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Apply for recognition as a midwife with a professional qualification that is not 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. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the issuance of the state permit. In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must meet other requirements for the issuance of the permit. Further requirements are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

If your professional qualification is automatically recognized, other regulations apply.
You can also submit the application for the procedure from abroad.

Process flow


You submit an application for permission to use the professional title "midwife" to the competent authority.

You can submit an application if you do not yet live in Germany. You can hand in the application with the documents at the competent office or send it by mail. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent office 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 with the German professional qualification as a midwife. The professional qualification is equivalent if there are no significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification.

Note: If your professional qualification is automatically recognized, the competent body does not conduct an equivalence test. This is a different procedure. The competent body will inform you.

Possible results of the equivalence test

If your foreign professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. The competent body can confirm the result to you in writing. You still have to fulfill the other requirements. Then you will receive permission to use the professional title "midwife".

Are there any significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? You may be able to compensate for the differences through your professional experience, other knowledge or skills (lifelong learning). 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 substantial differences cannot be compensated by your work experience, knowledge or skills. In this case, the competent body will tell you the essential differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification and why you cannot compensate for these essential differences with your professional experience or knowledge and skills.

The competent body will also tell you compensatory measures you can take to make up for the substantial differences.
If you decide not to take compensatory measures, your professional qualification will not be recognized and you will not be allowed to work as a midwife in Germany.

Compensatory measures

There are different compensatory measures:

  • Adaptation course: the adaptation course lasts a maximum of three years.
  • Aptitude test: The aptitude test consists of a practical test, which is combined with an examination interview.
  • Knowledge examination for professional qualifications from a third country: The knowledge examination tests your knowledge in specific subjects and areas. The knowledge examination comprises an oral and a practical part.

The competent authority will tell you whether you have to take one or more compensatory measures and whether you can choose which of the compensatory measures you take. This depends on what level your training is.

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


  • You have a professional qualification as a midwife from abroad.
  • In order to obtain state permission, the equivalence of your professional qualification must be checked.
  • 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 (for example, 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, proof of your application for an entry visa for gainful employment or personal statement

You usually hand in these documents later. The relevant 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.
  • Proof of your health suitability: medical certificate
  • Proof of your German language skills: Language certificate

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

Legal basis

  • §§ 5, 43, 44, 54 Law on the Study and Profession of Midwives (Midwifery Law - HebG)
  • §§ 43, 44, 48 ff. study and examination regulations for midwives (HebStPrV)


  • § 77a Abs. 1 HebG i.V.m. § 2 para. 2 HebG old version

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?

Equivalency notice
The equivalence test (recognition procedure) is also carried out 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.

Use of the (male) professional title "maternity nurse
The following applies until the end of 2024: You can also apply for the (male) professional title "maternity nurse". Then the regulations of the Midwifery Act as amended until December 31, 2019 will apply. Your responsible office will inform you about the details.

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)