You usually hand in these documents later. The competent authority will inform you when you should hand in the documents.
- Proof of your personal suitability: Certificate of good conduct from Germany or your country of origin (e.g. extract from the criminal record, Certificate of Good Standing). The documents must not be more than 3 months old at the time of application.
- Proof of your health suitability: medical certificate from Germany and your country of origin. The documents must not be more than 3 months old at the time of application.
- Proof of your German language skills: language certificate
What are the fees?
You have to pay money for the procedure. The competent authority will inform you of the exact costs.
- No later than one month after receipt of your application by the competent authority: the competent authority will inform you of the receipt of the documents. It will let you know if documents are missing. The procedure starts when the documents are complete.
- After 4 months at the latest: You will receive a notification with the result. In certain cases, the competent body may prolong the procedure.
Nursing Professions Act (PflBG)
Training and Examination Ordinance for the Nursing Professions (PflAPrV)
or by choice by the end of 2024:
Nursing Act in the version applicable on 31 December 2019
Training and Examination Ordinance on the Nursing Professions in the version applicable on 31 December 2019
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. Details of this procedure can be found in the information on the right of appeal at the end of your decision.
What else should I know?
Freedom to provide services
Would you like to offer services in Germany only occasionally and for a short time?
Then you usually don't need recognition. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another EU, EEA or Swiss country.
- You must provide proof of your professional qualifications.
- You must notify or register your activity in writing with the competent authority.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a ethnic German repatriate, you can choose between 2 procedures for professional recognition:
- You submit an application for the procedure described here.
- You submit an application for the procedure under the Federal Expellees Act (§ 10 BVFG).
That's up to you to decide. Your competent office will advise you.
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The text was automatically translated based on the German content.