When you decide to immigrate to France as a dentist, it offers you a unique blend of professional growth and cultural immersion. The journey involves obtaining a recognized dental degree, mastering the French language, and navigating through France’s healthcare registration processes. This path promises a rewarding career in one of the world’s most renowned healthcare systems.

How to Immigrate to France as a Dentist?

In order to start your career in France as a dentist, you should follow these steps:  

  1. Obtain a Recognized Dental Degree
  2. Validate Degree in France
  3. Achieve B2 French Proficiency
  4. Register with National Dentists Order
  5. Secure Job Offer
  6. Apply for a Work Visa
  7. Obtain Practice Authorization
  8. Apply for a Professional Card
  9. Secure Malpractice Insurance
  10. Register for Social Security
  11. Find Accommodation

Step 1. Obtain a Recognized Dental Degree

The first step in your journey to immigrate to France as a dentist is to receive an accepted dental license. Recognized dental degrees are qualifications in dentistry that are accepted by regulatory bodies in the country where one intends to practice. Types of dental degrees are:

  • DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery)
  • DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine)
  • BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)
  • DDS (Diplôme d’État de Docteur en Chirurgie Dentaire)
  • Dr.med. dent. (Doctor Medicinae Dentariae)

For a dental degree to be recognized in France, it must either be from an EU/EEA country or undergo a process of recognition for non-EU/EEA degrees.

Step 2. Validate Degree in France

The second step to immigrating to France as a dentist is to validate your degree in dentistry. In France, the Direction Générale de l’Offre de Soins (DGOS) under the Ministry of Health is responsible for validating foreign dental degrees to ensure compliance with French standards.

The validation process for non-EU/EEA dental degrees includes verifying degree certification, proof of citizenship, French language proficiency at a B2 level, professional experience, and good standing with the regulatory body from the country of degree origin.

 Applicants must complete specific forms and may need to pass an equivalence examination and complete an internship. The process varies in duration, often taking from a few months to over a year, depending on factors such as application completeness, additional documentation, and the DGOS’s workload.

Step 3. Achieve B2 French proficiency

Achieving B2 French proficiency is essential for professionals aiming to immigrate to France as a dentist. The B2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), signifies an upper-intermediate understanding and use of French.

It enables individuals to grasp the main ideas of complex texts, engage in conversation with native speakers fluently, and produce detailed texts on various topics. This proficiency is crucial for understanding technical discussions in one’s field of specialization and for effectively communicating with patients and colleagues in France.

Step 4. Register with National Dentists Order

Registering with the Ordre National des Chirurgiens-Dentistes (National Order of Dentists) in France is a mandatory step for anyone intending to immigrate to France as a dentist, ensuring that all practitioners adhere to professional standards and regulations.

To register, dentists must submit their application directly to the NDO, accompanied by required documents such as a recognized dental degree, proof of identity (e.g., passport or ID card), proof of address, evidence of proficiency in the French language (typically at a B2 level), and a certificate of good standing from any previous regulatory body if applicable. This process validates the dentist’s qualifications and grants them the legal right to practice, upholding the integrity and quality of dental care in France.

Step 5. Secure Job Offer

To immigrate to France as a dentist and secure a dental job there, candidates can utilize a mix of specialized online job portals, healthcare-focused recruitment agencies, and professional networks. Websites such as Emploi Dentiste, Jobvitae, and the French section of Indeed offer listings for dental positions across the country.

At the same time, recruitment agencies like Adecco Medical, Appel Médical, and Michael Page Healthcare are known for connecting healthcare professionals with suitable vacancies. Enhancing your profile with strong French language skills, additional certifications in dental specializations such as endodontics or periodontics, and practical experience in sought-after areas can significantly boost your employability.

Essential documents for applications typically include a comprehensive CV, personalized cover letter, dental qualification certificates, proof of registration with the Ordre National des Chirurgiens-Dentistes (if available), and evidence of B2-level proficiency in French. Leveraging these resources and skills effectively can substantially increase your chances of securing a desirable dental position in France.

Step 6. Apply for a Work Visa

Secure a job offer from a French employer in the dental field.

  1. Determine the most suitable work visa type for France (e.g., “Talent Passport” or European Blue Card).
    1. Talent Passport: A multi-year residence permit for skilled professionals, offering the right to work in their field in France.
    2. European Blue Card: A work and residence permit for highly qualified non-EU nationals, facilitating mobility within the EU.
  1. Gather all required documents:
    1. Job offer letter
    2. Proof of professional dental qualifications
    3. Registration or pending registration with the Ordre National des Chirurgiens-Dentistes
    4. Proof of French language proficiency
    5. A valid passport and any other personal identification documents
  1. Submit your visa application at the French consulate or embassy in your home country.
  2. Pay the visa application fee as instructed by the consulate or embassy (approximately €99 to €260)
  3. Attend the visa interview and provide biometric data when requested
  4. Wait for the visa application to be processed and approved. (It can take between  a few weeks to a few months in some cases)
  5. Once approved, collect your work visa, which grants you the legal right to practice dentistry in France.

