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Did you know that in 2020, Germany hired 57.000 foreign doctors? 32.000 out of that number were non-Eu nationals. The need for doctors is huge and is increasing in Germany due to the aging population and current doctors who are retiring. Immigrating to Germany as a doctor is increasing, and you have a chance to get to the strongest economy in Europe if you’re qualified. 

You just need to know about the process and what the requirements are. 

Are doctors in-demand in Germany?

The answer is a definite yes. Doctors are needed in Germany, and it has become particularly true after the Covid-19 pandemic. The necessity is with the various specialists and areas so there will be lots of job positions and opportunities for you. The chances are higher in small towns and rural areas as well. 

But, you need to know that being a doctor in Germany is not that much easy. There are rules and regulations that you need to meet. You can find out what is required to become a doctor in Germany in the sections below. 

What are the job opportunities for a doctor in Germany?

There is a wide range of job opportunities for a doctor in Germany. The country needs doctors and is welcoming international applicants. You can work in: 

  • Hospitals 
  • Clinics
  • Healthcare centers
  • Geriatric care services 
  • Home care services 
  • Government offices as a researcher 
  • Private companeis as resracher 
  • Medical research 
  • Teaching in academic fields 
  • Public health departments,
  • Health insurance companies
  • A scientist in medical technology 
  • The pharmaceutical industry 

Remember that the first Covid-19 vaccine was developed by a German company with a completely new method. Even if you can’t or don’t want to work as a doctor and practice medicine, there are always job opportunities for you in the country. 

The private sector is strong and always looking for skilled people. So it is with the government and research centers. 

Infographic Immigrate to Germany as a doctor

Immigrate to Germany as a doctor requirements 

Not everyone is eligible to be a doctor in Germany. You need the below items to qualify: 

Medical license 

To work in Germany as a doctor, you need to get a medical license that gets called ‘Approbation.’ The government is responsible for issuing the documents. Once you get it, it is valid in the entire German territory, and there is no expiry date with it as it is valid during your whole lifetime. 

You can find the list of the authorities who issue the license certificate from this link.

Job offer 

The next requirement is to have a job offer from a German employer, medical center, or hospital. You need to search through the websites that provide such jobs and apply for them. You need an employer’s approval to work in Germany as a doctor. 

If you have received your qualifications in a foreign country, they need to be equivalent to comparable to German ones. It becomes especially true for medical certificates gained outside of the EU. the process of evaluating them takes a bit longer. 

Until you get your medical license, you can work temporarily by applying for a ‘Berufserlaubnis’ (temporary medical license. It allows you to work in Germany while waiting for your license and officials checking your eligibility. 

When you get the ‘Berufserlaubnis, you may start working as a medical resident or by working and studying your medical specialty. It can take some time until your medical eligibility gets processed. It is up to your specialty. 

Language requirements 

Language proficiency is a must for doctors who want to immigrate to Germany. Some majors and courses are taught in English, but that is not the case with doctors. 

You need at least a B2 level of German language proficiency for general; in most cases, you will need a C1-level medical German. 

Remember that every federal state has its own regulations for doctors. You have to find out the rules of the state you want to move to and fulfill them. It is true for language requirements as well. 

You often have to pass a test called Fachsprachenprüfung to get your Approbation. It tests your written and oral knowledge of German medical knowledge. You can get help from some language schools to get prepared.

Find the language requirements for each state here.  

Salary requirements 

Your job offer needs to fulfill the payment requirement. 

A doctor is a well-paid job in Germany, and even the starting salary is high. Of course, your salary is up to your knowledge, work experience, and the area you work in. 

The average salary for an assistant doctor is about 65,000 EUR. At the same time, it is 80,000 EUR for a specialist. 

If you get a job in a hospital, you will get raised on years of experience in the hospital. 

The highest pay in the area is for the chief physicians, who get about 278,000 EUR per year. 

The point you need to remember is that a doctor has lots of responsibilities and tasks to do. The most important thing is people’s life. So you won’t get away with mistakes. Rules are rules, and there are no exceptions. 

Skill score 

There are exams to evaluate your knowledge and ability as a doctor. You need to get 80% of the required scores in these examples to be eligible. 

Bear in mind that German officials are strict with the non-EU people who enter the country as a doctor. So you need to work hard to prove that you are qualified to work as a doctor in the country. 

Educational requirements 

Your educational certificate must be above 15 to get accepted by the German officials. You would better study as hard as possible to improve your GPA. 

It is a necessary point in determining your eligibility. 

Age and work experience 

The top age limit for doctors who immigrated to Germany is 50 years old. Also, you need to have at least two years of work experience. You would better make up your mind as early as possible to improve your chance of getting accepted. Also, gather as much work experience as you can. 

Who needs recognition to work as a doctor in Germany?

What is recognition? It means that if you have got your degree from outside of Germany, you need to apply to get your degree recognized. German officials evaluate your degree and background to find out if you are eligible to work as a doctor in Germany or not. 

