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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for permission to hold the professional title of physiotherapist from eu/EEA/Switzerland


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.

You can also obtain permission in Germany with a professional qualification from a country of 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 is not 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 aptitude test

If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can take an adaptation course or take an aptitude test. In the aptitude test, one examines the main differences in your professional qualification. The exam consists of a practical exercise and an examination interview. The contents and the exact procedure of the examination are regulated by law. If you complete the adaptation course or pass the aptitude test, you are granted permission to hold the professional title as "physiotherapist" or "physiotherapist". 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.

  • You have a professional qualification as a physiotherapist from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
  • They are suitable for their health as a physiotherapist or 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
  • 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 (The proof can be from an authority from your training state. This certificate may not be more than 3 months old at the time of application.)
  • Declaration that you have not yet applied for permission in Germany

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 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.

  • Freedom to provide services
    If you only want to work temporarily and occasionally independently as a service provider or service provider in Germany, you do not need a government permit. However, special conditions will apply. You must report your work to the competent body before the first activity. The competent authority will inform you exactly about the procedure.
  • European Professional Card
    You can apply for a European Professional Card (EPC) from the European Commission's Authentication Service (ECAS). The European Professional Card is an electronic certificate which makes the recognition procedure easier. You must still apply for the approval.
  • Equivalence decision
    The authorisation procedure is carried out to examine equivalence (recognition procedure). You can request a separate decision for the outcome of the audit.
  • Electronic application
    You can also submit your application electronically. The application may be submitted directly to the competent authority. You can also submit the application to the Single Contact. The Single Contact Person will help you and forward the application to the competent body that will carry out the recognition procedure.
  • 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