Licence to practise as a veterinarian in the case of professional qualifications from third countries
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 license to practice medicine is the state admission to 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 so-called third country, you can obtain a license to practice medicine in Germany. Third countries are all countries that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
In order to obtain the license to practice medicine, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognized. In the recognition procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification and checks its equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the license to practice medicine.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must meet other requirements for the granting of the permit. Other requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.
If your professional qualification comes from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for a licence to practise as a veterinarian to the competent authority.
The competent authority will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met. The license to practice medicine can only be granted if your training from a third country is equivalent to the German training.
Examination of equivalence
The competent authority compares your professional qualification 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 test
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 license to practice veterinary 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 veterinary knowledge or skills. You must prove that you have 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 be that the essential differences cannot be compensated for by this knowledge. The competent authority will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional practice. The decision of 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. You can take a knowledge test to compensate for the significant differences. The knowledge test is based on the final examination as a veterinarian in Germany.
If you pass the knowledge test and meet all other requirements, you will receive a license to practice veterinary medicine.
Who should I contact?
Let an IQ counselling centre advise you personally 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 reach the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) via the hotline. This offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition procedure and carries out a location consultation.
- You have a professional qualification as a veterinarian from a third country.
- You want to work as a veterinarian in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable for working 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 language 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 (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 relevant professional experience as a veterinarian (e.g. job references)
- Declaration that you have not yet applied for a license to practice medicine in Germany
- You must prove that you are allowed to work in the profession in your country of training.
- Do you come from a third country and do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof includes, for example, applications for a job, invitations to job interviews or a location note from the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).
You usually hand in these 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 fitness: Medical certificate. The proof must be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.
You must 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 available 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 effort required for processing.
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. file an objection). The decision will then be reviewed. Details 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?
Temporary professional license
You can apply for a temporary professional permit if there is a special interest. With the temporary professional permit, you are usually allowed to work for up to 4 years without a license to practice medicine. The professional license only entitles you to limited activities. You must meet the following requirements for the temporary professional permit:
- Proof of your professional qualification
- Health suitability
- Personal suitability
- German language proficiency: You must provide proof of the German language skills required to practice the profession.
You can apply for the professional permit at the competent authority.
Notice of equivalence
In the licensing procedure, the equivalence of your training can also be checked. If you have a legitimate interest, you can apply for a separate decision for the result of the examination.
Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the laws mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. 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.