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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for approval for veterinarians or veterinarians from third countries


In order to be able to work as a veterinarian or veterinarian in Germany without restriction, you need the approval.

The approval is the state admission to the profession. Approval is necessary because the profession is regulated in Germany. This means that you cannot work independently as a veterinarian or veterinarian without approval.

The approval is granted to you by the competent authority if your veterinary training is equivalent to the German training. Equivalence is reviewed in the recognition procedure. You have to meet other requirements for granting the approval.

Even with a professional qualification from a so-called third country, you can obtain the approval in Germany. 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, different rules apply.

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.


You shall submit an application for approval as a veterinarian to the competent body. The competent body checks whether your training corresponds to the German training and that all other prerequisites are met. The approval can only be granted if your training from a third country is equivalent to the German training.

Examination of equivalence

The competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a veterinarian or veterinarian. The competent body shall 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 may confirm the result in writing. You have to meet the other requirements and prove your language skills. Then you will be granted the approval as a veterinarian.

If the competent body finds 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 practice. Knowledge and skills must be certifyed by the competent authority of your country of origin. This confirmation is generally sufficient.

However, this knowledge may not be sufficient. You cannot then compensate for the main differences. Your foreign professional qualification will not be recognised.

The competent body shall tell you in writing the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences with your professional practice. The decision of the competent authority also states what level of training your training has and what level is necessary in Germany. You may not work as a veterinarian. However, the competent authority offers to take a knowledge check.

Knowledge check

If your professional qualification is not equivalent and you cannot make up for the differences, you can take a knowledge test. The knowledge examination is based on the final examination as a veterinarian or veterinarian in Germany. If you pass the knowledge test, you will be granted a certificate as a veterinarian. You must also meet the additional requirements and demonstrate your language skills.


You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision will then be reviewed. Details of this can be provided in the appeal notice at the end of your decision. We recommend that you speak to the appropriate body before taking legal action against the decision.

Please contact the Veterinary Approval Authority.

  • You have a professional qualification as a veterinarian or veterinarian from a third country.
  • They are suitable for health work as a veterinarian or veterinarian.
  • They are reliable and worthy of work 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 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The competent authority shall inform you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are often:

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport in officially certified copy)
  • a copy of your proof of education
  • Proof of the content of your training:
  • List of study subjects and training hours you have completed
  • Certificate that you may work as a veterinarian in your country of training
  • Proof of your relevant professional practice as a veterinarian or veterinarian
  • Criminal record extract or certificate of leadership from your country of origin as proof of your worthiness and reliability (this proof may be no more than 3 months old at the time of application.)
  • Medical certificate of your health suitability (This certificate may not be more than 3 months old at the time of application. Proof may be from an authority in your training state.)
  • Declaration that you have not yet applied for approval in Germany
  • Registration certificate or declaration that you want to work where you apply

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

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

The procedure costs money. The competent authority will inform you of the costs. The cost often depends on the effort required to process.

In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary individually.


Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you will have to submit the documents. This may prolong the procedure.

After a maximum of one month, the competent authority will confirm that your application and documents have arrived. The competent authority will inform you if documents are missing.

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

  • Proof of language skills
    A prerequisite for approval is general German language skills at level B2. You can also submit the required proof of language during the approval process.
  • Professional permit
    In exceptional cases, you can also apply for a temporary professional permit if there is a particular interest. This can be, for example, a temporary job at a veterinary university. With your professional permit, you can in principle work as a veterinarian or veterinarian for 4 years without approval. You must demonstrate language skills at B2 level. You are only allowed to work with a limited professional permit. The professional licence is not an approval.
  • Equivalence decision
    In the approval procedure, the equivalence of your training (recognition procedure) is examined. You can request a separate decision for the outcome of the audit. You must have a legitimate interest in the separate decision.
  • Electronic application
    You can also submit your application electronically.
  • Procedures for late emigrants
    As a late emigrant, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the law mentioned here or under the Federal Persons of Displaced Persons Act. You can decide for yourself. Your competent body will advise you on this.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

No authority found