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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a licence to practise dentist from third countries


In order to be able to work as a dentist in Germany, you need your 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 dentist without a license to practice 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.

The license to practice medicine will be granted to you by the competent authority if your dental 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. For example.B, you must be suitable for health and have the necessary language skills.

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

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.


You submit an application for a licence to practise as a dentist 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 dentist. 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 dentistry.

If the competent body detects 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.

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 dentist. However, the responsible body offers you to take a knowledge test. If you successfully pass the knowledge test (and meet all other requirements), you will receive the approbation.

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 dentist in Germany. The contents and the exact procedure of the examination are regulated by law. If you pass the knowledge test, you will be granted a licence to practise as a dentist. 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 given 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.

  • You have a professional qualification as a dentist from a third country.
  • In terms of health, you are suitable for working as a dentist.
  • You are reliable and worthy of work as a dentist 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 and medical language skills at level C1.

The competent authority will inform you which documents you have to submit. Important documents are generally:

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport in officially certified copy)
  • German-language CV in tabular form with your training and professional activities
  • officially certified copy of your proof of formal qualifications
  • Proof of the contents of your training:
    List of subjects and training hours that you have completed
  • Certificate that you are allowed to work as a dentist in your country of training
  • Proof of your relevant professional practice as a dentist
  • Extract from criminal records or certificate of good conduct from your country of origin 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 (The certificate may be issued by an authority in your country of education. The certificate may not be more than 3 months old when the application is submitted.)
  • 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 work where you apply

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.

The procedure costs money. The competent authority will inform you about the costs. The costs generally depend on the effort required for processing.

In addition, additional costs may arise (e.B. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.


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

The competent authority will confirm that your application and documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. 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
    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. In addition, you must take a medical language test at level C1 during the approbation procedure.
  • Professional license
    Before taking part in the knowledge test, you can apply for a temporary professional permit. With a professional license, you may also work without a license to practice medicine (under the supervision of a dentist with a license to practice medicine). To do so, you must prove language skills at level B2 and take a technical language test at level C1. The professional license is usually valid for 2 years. Your competent authority will inform you about this.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

(forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Health for release)

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