Doctor with training from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, professional qualification recognised
The profession of doctor is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be able to work as a doctor 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 doctor without a license to practice medicine.
Even with a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain a license to practice medicine in Germany.
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 from abroad 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.
A professional qualification from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland is usually automatically recognised when you apply for a licence to practise medicine. But there may also be deviations from this rule. It depends on the state in which they completed their education and at what time. If you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your training country, your professional qualification will be automatically recognised.
If your professional qualification does not come from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
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.
You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.
You submit an application for a licence to practise medicine with the competent authority. You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you. The competent authority will then check whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met.
As a rule, the automatic recognition procedure applies if you started your vocational training after the EU/EEA accession of your training country. This means that if you also meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised without an individual equivalence test.
Vocational training that you started before the EU/EEA accession of your country of training (or that does not correspond to the legal designations) can also be automatically recognised. To do this, you must submit a certificate from the competent authority of your country of training stating 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 will need to prove your professional experience. You must have worked as a doctor in your country of origin for 3 consecutive years in the last 5 years before submitting your application. This must be confirmed by the competent authority of your country of origin.
Examination of equivalence
If you cannot provide a certificate of conformity or do not have enough professional experience, then your education must be reviewed individually. The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad 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 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 knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). 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. You will then not be allowed to work as a doctor in Germany.
If your professional qualification is not equivalent and you cannot compensate for the differences, you can take an aptitude test. The aptitude test examines the essential differences in your professional qualifications. The aptitude test is an oral-practical examination.
If you pass the aptitude test and meet all other requirements, you will receive a license to practice 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.
You can also call the hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The hotline will answer your questions on the subject of "Working and living in Germany". Phone number: +49 30 1815-1111 Office hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 – 18:00 (CET)
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 doctor from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You want to work as a doctor in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable for working as a doctor and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You can work mentally and physically as a doctor.
- You have German language skills at the required language level. As a rule, these are general 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?
The competent authority will provide information on the documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:
- Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of training
- Proof of the content of your training:
List of subjects and training hours you have completed
- Proof of your relevant professional experience as a doctor
- Information as to whether you have already applied for a licence to practise medicine in Germany
- You don't live or work in Germany yet? Then you may have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Evidence is e.g. applications for a job, invitations to interviews, personal statement
You only need to submit the following documents if your professional qualification was completed before a certain date (cut-off date). The competent authority will inform you:
If there is no certificate of conformity: proof of the content and duration of your training (e.g. list of subjects and grades, study book, diploma supplement, transcript of records)
- Certificate in accordance with § 14b of the Federal Medical Code that the applicant has actually and lawfully exercised the medical profession for at least three years without interruption during the last five years before the certificate was issued.
You usually hand in these documents later. The competent authority will inform you when you should hand in the documents:
- Proof of your personal suitability: extract from the criminal record or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin. 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.
- Proof of your German language skills: language certificate.
The 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. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the licensing procedure.
The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.
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 competent authority will inform you about the costs. 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.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents. As a result, the procedure may be prolonged.
Processing Time: 3 MonthsAfter a maximum of one month, the competent authority will confirm that your application and documents have arrived. The competent authority will inform you if documents are missing. In the case of automatic recognition, the procedure takes a maximum of 3 months.
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?
Freedom to provide services
Would you like to offer services only sometimes and for a short time in Germany? Then most of the time you don't need the state permit. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You will need to prove your professional qualification.
- You must notify the competent authority of your activity in writing.
The competent authority will inform you.
Notice of equivalence
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.
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 Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Federal Ministry of Health
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.