Step 7. Obtain Practice Authorization

Practice Authorization is a formal approval for dentists to practice within France legally. It is issued by the French Ministry of Health, specifically through the Directorate General for Health Care Supply (DGOS).

To obtain this authorization, dentists need to have a recognized dental degree, either from within the EU/EEA that is automatically recognized or from outside the EU/EEA, which requires going through a validation process. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the French language, usually at a B2 level. They may need to pass an equivalence exam or complete an adaptation period to align their qualifications with French standards. This authorization ensures that all practicing dentists meet the country’s professional and educational requirements.

Step 8. Apply for a Professional Card

A Professional Card in the context of practicing dentistry in France does not refer to a physical card but rather to the registration with the Ordre National des Chirurgiens-Dentistes (National Order of Dentists), which serves as the professional licensing authority for dentists. This registration is essential for legal practice and signifies the dentist’s eligibility and compliance with the necessary standards of practice.

With this registration, dentists can legally work, open a practice, and provide dental care services in France. It symbolizes a dentist’s full integration into the French healthcare system and their commitment to maintaining professional standards.

Step 9. Secure Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all healthcare professionals, including dentists, practicing in France. It provides coverage against claims of negligence or malpractice while delivering professional dental care.

Various reputable insurance companies offer this type of professional liability coverage. Among them, AXA, Allianz, and Groupama are well-known for their comprehensive malpractice insurance plans tailored to healthcare professionals’ needs, ensuring they are well-protected in their practice.

Step 10. Register for Social Security

Registration for Social Security in France is done through the Assurance Maladie (Health Insurance). It is a fundamental part of the French social security system, offering access to healthcare, maternity and paternity leave, pensions, and other benefits.

For dentists and other professionals moving to France, this registration ensures their inclusion in the healthcare system, providing coverage for medical treatments and a range of other social protections.

The process involves submitting the necessary documentation to the nearest CPAM (Primary Health Insurance Fund) office, establishing eligibility for health insurance benefits, and contributing to the social safety net that supports all residents in France.

Step 11. Find Accommodation

Finding accommodation in France can vary widely in terms of options and costs, depending on the location and type of housing desired. Options range from apartments and houses to shared accommodations and studio flats.

Budgets will significantly differ, with cities like Paris being more expensive, where a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost upwards of €1,200 per month. In contrast, smaller cities or towns might offer more affordable living spaces.

Online websites such as Le Bon Coin, SeLoger, and PAP.fr are popular platforms for searching and securing accommodation, offering listings that cater to a wide range of preferences and budgets. These resources are invaluable for anyone looking to find suitable living arrangements in France, providing detailed information and direct contact with landlords or real estate agents.

How to Work and Immigrate to France as a Dentist

How Much Does a Dentist Make in France?

In France, a dentist’s salary can vary widely based on experience, location, and whether they work in public healthcare or private practice. On average, dentists can expect to earn between €50,000 to €100,000 annually. Early-career dentists or those working in the public sector tend to be at the lower end of this range, while experienced dentists in private practice or those with specializations can earn at the higher end or even more.

It’s important to note that earnings in larger cities like Paris might be higher due to increased living costs, but the competition and operational costs can also be more significant.

Are Dentists in Demand in France?

Dentists are indeed in demand in France, especially in rural and less urban areas where healthcare services are less accessible. The country faces a challenge with the uneven distribution of dental professionals, leading to greater opportunities for dentists willing to work outside of major cities.

An aging population and an increased emphasis on dental care and aesthetics also fuel this demand. With initiatives to attract healthcare providers to underserved regions, France offers promising prospects for dentists, particularly for those open to exploring opportunities beyond urban centers.

Immigrate to France as a Dentist: Let’s Recap!

Embarking on a career as a dentist in France is an enriching endeavor that combines rigorous education and compliance with professional standards. Successfully navigating through the necessary steps not only allows for legal practice but also opens doors to a fulfilling career in a country celebrated for its quality of life and healthcare excellence.


Dentists can specialize in orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, dental surgery, and prosthodontics, requiring additional study and training.

International students may work part-time up to 964 hours per academic year to support their studies and gain experience.

Proficiency in French is required, with a B2 level typically expected for coursework and patient care.

Public university tuition is low due to subsidies, but living expenses vary by city. Private institutions may charge higher fees.

Admission is highly competitive, especially for the first year, requiring strong preparation and a solid scientific background.

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  1. Abdul wahed says:

    Thanks for your information
    I need certain information
    I have bachelor of Dental surgery degree from Pakistan
    From where I should start?
    What documents do they need ?

    • Oliver says:

      All you need to know is provided in the article.
      Read the sections to learn what should you do.