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Procedure descriptions

Doctor, dentist, pharmacist, psychological psychotherapist, child and youth psychotherapist with foreign professional training - apply for approval

Approbation entitles you to use the corresponding professional title and to practise the profession.

Nationals of the European Union or the European Economic Area who only want to work temporarily and occasionally in Germany do not need an Approbation. However, they must report their activity to the competent office. The competent office will provide further information.

Under certain circumstances, you may initially be granted a professional licence that is restricted in terms of time and subject matter.

Get free advice on the recognition of your foreign professional qualification. You have a legal right to this counselling. The specially trained staff at the counselling centres listed below will discuss with you which possibilities exist with your qualification and which procedure seems to make the most sense. They will also support you in submitting an application and compiling the necessary documents.

Responsible department

State Examination Office for Medicine and Pharmacy, Approbationswesen im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart (Regional Council Stuttgart)



  • Foreign vocational qualification as
    • Doctor or medical practitioner
    • Dentist
    • Pharmacist
    • Psychological psychotherapist
    • Child and youth psychotherapist (m/f)
    • Psychotherapist
  • personal reliability
  • health suitability
  • sufficient knowledge of the German language: at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and specialist language skills at least level C1, confirmed by an examination of the respective professional chamber

Note: Your nationality, the origin of your degree and your residence status have no legal significance.


The competent body checks whether your degree obtained abroad is equivalent to the corresponding German degree.

Your qualification will be recognised as equivalent if there are no significant differences between your foreign qualification and the corresponding German qualification.

In addition to your education, your professional experience acquired in Germany or abroad will also be taken into account. Any significant differences found can be compensated for by relevant professional experience.

You will receive the licence to practise medicine if your degree is recognised as equivalent and the other requirements are also met.

If there are substantial differences between your qualification and the German reference qualification, you can take an examination to achieve equivalence. You can obtain more information from the competent office

Automatic recognition (not for psychotherapists):

For degrees from member states of the European Union, signatory states to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and states treated as equivalent to these, such as Switzerland, the following applies as a rule:

Your degree will be recognised without an individual equivalence test if the degree certificate was issued after the accession of the state of training.
Degrees issued before the cut-off date will generally be recognised automatically if you present a certificate from the competent authority of the state of training that the training completed before accession meets the minimum standards of Directive 2005/36/EC. For further information, please contact the competent authority.



Required documents

  • Demonstration that the intention is to practise the profession in Baden-Württemberg. Suitable documents must be submitted for this purpose, e.g. confirmation/expression of interest from the future employer or proof of close family ties, proof of counselling or so-called location note; in the case of previous application and residence in another federal state: confirmation of employment
  • Civil registry documents on name, place and date of birth (e.g. birth/marriage certificate, excerpt from the family register)
  • Proof of citizenship (passport, identity card, residence certificate)
  • Current, complete curriculum vitae in tabular form with precise details of your educational and professional background
  • Evidence of education (certificates, diploma, licence to practise, registration, overview of subjects and studies, specialist examination, specialist internship, etc.)
  • If applicable, further evidence of qualifications
  • Proof of relevant professional experience (e.g. employer's reference, work book, index)
  • Proof of German language skills of at least level B2 from a recognised language institute (can be submitted later)
  • Current certificate of good conduct from the home country (can be submitted later)
  • for proof of personal reliability:
    • If resident in Germany: certificate of good conduct for submission to a public authority (can be submitted later)
    • If you reside abroad: documents from your home country proving your personal reliability.
  • Informal declaration that there has been no final court conviction or penalty order in any country
  • Clearance certificate/"Certificate of Good Standing" from the country in which the profession is currently practised or was last practised;
    • if the profession has not yet been exercised: informal declaration that the profession has not yet been exercised
  • Current medical certificate stating that you are not unfit for the profession (with date, stamp and signature of the doctor)

The competent authority may request further documents.

Pleasenote: Only send officially certified copies and no originals! An officially certified copy in the original language and an officially certified copy of a German translation of foreign language documents are required. You must have translations done by a publicly appointed or sworn interpreter or translator.


  • EU: 300,00 EUR
  • EU before accession date: 350,00
  • Third countries: 450,00 EUR

The administrative fee may be increased in the event of additional expenditure.

Processing time

  • Automatic recognition procedure: usually less than three months
  • Otherwise: several months

The period begins in each case with the receipt of the complete documents.


To prove your professional language skills at level C1, you must take an examination at the respective Chamber of Health Professions. The competent body will register you for this with the chamber, which will then contact you.

The language examination costs:

  • EUR 250.00 for pharmacists
  • EUR 420.00 for doctors
  • EUR 450.00 for dentists

If you do not pass the exam, you can repeat it. However, you will have to pay the fee again for each examination.

You do not have to prove your language skills if you have one of the following degrees:

  • a degree from a German-speaking university
  • a degree from a general school of at least ten years' duration from a German-speaking school
  • a qualification from at least three years of vocational training in German.

Further information can be obtained from the competent office and the respective chamber of health professions.

Release note

04.09.2023; Sozialministerium Baden-Württemberg


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32