Licensing process in Germany

Licensing process explained comprehensible: In Germany, one can only work as a doctor, dentist or pharmacist if they have obtained a state license, the Approbation (= professional license). For individuals with a foreign degree, this license must be applied for at a German licensing authority, and an equivalence test must be passed. Here, you will find information about the criteria to consider when submitting an application.

Important note: We strive to keep the content of our information accurate and up-to-date. However, since the requirements may differ in detail among the various licensing authorities, it is essential that you verify and supplement the information for your specific situation on the website of the relevant licensing authority. The links to the German licensing authorities can be found at the end of this article.

Which criteria do I need to consider when applying?

In this video, Dr. Ben explains fundamental information about the licensure process in Germany and the criteria that you must consider when submitting an application.


To make a decision on which federal state you want to work in initially and where to submit your application for licensure, it is important to consider the following criteria:


1. Proof of credibility

With proof of credibility, you show to the licensing authority that you intend to work in that federal state in the future. When you provide proof, the licensing authority knows that it’s responsible for processing your application. This proof can be more or less demanding and can vary from state to state.

We explain the necessary documents in the article Providing proof of credibility.


2. Tests for professional recognition

For professional recognition in Germany, you must pass a professional language test as proof of sufficient professional language skills. If your degree is from a non-EU country, your professional knowledge will also be assessed in a professional knowledge test.

Recognition test waiting times and their levels of difficulty vary from state to state.

FIA lecturers are experts in their field and have extensive experience with test requirements in the different federal states. Therefore, you’ll be specifically prepared for your recognition test.


3. Job market

While you’re waiting for your test dates, it’s sometimes possible to work with a temporary license. This permit is limited to a maximum of two years. The number of job openings and therefore the need for qualified personnel varies from state to state.

The higher the demand for professionals, the easier it is for you to obtain a job offer (which is also required for the proof of credibility) or to work with a temporary work permit before obtaining your professional license.

Approbation authorities in Germany

You submit your licensure at a licensing authority in Germany. Germany consists of sixteen federal states, and each state has its own licensing authority, which is an independent entity. This means that the licensing authority, where you submit your application, will make the decision regarding your application. Another licensing authority has no influence on it.

Please note that you are only allowed to submit an application to one licensing authority, not multiple ones simultaneously.

Here you will find the links to the individual licensing authorities in Germany. On their respective websites, you will find all the current information from the authorities as well as the corresponding application forms:

Licensing authority Baden-Württemberg

Licensing authority Bavaria

Licensing authority Berlin

Licensing authority Brandenburg

Licensing authority Bremen

Licensing authority Hamburg

Licensing authority Hesse

Licensing authority Mecklenburg Western Pomerania

Licensing authority Lower Saxony

Licensing authority North Rhine-Westphalia

Licensing authority Rhineland Palatinate

Licensing authority Saarland

Licensing authority Saxony

Licensing authority Saxony-Anhalt

Licensing authority Schleswig-Holstein

Licensing authority Thüringen