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Apply for recognition as a midwife with a professional qualification that is automatically recognized

The profession of midwifery is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to work as a midwife in Germany, you need a state permit. With the permit, you may use the professional title "midwife" and work in the profession.

Even with a professional qualification from abroad, you can obtain the state permit from the competent body in Germany. To obtain the permit, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognized.

In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. In some cases, your professional qualification can be recognized automatically. This means that no examination of equivalence is carried out. It is assumed that the training is equivalent.

As a rule, your professional qualification will be automatically recognized if you obtained your professional qualification in a state of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. This depends on the state in which you completed your education and when.

There may be other cases in which your professional qualification is automatically recognized. The competent authority will inform you. If your professional qualification is not automatically recognized, other regulations apply.

You still have to fulfill other requirements for the issuance of the permit. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.
You can also submit the application for the procedure from abroad.

Process flow


You submit an application for permission to use the professional title of "midwife" to the competent body.
You can hand in the application with the documents to the competent body or send it by mail. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent office will inform you.

Examination of the application by the competent body

The competent body checks whether you meet all the requirements for the granting of permission to use the professional title "midwife". One requirement is that your professional qualification be recognized.

Automatic recognition

There are different cases in which a professional qualification can be automatically recognized. This usually applies if you have acquired your professional qualification in a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. The competent office will inform you about the possibilities for automatic recognition. In the case of automatic recognition, the equivalence of your professional qualification is not checked individually. This means: If you also meet all other requirements (reliability, health suitability, German language skills), you will be granted permission to use the professional title "midwife".

Certificate of conformity for professional qualifications acquired before the EU/EEA accession of the country of training:

Professional qualifications from the EU or EEA can also be automatically recognized if they were started before the EU/EEA accession of your training country (or do not correspond to the legal designations). For this, you must submit a certificate from the competent authority of your training state that your professional qualification meets the minimum standards of the EU ("certificate of conformity"). If your professional qualification does not meet the minimum standards, you must provide evidence of your professional practice. You must have worked as a midwife in your country of origin for an uninterrupted period of 3 years in the 5 years preceding your application. This must be confirmed to you by the authority in your country of origin.

If your professional qualification is automatically recognized, you still have to fulfill the other requirements. Then you will receive permission to use the professional title "midwife".

Competent authority

Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family - Lüneburg Branch Office


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

Which documents are required?

The responsible 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)
  • Proof of education
  • Evidence of your relevant professional experience as a midwife
  • Evidence of other relevant knowledge for working as a midwife
  • Perhaps: you do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you need to prove: You want to work in Germany in the profession. Proofs are e.g. applications for a job, invitations to job interviews or personal statement

You only need to submit the following documents if your professional qualification originates from the EU or EEA and was completed before a certain date (cut-off date). The competent body will inform you:

  • Certificate of conformity
    If there is no certificate of conformity:
    Evidence of the content and duration of your education (e.g. list of subjects and grades, study book, diploma supplement, transcript of records).

  • Certification: you must have worked continuously and legally as a midwife for at least three years during the five years preceding the issuance of the certificate. In some cases, you may only need to provide proof of two years. This depends on your training. The responsible office will inform you.

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 (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: 3 Months
The competent body will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure takes a maximum of 3 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


You can take legal action (e.g. file an objection) against the decision of the responsible office within a certain period. The decision will then be reviewed. Details on this can be found in the appeal instructions at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the responsible office before taking legal action against the decision.

What else should I know?

Freedom to provide services
You would like to offer services in Germany only sometimes and for a short time? Then you usually do not need the state permission. You must meet these requirements:

  • You must be established in another state of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
  • You must prove your professional qualification.
  • You must notify the competent body of your activity in writing.

The competent body will inform you.

Equivalency notice
The equivalence examination (recognition procedure) also takes place in the permit procedure. You can apply for a separate notification of 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.

Technically approved by

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Health

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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