Veterinarian with training from third countries, professional qualification recognition Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Wenn Sie einen Berufsabschluss als Tierärztin/Tierarzt aus einem Land, welches nicht der EU angehört/angehört hat, besitzen, können Sie diesen auf Gleichwertigkeit zu diesem Beruf nach deutschem Recht bewerten lassen.

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

The approbation is the state admission to the profession. The approbation 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 also meet other requirements for obtaining a licence to practise medicine.

Even with a professional qualification from a so-called third country, you can obtain a 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, different regulations apply.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

The competent authority will inform you which documents you have 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 that you have completed (transcript/curriculum),
  • List/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 practice as a veterinarian,
  • Extract from the criminal record or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin or from Germany (for stays of more than 3 months here) as proof of your worthiness and reliability (this proof may not be more than 3 months old when applying).
  • Medical certificate of your health suitability (This certificate may not be more than 3 months old when applying. The proof can be from an authority in your training state.),
  • Declaration that you have not yet submitted an application for a licence to practise medicine in Germany,
  • Registration certificate or declaration that you want to live/work in the federal state where you submit the application in the future

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

If your documents are not available in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who have been publicly appointed or authorised.


  • You have a professional qualification as a veterinarian from a third country.
  • They are suitable for work as a veterinarian.
  • They are reliable and worthy to work as a veterinarian and have no criminal record.
  • You have the necessary knowledge of German for your job. These are general language skills at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


  • Proof of language skills
    Prerequisite for the approbation are general German language skills at level B2. You can also submit the required proof of language proficiency during the approbation procedure.

  • Professional license
    In exceptional cases, you can also apply for a temporary professional permit if there is a special interest. This can be, for example.B 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. To do so, you must prove language skills at level B2. With the professional permit, you may only work to a limited extent. The professional license is not a license to practice medicine.

  • Equivalence notice
    In the approbation procedure, the equivalence of your training is checked (recognition procedure). You can request a separate decision 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 ethnic German repatriate, you can either go through the recognition procedure according to the law mentioned here or according to the Federal Displaced Persons Act. You can decide for yourself. Your competent authority will advise you on this.

Related Links

  • § 2 ff. Federal Veterinary Regulations
  • § 63 f. Ordinance on the Licensing of Veterinarians
  • § 10 Federal Displaced Persons Act


You shall submit an application for a licence to practise as a veterinarian to the competent authority. The competent authority checks whether your training corresponds to the German training and whether all other requirements are met. The approbation can only be granted if your training from a third country is equivalent to the German training.

Equivalence test

The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a veterinarian. The competent body 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 in writing. You still have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted the license to practice medicine as a veterinarian.

If the competent body detects significant differences, you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice and other knowledge and skills as a veterinarian. You must prove your professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by the competent authority of 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 essential 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 that is necessary in Germany. You are then not allowed to work as a veterinarian. However, the responsible body 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 a licence to practise as a veterinarian. You must also meet the other requirements and prove your language skills.


You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision is then reviewed. Details can be found in the notice 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.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

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