jump link

citizen service


You enter your place of residence or the place where you want to contact the administration or use the location sensing.

Enter words here that describe what you are looking for (e.B. cut a tree) or a matter for citizens and companies (e.B. house construction, marriage).
Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a license to practice for veterinarians from third countries


In order to work as a veterinarian in Germany without restriction, you need a license to practice.

Approbation is the state license to practice the profession. The license 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.

You will be granted a license to practice by the competent authority if your veterinary training is equivalent to German training. Equivalence is checked in the recognition procedure. You must also meet other requirements to be granted a license to practice medicine.

You can also obtain a license to practice in Germany with a professional qualification from a so-called third country. Third countries are all countries that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

If your professional qualification comes from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, other regulations apply.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

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

As an alternative to proof of German language skills, a specialist interview examination can be conducted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry.

The responsible office will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are

  • Proof of identity (officially certified copy of identity card or passport)
  • A copy of your training certificate
  • Proof of the content of your training:
  • List of subjects and training hours that you have completed
  • Certificate that you are authorized to work as a veterinarian in your country of training
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience as a veterinarian
  • Criminal record extract or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin as proof of your worthiness and reliability (this proof must not be more than 3 months old at the time of application)
  • Medical certificate of your health suitability (This certificate must not be older than 3 months at the time of application. The certificate can be from an authority in your country of training).
  • Declaration that you have not yet submitted an application for a license to practice in Germany
  • Certificate of registration or declaration that you intend to work in the country where you are submitting the application

The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit in the original or as a copy.

If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or authorized.

The procedure costs money. The responsible office will inform you of the costs. The costs often depend on the time and effort required for processing.

Additional costs may also be incurred (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

The costs for the license to practise vary between 120 euros and 401 euros.


Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you must submit the documents. This may prolong the procedure.

The responsible office will confirm that your application and documents have been received after a maximum of one month. The competent office will inform you if any documents are missing.

If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 4 months.

Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry of Saxony-Anhalt


You submit an application for a license to practice as a veterinarian to the competent authority. The competent authority will check whether your training is equivalent to German training and whether all other requirements have been met. Approval can only be granted if your training from a third country is equivalent to German training.

Examination of equivalence

The competent authority will compare your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a veterinarian. 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 examination

If your professional qualification is equivalent, your foreign professional qualification will be recognized. The authority can confirm the result in writing. You must still meet the other requirements and provide proof of your language skills. You will then be granted a license to practice as a veterinarian.

If the competent authority identifies significant differences, you can compensate for the differences with your professional experience and other knowledge and skills as a veterinarian. You must provide evidence of your professional experience. Knowledge and skills must be certified by the competent authority in your country of origin. This confirmation is generally sufficient.

However, this knowledge may not be sufficient. You will then not be able to compensate for the significant differences. Your foreign professional qualification will then not be recognized.

The competent authority will inform you in writing of the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the main differences with your professional experience. The decision of the competent authority will also state the level of your training and the level required in Germany. You will then not be allowed to work as a veterinarian. However, the competent authority will offer you the opportunity 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 license to practice as a veterinarian. You must also meet the other requirements and prove your language skills.

Legal remedy

You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. 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 speak to the responsible office before taking legal action against the decision.

All veterinarians practicing their profession in Saxony-Anhalt are members of the Saxony-Anhalt Chamber of Veterinarians.

Every member of the chamber must register with the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons within one month of taking up their professional activity.

The following points must also be observed:

  • Proof of language skills: General German language skills at level B2 are a prerequisite for licensure. You can also submit the required language certificate during the licensing procedure.
  • Professional license: In exceptional cases, you can also apply for a temporary professional license if there is a special interest. This could be, for example, a temporary position at a veterinary university. In principle, you can work as a veterinarian for 4 years with a work permit, even without a license to practice medicine. You must provide proof of language skills at level B2. You may only work to a limited extent with a professional license. The professional permit is not a license to practice.
  • Certificate 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. You must have a legitimate interest in the separate decision.
  • Additional examinations: Due to possible deviations in veterinary training in third countries from that in the Federal Republic of Germany, additional (knowledge) examinations must usually be taken in several subjects, particularly in legally relevant subjects. The specific subjects will be named in each individual case during the application assessment.
  • Electronic application: You can also submit your application electronically.
  • Procedure for ethnic German repatriates: As an ethnic German repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the law mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. Your responsible office will advise you on this.

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture and Energy of Saxony-Anhalt

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Tourismus, Landwirtschaft und Forsten des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt - Referat 45
Hasselbachstraße 4
39104 Magdeburg, Landeshauptstadt
+49 391 567-4333
+49 391 615072