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Orthoptist with training from third countries, recognise professional qualification

The profession of orthoptist is regulated in Germany. This means: In order to be able to work as an orthoptist in Germany, you need a state permit. With this permit, you may use the professional title "orthoptist" or "orthoptist" and work in the profession.

Even with a professional qualification from a so-called third country, you can obtain a state permit from the competent authority 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 permit, 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 state permit.

In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the granting of the permit. 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 a licence to use the professional title "orthoptist" to the competent authority. You can hand in the application with the documents to the competent body or send it by post. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent body will inform you.

Checking the equivalence

The competent body will then check whether you meet all the requirements. One important requirement is the equivalence of your professional qualification. The competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as an orthoptist. 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 competent body can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to fulfil the other requirements. Then you will receive the permission to use the professional title "Orthoptistin" or "Orthoptist".

Are there any essential 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 the knowledge or skills were acquired.

However, it may be that the essential differences cannot be compensated by this knowledge. In this case, your foreign professional qualification will not be recognised. You are then not allowed to work as an orthoptist in Germany.

However, the competent authority will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot compensate the essential differences by your professional practice.

In most cases you can make a compensatory measure. With this you can compensate for the essential differences.

Compensatory measures

There are different compensatory measures:

  • Adaptation course: the adaptation course lasts a maximum of three years.
  • Knowledge examination: The knowledge examination tests your knowledge in certain subjects and areas. The knowledge test includes an oral and practical part.

You can choose between an adaptation period and a knowledge test.

If you successfully complete the compensatory measure and meet all other requirements, you will receive permission to use the professional title "orthoptist" or "orthoptist".


  • You have a professional qualification as an orthoptist from a third country.
  • You want to work as an orthoptist in Germany.
  • Personal suitability: You are reliable for the work as an orthoptist and have no criminal record.
  • Health suitability: You are mentally and physically able to work as an orthoptist.
  • You have German language skills at the required level. This is normally language level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Which documents are required?

The relevant office will tell you what documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport).
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Evidence of education
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience as an orthoptist
  • Evidence of other relevant knowledge for working as an orthoptist
  • Do you not yet live or work in the EU, EEA or Switzerland? Then you have to 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 statement.

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

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

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 (e.g. for translations, certifications or compensatory measures). These costs vary individually.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 4 Months
The competent body will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure takes a maximum of 4 months.

What else should I know?

Equivalency notice

The examination of equivalence (recognition procedure) also takes place during the licensing 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.

Technically approved by

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Health


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner des Landes Niedersachsen
Address: Friedrichswall 1 , 30159 Hannover
Telephone: 0800 818-8100
Address: Auf der Hude 2 , 21339 Lüneburg
Telephone: 04131 15-0
Fax: 04131 15-3295
Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible

Data protection information

Landkreis Emsland
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

Stadt Papenburg - Rechnungsprüfung
Postal address: Post Office Box 1755 , 26857 Papenburg
Address: Hauptkanal rechts 68/69, 26871 Papenburg
Telephone: 04961 82-320
Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

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