To know if you need recognition to work as a doctor in Germany, you need to answer the following questions: 

  • Have you learned your profession abroad (not in Germany), or have you studied abroad at an institute of higher education or a university?
  • Have you successfully completed your training or degree?
  • Are you from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland?
  • Are you living in Germany at the moment? 
  • Are you from the following list of countries?
    • The UK 
    • New Zealand
    • Canada
    • Japan 
    • Israel
    • the Republic of Korea
    • Australia
    • the USA 

If the answer to the above questions is no, you need recognition to work in Germany as a doctor. You can find the list of authorities in the state you want to move to in the below section. You can contact them, and they will inform you whether you need recognition or not. But if you have your degree from a non-EU country, you will likely need recognition. 

How to immigrate to Germany as a doctor?

This part explains how to immigrate to Germany as a doctor if you have received your university degree abroad, particularly in a non-EU country. 

Step 1. Complete your university degree 

You need to complete your education in your home country first. You would better work hard and get good marks and GPA. The german officials are strict about accepting doctors from foreign countries, and the quality of your education is a determining factor. 

Step 2. Prepare the language fluency test 

If you want to become a doctor in Germany, it is essential to be fluent in German. Forget how many people speak English because there are tests that you need to pass which are in German. 

A B2 or C1 is required to pass the tests and get the required certificates. So you would better study as hard as possible to get a higher degree. 

Remember that just getting a degree is not all of it. You need to be fluent in German and can speak and comprehend it very well. 

Step 3. Apply for recognition 

If you have received your degree from a non-EU country, it is often required to get your degree recognized. It is to determine the quality of your education is well enough to work as a doctor in Germany. 

Although not every non-EU national needs to get his/, her degree recognized. People from the below list don’t need recognition; 

  • the UK 
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Japan 
  • Israel
  • the Republic of Korea
  • Australia
  • the USA 

The EU countries are also on the above list. 

There are authorized centers in the area you want to move to that are responsible for recognition. 

You can find the list of the organizations responsible for degree recognition in this link. The name, address, and contact details for each center are provided in the link. 

What are the requirements for degree recognition?

You can apply for recognition from inside or outside of Germany. But if you need a visa to enter Germany, you can apply for a tourist visa and enter the country to complete the procedure. 

Remember that you need to submit proof for whatever you say in your application. 

  • Professional work experience 
  • Proof of identity, passport. 
  • Proof of completed training courses
  • Certificate of formal education. 
  • A statement that no application for a declaration of equivalence has yet been filed.

Step 4. Pass the tests and exams 

You also have to pass some tests and exams to prove you’re qualified to work as a doctor in Germany. You can get familiar with some of these tests in the above section. 

Step 5. Get a job offer from a German employer 

It is required that you look for a job offer. It is one of the requirements to work as a doctor in Germany. 

You can look for one on the websites like:

  1. Indeed
  2. StepStone
  3. Arbeitsagentur
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Meinestadt.de
  6. Jobrapido.de
  7. Kimeta
  8. Xing Stellenmarkt
  9. Monster Deutschland
  10. Stellenanzeigen.de

The above list is the top ten websites to find a job in Germany. 

Prepare your resume and certificates and look for a position for yourself and try to convince the employer to hire you. 

You can also look for a job inside Germany. The job seeker visa and tourist visa allows you to stay in the country and look for a job. But you may now work and must have enough money to cover your expenses. 

Step 6. Apply for a work visa 

If you are from a non-EU country, you need a work visa and work permit to work in Germany. You can also apply for an EU Blue Card. It is to bring highly skilled people to the country. But you need to be eligible to apply for it. 

The eligibility principles for EU Blue Card are strict. You need a job offer that pays you at least €43,056 per year. 

In case you don’t qualify for an EU Blue Card, you can apply for a work visa at the German embassy in your home country. However, you will have a bit of difficulty getting a Permanent Residency with a work permit, but it’s possible after a few years. 

How to become a doctor in Germany from the inside?

In the above section, we explain how to become a doctor in Germany from outside of the country. That is for people who have gained a degree from outside of the country and particularly non-EU ones.

Here, you will know how to become a doctor after studying at a German university:

Step 1. Learn German

Your first move to become a doctor in Germany is to learn the German language. The courses are taught in Germany, and you need to prove your language proficiency to become accepted.

Although English is spoken in the country, it is limited, and you must be fluent in German.

Step 2. Complete your education in your home country

You need to complete your education in your home country. You can visit the university’s website to find out what is the least required certificate. It’s often a high school degree or a BA.

You would better get good grades and a high GPA.

Step 3. Take the TestAS

You have to take the TestAS to become a doctor in Germany. Universities use the TestAS as a standard method to evaluate whether the applicant is qualified to study at the university or not. You need to prepare yourself for the test and get a passing score.

