Welcome to Germany, dear colleague. We want and need you!

We are pleased about your interest in working as a veterinarian in Germany! In many top modern clinics for small and large animals the doors are wide open for you. With us, you will work under fair working conditions and we will offer you the possibility to consistently increase your qualification.

In order to work as a veterinarian in Germany, you need the so-called "Approbation" as a license. The requirements for the issuance of the license are demanding and it can take several years until you have the appropriate certificate in your hands. But you don't have to worry: Under certain conditions you are allowed to work as a veterinarian.

How this works depends on where you come from, where you completed your veterinary studies and where in Germany you would like to work.

Thousands of colleagues before you have managed to go this way through the German instances for obtaining the license to practice medicine. It is worth it and we will help you to reach your goal.

Answers to questions about working as a veterinarian in Germany and obtaining your licence to practise veterinary medicine can be found in our FAQs. If your question is not answered there, please send us an E-Mail or make an appointment for a video chat.

Your VetWorkGermany-Team 


The Blue Card - General Work Permit for Academics

Who gets it, who needs it, what are the requirements and how long is the Blue Card valid? Answers to these questions can be found here.


Temporary professional license for veterinarians

Here you find all relevant information to be able to work as a veterinarian in Germany without a recognized license.


Approbation recognition

What is an Approbation, who needs it, where can I apply and what are the requirements?


E-learning courses for the recognition of the license to practice veterinary medicine

Eine Initiative, die Tierärzt*innen aus Drittstaaten bei der Anerkennung der Approbation durch kostenfreie E-Learning-Kurse zu den rechtsrelevanten Prüfungsfächern unterstützt.


German course for veterinarians

This veterinary language course has been specially designed for international veterinarians to help them learn how to communicate confidently with animal owners and colleagues.


Vetjobs24 - The international jobportal for veterinarians

Here you might find your dream job or your new dream employees! The common goal is the future cooperation.



Wir brauchen und freuen uns auf mehr tierärztliche Expertise aus dem Ausland und wünschen uns für unsere Praxis möglichst bald nette, motivierte internationale Kolleg*innen.

Jan Klasen

Es hat zwar lange gedauert und war zeitweise auch sehr anstrengend, aber für mich hat es sich absolut gelohnt, die Approbation anerkennen zu lassen. Ich arbeite inzwischen seit 6 Jahren in einer größeren Tierarztpraxis bei Berlin und werde dort in Kürze sogar Teilhaber!

Josef K.,
ursprünglich aus Tunesien

Frequently Asked Questions


Basically yes, but you will need a state permit, as the profession of a veterinarian is a regulated profession in Germany. This means that in addition to a general work permit, you also need recognition of your professional qualification as equivalent to the training you received in Germany. Also it depends on the country in which you studied and completed veterinary medicine, as the chart shows, whether you have to go through a so-called recognition procedure (equivalence test) for this.

Das bedeutet, die Anerkennung eines in einem EU-Mitgliedstaat abgeschlossenen tierärztlichen Studium erfolgt über ein automatisches Anerkennungsverfahren (Stichtagsregelungen nach RL 2005/36/EG) ohne Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung. Es muss jedoch ein formaler Antrag auf Anerkennung der Approbation bei der relevant office inkl. aller erforderlichen Unterlagen eingereicht werden. Darüber hinaus sind für die Arbeitserlaubnis als Tierarzt:in in Deutschland Sprachkenntnisse auf B2-Niveau erforderlich (BTÄO).

Bei Tierärztinnen und Tierärzten, die ihren Abschluss außerhalb der EU oder des EWR erlangt haben (Drittstaat), erfolgt immer eine Gleichwertigkeitsüberprüfung der tierärztlichen Ausbildung im Herkunftsland mit den Anforderungen in Deutschland. Hierfür werden mindestens Sprachkenntnisse auf B2-Niveau benötigt, da alle dafür zu durchlaufenden Kenntnisprüfungen auf Deutsch stattfinden.

The profession of veterinary medicine is regulated in Germany. With the successful passing of the state examination in the study of veterinary medicine, one is granted the license to practice veterinary medicine in Germany. This is a state authorization to practice the profession of veterinary medicine independently and on one's own responsibility and to use the professional title "veterinarian". The Approbation is therefore equivalent to an unrestricted professional license and is a mandatory prerequisite if a man/woman wishes to work as a veterinarian in Germany or to set up their own practice.

As with the professional license, the license must be applied for at the relevant office of the federal state in which the profession is to be practiced or, if applicable, where the main place of residence is located. For this purpose, the submission of documents (e.g. degree certificates, curriculum vitae in tabular form) analogous to the professional permit is necessary in order to enable an equivalence check.

