Senior caregiver from EU/EEA/Switzerland Apply for permission to use the professional title

The activity as a geriatric nurse is regulated in Germany. This means that in order for you to be allowed to use the required professional title "geriatric nurse" in Germany, you need a state permit.

With this permission, you can work without restrictions in facilities for the elderly.

Even with a professional qualification from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can obtain state permission from the competent body (an authority) in Germany.

In order to obtain the permit, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.
In the recognition procedure, the competent authority 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 granting of the state permit.
In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the full recognition of your professional qualification.

If your professional qualification does not come from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, the procedure is different.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

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

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • German-language CV in tabular form with your training and professional activities
  • officially certified copy of your proof of formal qualifications
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience as a geriatric nurse
  • Proof of further relevant knowledge for working as a geriatric nurse
  • Extract from criminal records or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin as proof of your reliability (this proof may not be more than 3 months old when applying)
  • Medical certificate of your health (This certificate may not be more than 3 months old when the application is submitted. The proof can be from an authority in your training state.)  

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 geriatric nurse from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
  • They are suitable for health. ( This means that you can work mentally and physically as a geriatric nurse.)
  • They are reliable for working as a geriatric nurse and have no criminal record.
  • You have the necessary knowledge of German for your job. This is usually the B2 language level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


  • Freedom to provide services
    If you only want to work temporarily and occasionally as a self-employed service provider in Germany, you do not need a state permit to use the job title. However, special requirements apply: You must report your work to the competent authority before the first activity. The competent body will inform you exactly about the procedure
  • Equivalence notice
    In the permit procedure, the examination of equivalence (recognition procedure) is also carried out. You can request a separate decision for the result of the examination.
  • Electronic application
    You can also submit your application electronically. The application can be submitted directly to the competent authority. You can also submit the application to the Point of Single Contact. The Point of Single Contact will help you and forward the application to the competent body that carries out the recognition procedure.
  • 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

  • Nursing Professions Act (PflBG)
  • Nursing Professions Training and Examination Ordinance (PflAPrV)
  • ยง 10 Federal Displaced Persons Act

Equivalence test

You submit an application for permission to use the professional title "geriatric nurse" or "geriatric nurse" to the competent authority. The competent authority will then check whether you meet all the requirements. An important prerequisite is the professional qualification. The competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a geriatric nurse. 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 receive permission to use the job title as a "geriatric nurse" or "geriatric nurse".

If the competent body identifies significant differences, you can compensate for the differences through your professional practice and other knowledge and skills (lifelong learning). You must prove your professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority in your country of origin.

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.

However, the competent authority will tell you the essential differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences through your professional experience. You are then not allowed to work as a geriatric nurse. However, the responsible body offers you to complete an adaptation course or to take an aptitude test.

Adaptation period or aptitude test

If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can choose between an aptitude test and a maximum three-year adaptation period. The aptitude test refers to the essential differences in your professional qualification. If you complete the adaptation course or pass the aptitude test (and meet all other requirements), you will receive permission to use the professional title as a "geriatric nurse" or "geriatric nurse".

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