Apply for license to practice dentistry with professional qualification from EU/EEA/Switzerland
The profession of dentist is regulated in Germany. This means that you need a license to practice dentistry in Germany without any restrictions. The Approbation is the state authorization for the profession. This means that you are not allowed to work independently as a dentist without an Approbation. Even with a professional qualification from a country of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain the Approbation as a dentist in Germany.
In order to obtain the license to practice dentistry, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognized. In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the granting of the license to practice medicine.
As a rule, a professional qualification from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland is automatically recognized when you apply for a license to practice medicine. However, there may be deviations from this rule. This depends on the state in which you completed your training and at what time. If you started your professional training after the EU/EEA accession of your training state, your professional qualification is automatically recognized.
If your professional qualification is not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must 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.
If you would like to work as a dentist, then there are different recognition processes depending on the accession of your training state to the EU/EEA and your professional qualification.
- First, however, you apply for the license to practice at the competent office: 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 body will inform you.
- The competent body will then check whether your education corresponds to the German education and whether all other requirements are met.
- As a rule, the automatic recognition procedure applies. This applies if you began your vocational training after your training country joined the EU/EEA.
- This means that if you also meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognized without an individual equivalence test.
Certificate of conformity
- Professional training that you started before the EU/EEA accession of your training state (or that does not correspond to the legal designations) can also be automatically recognized.
- To do so, you must submit a certificate from the competent authority in your training state. This must prove 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 proof of your professional experience. You must have worked as a dentist in your country of origin for an uninterrupted period of 3 years in the 5 years preceding your application. This must be confirmed by the competent authority in your country of origin.
Examination of equivalence
- If you cannot provide a certificate of conformity or do not have enough professional experience, your training must be checked individually.
- In doing so, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification.
- The competent body checks 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 examination
If your professional qualification is equivalent:
- Then your foreign professional qualification is recognized.
- The authority can confirm the result to you in writing.
- You still have to fulfill the other requirements and prove your language skills.
- Then you will be granted a license to practice dentistry.
If there are significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification:
- Then you may be able to 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 you acquired the knowledge or skills.
However, it may be that the essential differences cannot be compensated by this knowledge.
- In that case, the competent body will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional practice. The decision of the competent body also states the level of your education and the level required in Germany.
- You will then not be allowed to work as a dentist 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 checks whether you also have the knowledge and skills required to practice as a dentist in the areas in which significant differences were previously identified.
- The aptitude test may consist of a written, an oral and a practical section.
- The competent body decides on the basis of the equivalency test which examination section(s) is/are to be taken.
- If you pass the qualifying examination and meet all other requirements, you will be licensed as a dentist.
- You have a professional qualification as a dentist from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
- You want to work as a dentist in Germany.
- Personal suitability: You are reliable to work as a dentist and have no criminal record.
- Health suitability: You are mentally and physically able to work as a dentist.
- You have German language skills at the required level. This is usually general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and technical language skills at level C1.
Which documents are required?
The responsible office will provide information on 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 the content and duration of your education (e.g. Diploma Supplement, Transcript of Records)
- Evidence of your relevant professional experience as a dentist (for example, references)
- Information on whether you have already applied for a license to practice dentistry in Germany
- You do not yet live or work in Germany? Then you may have to prove that you want to work as a dentist in Germany. Evidence may include applications for a job, invitations to interviews, or a 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 body will inform you:
- Certificate of conformity
If there is no certificate of conformity: Evidence of the content and duration of your education (for example, list of subjects and grades, study book, diploma supplement, transcript of records).
- Certification: you must have worked continuously and legally in the profession for at least 3 years during the last 5 years before the certificate is issued.
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. 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.
General German language skills at level B2 are a prerequisite for licensure. You can also submit the required language certificate later during the Approbation procedure. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the Approbation procedure.
The competent office will inform you which documents you have to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or as an original.
If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be done by translators who are publicly appointed or authorized.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There is no deadline.
Processing Time: 4 MonthsThe competent office will confirm that your application and documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. 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?
There are the following indications:
Freedom to provide services
You want 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.
During the licensing procedure, you can also have the equivalence of your training examined (recognition procedure). You can apply for a separate notification for the result of the examination.
Procedure for late repatriates
As a late repatriate, you can choose to 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 Ministry of Health (BMG)
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.