With the application for recognition of a completed university degree, you submit an application for obtaining the German license to practice medicine. In addition, you can apply for a temporary professional permit at the same time in order to be allowed to work as a veterinarian for a limited period of time in parallel to the recognition procedure. However, you may only work as an employee, e.g. as an assistant in a veterinary practice or as a salaried employee in an institute. Sovereign activities, e.g. official veterinary tasks, ante-mortem and post-mortem examinations are linked to the license to practice.

This procedure checks whether your professional qualification is equivalent to the German profession. It is assessed whether the content of your foreign degree is comparable to the "State Examination in Veterinary Medicine" in Germany. The recognition procedure is regulated in each federal state by the competent body, usually an authority. zuständige Stelle, in der Regel eine Behörde, geregelt.

During the recognition procedure, the veterinary profession can be practiced with a temporary professional permit if the completion of veterinary studies has been established. It is always limited in time. Such a permit must be applied for at the competent relevant office beziehungsweise Behörde beantragt werden.

Note: A temporary professional permit is in principle:

  • always revocable
  • not valid for sovereign activities (for example, official veterinary tasks, ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection)
  • issued only for a dependent activity (e.g. as an assistant in a veterinary practice, as an employee in an institute)
  • limited to a specific employment relationship
  • limited to a maximum of 2 years (renewable only under certain circumstances, including if the licensing process is completed in a timely manner)

After the expiration of the permit, further practice of the veterinary profession is possible only after the granting of the license.

A temporary professional permit allows veterinarians from abroad to work temporarily as a non-independent veterinarian in Germany.

For more information, see the question "Can I practice the veterinary profession in Germany during the current recognition procedure?"Am I allowed to practice the veterinary profession in Germany during the ongoing recognition procedure?

  1. Evidence of confirmation of employment, current extract from the population register on the main place of residence or proof of habitual residence or applications for vacancies, invitations to interviews, etc. in the relevant federal state.
  2. Application (forms available)
  3. Curriculum vitae in tabular form and chronological (with signature and date) with the training courses completed, professional career and gainful employment to date
  4. Proof of identity (passport or identity card)
  5. Birth certificate (in the event of a change of name, e.g. due to marriage, also this certificate)
  6. Official certificate of good conduct of document type 0 from the Federal Republic of Germany (not older than 3 months if presented).
  7. Certificate of good conduct/no criminal record from the police or judicial authorities of the home country and, if applicable, the country of study (not older than 3 months if presented)
  8. Certificate of good conduct/certificate of good standing from the competent authorities of the country in which the profession was practiced (if submitted, not older than 3 months).
  9. Medical certificate (use forms) from a physician licensed to practice in Germany (if submitted, not older than 3 months)
  10. Proof of completed studies (transcripts, degree certificates, proof of authorization to practice profession in country of origin, individualized overview of subjects and hours per semester with theoretical and practical lessons and contents of exams, proof of previous professional experience and further education (job references, further education, continuing education) 
  11. Proof of German language skills B2 (certificate; not older than 3 years)

This is the general work permit for academics (e.g. veterinarians) from non-EU countries.

It is not to be understood as a provisional professional practice permit or recognition of license to practice.

Nationals of the European Union (EU) as well as Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland may take up employment in Germany without having to obtain permission for employment (unrestricted freedom of movement for workers).

  • University degree (German or comparable foreign degree)
  • Employment contract or binding job offer from German company
  • Job must be appropriate to qualification (university degree)
  • With German job at least gross annual salary of 58,400 euros
  • Entry visa to Germany (not absolutely necessary, see
  • "Exemptions for certain non-EU countries")

Veterinarians from a non-EU country usually need a visa for the purpose of gainful employment, which is issued by the responsible German mission abroad. With this visa the entry to Germany takes place. Subsequently, the EU Blue Card must be applied for at the local foreigners authority before the visa expires.

Veterinarians, who have held a Blue Card EU in another EU member state for at least 18 months, may enter Germany without a visa. The EU Blue Card in Germany must be applied for within one month of entry at the authority for non-residents responsible for your place of residence. After the EU Blue Card has been issued, employment can begin.

