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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for permission to hold the professional title of physiotherapist or physiotherapist from third countries


The activity as a physiotherapist is regulated in Germany. This means that in order to work as a physiotherapist or physiotherapist in Germany, you need a state permit. With this permission, you may use the professional title "Physiotherapist" or "Physiotherapist" and work in the profession.

Even with a professional qualification from a so-called third country, you can obtain state permission from the competent authority (an authority) in Germany. Third countries are all countries that do not belong to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

To obtain permission, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognised.

In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of professional qualifications is a prerequisite for the granting of state authorisation.

In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must meet other conditions for the granting of the permit. Further prerequisites are, for example, sufficient German language skills and health suitability.

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

You can also apply for the procedure from abroad.

Examination of equivalence

They shall apply to the competent body for permission to hold the professional title of 'physiotherapist' or 'physiotherapist'. The competent body then checks whether you meet all the requirements. A prerequisite is professional qualifications. The competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification as a physiotherapist. 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 given permission to hold the professional title as a "physiotherapist" or "physiotherapist".

If the body responsible finds significant differences, you can make up for the differences through your professional practice and other knowledge and skills (lifelong learning). You must prove your professional practice. Knowledge and skills must be certified by an authority of your country of origin.

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

However, the competent body will tell you the main differences and why you cannot compensate for the essential differences with your professional practice. You may not work as a physiotherapist. However, the competent authority offers you to take an adaptation course or take a knowledge test as a compensatory measure. If you successfully complete this action, you may work in the profession.

Adaptation course or knowledge test

If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can choose between a knowledge test and a maximum of three years of adaptation. During the knowledge test, your knowledge will be checked in certain subjects and areas. These subjects and the exact procedure of the examination are regulated by law. The knowledge test has an oral part and a practical part. If you complete the adaptation course or pass the knowledge test (and meet all other requirements), you will be given permission to hold the professional title of "physiotherapist" or "physiotherapist".


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.

  • You have a professional qualification as a physiotherapist or physiotherapist from a third country.
  • They are suitable for health. (This means that you can work mentally and physically as a physiotherapist.)
  • They are reliable for working as a physiotherapist or physiotherapist and have no criminal record.
  • You have the necessary knowledge of German for the job. This is usually the level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

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

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • German-language CV in table form with your trainings and professional activities
  • officially certified copy of your certificate of education
  • Proof of your relevant professional practice as a physiotherapist
  • Evidence of further relevant knowledge for working as a physiotherapist
  • Criminal record extract or certificate of leadership from your country of origin as proof of your reliability (this proof may be no more than 3 months old when the application is made.)
  • Medical certificate of your health (The proof can be from an authority from your training country. This certificate may not be more than 3 months old at the time of application.)
  • 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 costs generally depend on the processing effort.

In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations, certifications or compensatory measures). 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.

After a maximum of one month, the competent authority will confirm that your 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.

  • Equivalence decision
    The authorisation procedure also examines equivalence (recognition procedure). You can request a separate decision for the outcome of the audit.
  • 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.

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 approval)

No authority found