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Apply for licensure as a dentist with professional qualifications from third countries

The profession of dentist is regulated in Germany. This means that you need a license to practice dentistry in Germany without any restrictions. Approbation is the state authorization to practice the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a dentist without an Approbation. You can also obtain the Approbation in Germany with a professional qualification from a so-called third country. 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 body compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification and checks the 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 fulfill other requirements for the issuance of the license. 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.

Process flow


You submit an application for licensure as a dentist to the competent office.
You can hand in the application with the documents to the competent office or send it by mail. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent body will inform you.
The competent office will then check whether your education corresponds to the German education and whether all other requirements are met. Approbation can only be granted if your education from a third country is equivalent to the German education.

Examination of equivalence

The competent body compares your professional qualification 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 recognized. The authority can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to fulfill the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted your license to practice dentistry.

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 be that the essential differences cannot be compensated by this knowledge. The competent authority will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot make up the essential differences through your work experience.
The decision of the competent body will also state the level of your education and the level required in Germany. You are then not allowed to work as a dentist in Germany.

Knowledge examination

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 dentist in Germany. The knowledge examination consists of a written, an oral and a practical section.
If you pass the knowledge examination and fulfill all other requirements, you will receive your license to practice dentistry.


  • You have a professional qualification as a dentist from a third country.
  • You want to work as a dentist in Germany.
  • Personal suitability: You are reliable for work as a dentist and have no criminal record.
  • Health suitability: You are mentally and physically able to work as a dentist.
  • 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 technical 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 (for example, passport or ID card).
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification
    (for example, certificates, vocational certificate)
  • Proof of the content and duration of your education (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
  • Evidence of your relevant professional experience as a dentist (for example, references)
  • Information on whether you have already applied for a license to practice dentistry 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 Germany in the profession. Evidence 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 eligibility: 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 later during the Approbation procedure. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the Approbation procedure.

The competent office will inform you which documents you have to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or as an original.

If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or authorized.

What are the fees?

The responsible office will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the effort required for processing.

Additional costs may arise (for example, for translations or certifications). These costs vary individually.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline.

Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you must submit the documents. The procedure may be extended as a result.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 4 Months
The 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 takes a maximum of 4 months.

Applications / forms

  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from the responsible office.
  • Online procedure possible: Ask the competent office whether you can submit the application online.
  • Personal appearance required: no

What else should I know?

Temporary professional permit

With the so-called temporary professional permit you can work for a limited period of time without a license to practice medicine. With the temporary professional permit you are allowed to work under the supervision of a person with a license to practice. You may then only be allowed to perform activities in a specific area of work. You must meet the following requirements for the temporary professional permit:

  • Proof of your professional qualification
  • Health suitability
  • Personal suitability
  • German language skills: You must demonstrate the German language skills required to practice the profession under the temporary professional permit.

You can apply for the professional permit at the competent office.

Equivalency notice

During the licensing procedure, you can also have the equivalence of your training examined (recognition procedure). You can apply for a separate notification for the result of the examination.

Procedure for late repatriates

As a late repatriate, you can choose to 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.

Technically approved by

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Health


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)