  • Register residence at the Residents' Registration Office (acquisition of registration certificate)
  • After entering Germany within the visa period (usually up to 6 months) apply for work permit (Blue Card)
  • Find out which aliens' registration office is responsible for this:
  • https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/
  • University certificate or diploma
  • Employment contract or a concrete job offer
  • Completed application form (is prepared individually by each authority, often only digital application; more information from the competent authority: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/)
  • Passport or passport replacement
  • Proof of sufficient health insurance coverage
  • Proof of residence, e.g. confirmation of registration or rental contract and confirmation of moving in
  • Visa for entry (not required in all cases; see below under "Exemptions for certain non-EU countries")
  • Proof of livelihood (in the case of an extension: proof of salary for the first two and last two months; see requirements at the competent authority)
  • Rental contract/purchase agreement with indication of living space (see requirements at competent authority)
  • Housing costs (costs of the occupied property, for example monthly rental costs; see requirements at competent authority)
  • gross salary between 45,552 euros and 58,400 euros; shortage occupations: less than 1.5 job seekers per open position in 1 year)
  • Validity period: maximum 4 years, if employment contract is shorter than 4 years, card is valid for the same period => extension possible in principle
  • Blue card expires, in case of departures of more than 12 months
  • Temporary work can be taken up, from annual gross salary of 58,400 euros (in 2023)
  • Blue card is bound to employer. For change of employer within 2 years approval of the foreigners authority necessary.

EU citizens or citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

In principle, yes. However, this requires a license to practice as a veterinarian. This must be applied for at the relevant office .

  1. Birth certificate (if necessary, name change certificate),
  2. Proof of identity (identity card or passport),
  3. A registration certificate from the respective city/municipality (proof of place of residence),
  4. Declaration that no judicial criminal proceedings or a public prosecutor's investigation is pending against the applicant(s),
  5. Medical certificate of medical fitness (not older than 3 months),
  6. Official certificate of good conduct (document type "0") for submission to an authority from Germany (not older than 3 months),
  7. Official certificate of good conduct from the country of origin (not older than 3 months and, if applicable, depending on the residence status),
  8. An application for a license to practice veterinary medicine, stating that the professional veterinary activity is to be carried out in the respective federal state,
  9. Officially certified proof of completion of training/certificate of completion of veterinary studies (all documents you have, such as an overview of subjects and hours, certificates of completion of veterinary diploma/studies, proof of practical phases after studies, if applicable)
  10. If applicable, certificates of many years of current professional activity
  11. Curriculum vitae in tabular form with date and signature, including the main points of the previous professional activity
  12. Proof of sufficient German language skills, usually at least B2 level (for applicants whose native language is not German and who did not complete their studies in German).
    • In some federal states, an additional test on knowledge of medical terminology must be taken (C1 language level).
  13. Certificate of authorization to practice medicine in the country of origin (equivalent to a license to practice medicine in Germany),
  14. A declaration by the applicant that no application for equivalence has been submitted to any other German authority to date.

If you have acquired an additional veterinary specialization and a qualification as a veterinary specialist abroad , you can have this recognized in Germany. However, the prerequisite is always the license to practice as a veterinarian:in.

Non-EU citizens

Basically, yes. However, this requires a veterinary license. In order to obtain this, some requirements must be met.

  1. Apply for a blue card
  2. Apply for a temporary work permit
  3. If necessary, apply for the license incl. equivalency testhttps://www.support4vetmed.de/local/staticpage/view.php?page=antragstellung

This is very individual and depends on various factors, e.g.

  • how many knowledge tests have to be passed
  • how good the German language skills are
  • how much time you can spare to prepare for the exams
  • when do you get the appropriate exam dates.

In addition, it takes some time to apply for the recognition procedure of the license to practice medicine.


The knowledge examination can be repeated 2x per examination subject.

In total there are 3 attempts.

At least the 10 legally relevant examinations must be taken. Whether additional clinical subjects are examined is a matter of discretion for the competent office where the application for recognition is submitted.

The costs for a knowledge examination vary from university to university and can be obtained from the dean's office. As a rule, they amount to 50-100 euros per examination.

In addition, the issuance of the license to practice medicine after passing the recognition procedure is associated with costs of around 200 euros. The fee is also due in case of not passing the exams or of rejection of the application for the issuance of the Approbation is rejected.

What else do I need after passing the knowledge examinations in order to be able to apply for the issuance of the Approbation?

  • Official certificate of good conduct to be sent directly to an authority
  • Medical certificate stating that the applicant is not unfit to practice the profession from a health point of view..

An administrative fee of 200 euros is payable for the granting of the license to practice. You will receive the necessary payment instructions with the delivery or sending of the Approbation certificate. 

A rejection of an application is also subject to a fee.

The certificate of good conduct and the medical certificate

must not be older than three months at the time when the license is issued.

A lot of information and e-learning courses as exam preparation for the 10 legally relevant exam subjects are available at www.support4vetmed.de. There is also a Facebook page of the same name for the project, where you can connect with many "fellow sufferers".

As a rule, the examinations are held in German. However, it is possible, at least in principle, to apply for the exams to be held in English. The dean's office of the relevant university can help you with this issue.

However, since proof of the language level B2 German must be provided for the application for recognition of the license to practice medicine, these applications to change the language of the examination to English are usually rejected.