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Veterinarian with training from third countries, recognising professional qualifications

In order to be able to work as a veterinarian in Germany without restrictions, you need the license to practice medicine.

The license to practice medicine is the state approval for the profession. The license to practice medicine is necessary because the profession is regulated in Germany. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a veterinarian without a license to practice medicine.

The license to practice medicine will be granted to you by the competent authority if your veterinary training is equivalent to the German training. Equivalence is checked in the recognition procedure. You must meet further requirements for the granting of the license to practice medicine.

Even with a professional qualification from a so-called third country, you can obtain the license to practice medicine in Germany. Third countries are all states that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

If your professional qualification comes from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

Process flow

Application

You submit an application for a licence to practise veterinary medicine with the competent authority. The competent authority will 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.

Equivalence assessment

The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a veterinarian. 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 the license to practice veterinary medicine.

If the competent body identifies significant differences, you can compensate for the differences with your professional experience and other knowledge and skills as a veterinarian. You must prove your professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by the competent authority in your country of origin. This confirmation is generally sufficient.

However, it may be that this knowledge is not sufficient. You will then not be able to compensate for the essential differences. Your foreign professional qualification will then not be recognised.

The competent authority will tell you in writing the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional practice. The notification of the competent authority also states what level of your training has and what level is necessary in Germany. You are then not allowed to work as a veterinarian. However, the responsible office offers you to take a knowledge test.

Knowledge test

If your professional qualification is not equivalent and you cannot compensate for the differences, you can take a knowledge test. The knowledge test is based on the final examination as a veterinarian in Germany. If you pass the knowledge test, you will be granted the license to practice veterinary medicine. You must also meet the other requirements and prove your language skills.

Remedy

You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision will then be reviewed. Details can be found in the information on the right of appeal at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first talk to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.

An wen muss ich mich wenden?

Zuständig ist die Tieräztekammer Niedersachsen.

Requirements

  • You have a professional qualification as a veterinarian from a third country.
  • You are medically suitable for work as a veterinarian.
  • You are reliable and worthy to work as a veterinarian and have no criminal record.
  • You have the necessary knowledge of German for the job. These are general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Sie haben noch keinen entsprechenden Antrag in einem anderen Bundesland Deutschlands gestellt.
  • Sie haben einen Wohnsitz oder planen, einen solchen im Bundesland Niedersachsen zu nehmen oder hier eine Arbeitsstelle nach der Beurteilung antreten zu wollen.

Which documents are required?

The competent authority will inform you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are often:

  • A valid proof of identity (identity card or passport in officially certified copy),
  • a certified copy of your evidence of formal qualifications,
  • List of subjects and training hours you have completed (transcript/curriculum),
  • Listing/proof of internships completed during your studies,
  • Certificate that you are allowed to work as a veterinarian in your country of training,
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience as a veterinarian,
  • Extract from the criminal record or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin or from Germany (if you stay here for more than 3 months) as proof of your worthiness and reliability (this proof may not be more than 3 months old at the time of application),
  • Medical certificate of your medical fitness (This certificate must not be more than 3 months old at the time of application. The proof can be from an authority in your country of training.),
  • Declaration that you have not yet applied for a license to practice medicine in Germany,
  • Registration certificate or declaration that you want to live/work in the federal state where you are applying in the future

The competent authority will inform you which documents you must submit in the original or as copies.

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

What are the fees?

The procedure costs money. The competent authority will inform you about the costs. The costs often 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.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

None.

Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you must submit the documents. This may prolong the procedure.

Processing duration

The competent authority will confirm that your application and documents have been received after a maximum of one month. The competent authority will inform you if documents are missing.

If the documents are complete, the procedure takes a maximum of 4 months.

Rechtsbehelf

Gegen den Bescheid der zuständigen Stelle können Sie rechtlich vorgehen. Die Entscheidung wird dann überprüft. Details dazu stehen in der Rechtsbehelfsbelehrung am Ende Ihres Bescheides. Wir empfehlen Ihnen: Sprechen Sie zuerst mit der zuständigen Stelle, bevor Sie rechtlich gegen die Entscheidung vorgehen.

What else should I know?

  • Proof of language proficiency
    Prerequisite for the license to practice medicine is general German language skills at level B2. You can also submit the required proof of language proficiency during the licensing procedure.
     
  • Professional permit
    In exceptional cases, you can also apply for a temporary professional permit if you are particularly interested. This can be, for example, a temporary job at a veterinary university. With the professional license, you may in principle work as a veterinarian for 4 years without a license to practice medicine. You must prove language skills at level B2. With the professional permit, you are only allowed to work to a limited extent. The professional license is not a license to practice medicine.
     
  • Equivalence Notice
    In the licensing procedure, the equivalence of your training is checked (recognition procedure). You can apply for a separate notification for the result of the examination. You must have a legitimate interest in the separate decision.
     
  • Electronic application
    You can also submit your application electronically.
     
  • Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
    As a Spätaussiedler, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the law mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. Your competent body will advise you on this.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

Professionally released on

26.10.2021

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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