Step 4. Apply to the German university

Visit the university’s website and find out what the requirements are. Fulfill all of them and gather the document. Have the documents translated into German or English and apply to the university.

The university’s requirements are like this;

  • German skills (often C1-level)
  • Secondary school leaving certificate
  • Good English skills (to study text)
  • High school knowledge in biology, chemistry, maths
  • Good GPA (up to university)
  • University-specific criteria
    • Training in the medical field,
    • voluntary service,
    • Good results in medical study aptitude tests.

Before you apply to the university, determine if it’s a member of the uni-assist or not. It is the contact point for international students.

Step 5. Apply for a German student visa

When you get the admission letter from the university, you need to apply for a student visa. You can find out how to apply for it from the right menu.

Prepare the list of documents and schedule a meeting with the german embassy in your home country.

Then visit the mand and submit the documents. You need to wait for the processing to get your visa.

Step 6. Complete your education and pass the State Examination

You need to continue your education and get your certificate from the university. Then, you have to pass the State Exam. It is a required step to become a doctor in Germany.

When you pass it and get your license, you can work as a doctor in Germany.

Your license is valid for the entirety of your career.

What are the benefits of immigrating to Germany as a doctor?

What I learned from the book Formula by Albert-László Barabási (American-Hungarian-Romanian physicist) is a helpful point here. The book says that success is related to society, not the person often. Whether you consider success is accepted by society as a success or not. In other words, does society accept or need what you have done?

If yes, you can present it to society and expect reward, praise, or money.

These are the reasons why Germany is a good palace for you as a doctor:

Germany needs doctors

Germany is a good destination for you as a doctor because they need doctors. There was always a need for doctors in the country, and it got worse after the Covid-19 pandemic. The government is preparing that if another pandemic hits or the new variants get out of control.

As doctors are needed, the process of moving to the country is a bit easier, but it doesn’t mean the germans have decreased their standards and are less strict.

You need to work hard to get the highest marks and eligibility principles.

Although the number of doctors has increased, the aging population requires more doctors. According to the respots, 20% of the doctors inside the country are getting retired. This is why bringing doctors from foreign countries has accelerated.

Good salary

You can say that doctors get the best salary in Germany. One specialist in a clinic gets about 82,000 € per year.

But your income is up to:

  • The place you work
  • Work experience
  • The area you work in
  • Language proficiency

Large work opportunities

You will face a large number of working opportunities in Germany as a doctor. The palace you can work is diverse:

  • government offices,
  • insurance companies,
  • health tech and pharma companies

The public health and psychological safety of people is essential for the government. So they dedicate a large among of funds to research and studies to find out how to keep the people safe. So you can expect to get a job in a public office as a researcher that well paid and respected position.

You can also find jobs in small towns and rural areas as there is always a shortage of doctors. Doctors can work on their own in these areas and get the experience of healing people.

High quality of training and education

Germany medical training combines theory and practice. The university is near the hospital, and you have to train what you have learned in the hospital. It allows the students to get practical skills and experience in various fields.

The hard training makes doctors ready for a job that enjoys a worldwide reputation.

The quality of equipment and hospital? The best one in Europe. They have the leading markets for biotechnological innovations.

The below german universities are among the top 50 in the world:

  • University of Heidelberg,
  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin,
  • LMU Munich,
  • Technical University of Munich

Low to no tuition

There are only four private medical schools in Germany out of 43 schools. The tuition is low to none, and it’s economical to study medicine in the country.

Studying in a high-quality university with modern equipment is a unique opportunity to develop a well-paid career.

Is medicine taught in English in Germany?

The answer is a definite no. The courses are in German, and it is required to have a German language proficiency certificate. Providing the language tests is mandatory. Also, you need to interact with the patients in German.

It is often needed to have a C1 level, but sometimes you can get accepted with a B2 level. It is up to the university and program.

Although the course is in German, English fluency might be helpful. You will need to study English or write papers or just communicate.

Is it hard to study medicine in Germany?

The answer could be yes. You need to put a lot of hard work into studying medicine in Germany but think about the results.

You will need to spend a lot of hours studying, have skills to understand natural science in german, and interact with patients. Moving to a new country can be stressful and challenging, so you need to cope with them as well.

Also, the exams to grant a medical license are hard. You need to study a lot to pass them. We are not trying to scare you off, but the journey requires hard work. You would better prepare yourself.

Let’s sum up…

This article explains how you can become a doctor in Germany. The application process and requirements are explained. You also got familiar with how to apply if you have studied at a german university.

If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team answer them.

Frequently asked questions about immigrating to Germany as a doctor

Do I have to be fluent in German, or is English enough?

No, you need a German language proficiency certificate.

Can I immigrate to Germany as a doctor from a non-EU country?

Yes, you can, but your education; certificate needs to be recognized.

Do I need to have funds to stay in Germany?

Yes, you need funds to stay temporarily in Germany to get your certificate evaluated.

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