Employment in Germany: Recognition of Diplomas of Medical Professionals

Having been educated in the countries of the former Union, many health professionals are thinking about resettlement to Germany. The country attracts with a high standard of living, a developed economy, an equally developed field of medicine and, of course, decent salaries. It would seem that one has only to find an employer and to conclude a contract with him. However, in Germany are recognized only diplomas of countries that joined the European Union before 2004, while the rest of foreign citizens will need to confirm their diplomas to start working in the specialty. How to do it and where to start? You will learn more about this when you read our article.


Germany passed a law regulating the recognition of diplomas of foreign citizens (so called “Anerkennungsgesetz”) in April 2012. The recognition procedure in this case is as follows:
• A foreigner, while residing in his home country, submits a request to a special department in Germany
• This institution analyzes the diploma and its compliance with a German program
• If the number of academic hours of theory and practice in core subjects is the same, the agency will recognize the qualification
• In case of discrepancy, recommendations shall be given on further actions due to confirm your education level.


To be able to work as a doctor in Germany a permission is required. It can be issued for a limited period and will be valid only within the federal state on the territory where the doctor plans to work. Permission without restrictions can be issued only after passing the exam in German in the specialty. To obtain Approbation (permission unlimited in time and valid throughout the country) you should:
• Submit an application to obtain it to the district administration (Bezirksregierung) where you intend to work in the future

• provide a copy of the diploma and a transcript, the certificate confirming practical training/internship, an extract from the student’s record of credits and a resume together with the application. All documents must be translated and certified by a sworn translator. The summary must be in German.

• wait one or several months for the application to be considered.

• If the diploma is recognized equal, you should pass a medical exam, which involves filling out a medical history and communicating with the patient, and receive a language certificate of a level not lower than B2.
In most cases, qualifications obtained in a non-EU country are considered insufficient. In this case, the applicant is suggested to pass an exam in the specialty corresponding to the second state. exam in German universities. It is paid and involves two attempts to re-surrender.
You can prepare for the exam yourself or by taking special courses for up to a year. Also at this time many doctors draw up a temporary work permit to undergo practical training in one of German clinics. This practice is almost unpaid, but it can be a significant advantage in passing the exam and recognition of the diploma.


The procedure for recognizing a document of education for nurses is basically similar to recognizing a medical diploma, but it has its own characteristics. This procedure takes from three to six months and consists of steps as follows:

• Send a request to the Commission for Recognition of Diplomas (ZAB) having enclosed hereto a motivation letter, a resume, a diploma and a transcript with listed ratings, information about work experience (service record book, if any), language certificate level B2. All documents must be translated and certified.

• As a rule, Ukrainian and Russian diplomas cannot be recognized immediately, therefore, the applicant is suggested to pass professional exam in German.
• An alternative to the exam can be six-month courses in a specialty or practice done in a hospital.

• The practice is paid and can be designed for a period of 3, 6 or 9 months.

• Medical courses are also designed for up to six months and an exam is taken upon completion of courses.
It will be more difficult to confirm a nurse’s diploma. There is no such profession in Germany, therefore, the applicant is suggested to get a nurse education (in two years instead of usual three ones), to pass an exam, and only then search for work. Given the many nuances, we recommend that you contact consultants and specialists of our agency. They will provide support at each stage of the recognition procedure of the diploma, assist with the collection and submission of documents to German departments, and help with the selection of institutions for practical training. On any of issues we will provide comprehensive advice and speed up as much as possible the process of obtaining work permits.