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Switzerland is a stunning nation renowned for its breathtaking scenery, high standard of living, and first-rate healthcare system. Immigrating to Switzerland can be a fantastic opportunity for dentists who want to expand their horizons and practice in a novel and stimulating environment. This blog will walk you through the steps to immigrate to Switzerland as a dentist and give you important tips and knowledge to aid your decision-making. So, let’s get started and answer the age-old question, “How to work as a foreign dentist in Switzerland?

Can a Foreign Dentist Work in Switzerland?

Foreign dentists can immigrate to Switzerland if they meet training, language, and credential requirements. They need a cantonal dental board license to work as a dentist in Switzerland. The dentist must also get a work permit, usually in exchange for a job offer and proof that the employer needs him.

How to Work and Immigrate to Switzerland as a Dentist in 2023

Eligibility Conditions to Immigrate to Switzerland as a Dentist

To immigrate to Switzerland as a dentist, you generally need:

  • The equivalent of a Swiss dental degree from an accredited institution
  • Working experience
  • Language proficiency in German, French, Italian, or Romansh
  • Cantonal dental board registration and obtaining a license
  • A job offer from a Swiss employer.
  • Sufficient funds
  • A police clearance certificate

How to Immigrate to Switzerland as a Dentist?

Immigrating to Switzerland as a dentist involves several steps and requirements. Here are some steps to answer the question, “How do you practice dentistry in Switzerland?”

  1. Recognize your qualifications.
  2. Have language proficiency.
  3. Get a job offer.
  4. Have professional registration.
  5. Get a work permit and residency.
  6. Apply for a visa.
  7. Settle in Switzerland.
  8. Undergo integration and continuing education.

Step 1. Recognize Your Qualifications

Here’s the qualification recognition process for both EU and non-EU dentists:

Essential Diplomas and Medical Certificates

  • An accredited dental degree is the primary requirement.
  • Specialization certificates for a dentist in a particular field of dentistry
  • Professional practice certificates, such as employment certificates or letters from previous employers
  • You may need a certificate of good stating your home country.

Qualification Recognition Process

  1. For EU/EFTA Dentists
    1. EU/EFTA agreements often recognize degrees and qualifications in dentistry. The process gets a lot easier for EU/EFTA dentists.
    2. The Swiss health authorities and dental associations still need you to register even if you have automatic recognition.
    3. Depending on where you practice, German, French, or Italian proficiency may be required.
  2. For Non-EU Dentists
    1. Swiss standards require equivalency evaluations for qualifications from outside the EU/EFTA. The Swiss Red Cross handles this on behalf of Swiss authorities.
    2. To prove their competence according to Swiss standards, non-EU dentists often need to pass an equivalency exam or undergo extra training in Switzerland.
    3. If you want your qualifications recognized, you need to apply to SERI.

Step 2. Language Proficiency

Language proficiency is a critical component to practice dentistry in Switzerland because it shows effective communication with patients and coworkers.

  • B2 or C1 for the German-speaking parts of Switzerland. Tests:
    • TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)
    • Goethe-Zertifikat
    • DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)
  • A B2 or C1 level in the French-speaking areas. Tests:
    • DELF (Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française)
    • DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française)
    • TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français)
  • At least B2 in Italian in the Italian-speaking areas. Tests:
    • CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera)
    • CELI (Certificato di Conoscenza della Lingua Italiana)
    • PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri)

Step 3. Job Offer

Working as a dentist in Switzerland requires having a job offer from a Swiss employer. To get a job as a foreign dentist in Switzerland, you can use the following:

  • Job Searching Websites
    • ch
    • ch
    • Indeed Switzerland
    • Glassdoor Switzerland
  • Swiss Recruitment Agencies
    • Adecco Medical & Clinical Experts
    • Life Science Recruitment
    • Kelly Services (Healthcare Division)
    • MedTalents

Step 4. Professional Registration

You might ask: “How to work as a dentist in Switzerland?” You must have professional registration in Switzerland through the relevant authorities. Professional registration authorities include the Swiss Red Cross, SERI, and cantonal health departments. Here’s a breakdown of the registration process:

Registration Process for EU/EFTA Dentists

  1. The EU/EFTA recognizes EU/EFTA qualifications automatically, so registration is streamlined.
  2. The SRC or the appropriate cantonal authority needs dentists’ qualifications, proof of identity, and other documents.
  3. It’s usually a requirement to be fluent in the local language (German, French, or Italian).

Registration Process for Non-EU Dentists

  1. To determine whether non-EU qualifications are equivalent to Swiss standards, the SRC needs to evaluate them thoroughly.
  2. In most cases, dentists outside the EU must apply to SERI to get their qualifications recognized.
  3. Switzerland might require non-EU dentists to pass an equivalence exam.
  4. Dentists from outside the EU may also have to prove their integration into Swiss culture.
  5. Once a dentist gets recognition, they have to register with the health department of their canton.

Step 5. Work Permit and Residency

To immigrate to Switzerland as a dentist, you must obtain a Swiss work permit and residency. Here are the processes for EU and Non-EU residents:

Work Permit and Residency for EU/EFTA Dentists

  1. If you’re an EU/EFTA dentist, you’ll need to register with the local cantonal authorities and get a residence permit after you get a job.
  2. Permit types are usually linked to job duration. Long-term contracts can lead to an L permit (short-term residence permit), while short-term contracts can lead to a B permit (initial residence permit).
  3. EU/EFTA nationals can apply for a C permit (permanent residency) after five years of continuous stay.

Work Permit and Residency for Non-EU Dentists

  1. Because of stricter immigration laws and annual work permit quotas, the process for non-EU nationals is more complicated.
  2. Before applying for a work permit, you usually have to have a job offer. The employer often has to prove that a Swiss or EU/EFTA citizen can’t fill the job.
  3. Documents like job contracts and proof of qualifications are required when applying for a work permit.
  4. Non-EU dentists usually get an L or B permit, depending on their contract length. A L permit is for a short stay, while a B permit is for a longer stay and is renewable.
  5. Non-EU nationals can apply for a C permit after ten years of continuous residence.

Step 6. Visa Application

Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to immigrate to Switzerland as a dentist. Here’s an overview of the process:

Visa Application for EU/EFTA Dentists

  1. In Switzerland, short stays (up to 90 days) don’t require a visa for EU/EFTA citizens. A residence permit is required for stays longer than 90 days. You can get this once you’re in Switzerland and have a job.
  2. Dentists from the EU/EFTA are required to register with the local cantonal migration office when they arrive.

Visa Application for Non-EU Dentists

  1. The Swiss usually require a visa for dentists from outside the EU.
  2. Employers apply for a work permit on dentists’ behalf after securing a job offer.
  3. Once the dentist has a work permit, he or she can apply for a Swiss visa at the Swiss embassy or consulate.
  4. You’ll need a passport, work contract, housing proof, and sometimes finances.
  5. Since visa applications can take a while to process, starting early is best.

Step 7. Settling in Switzerland

To immigrate to Switzerland as a dentist and settle in the country, you need to consider the following:

Health Insurance in Switzerland

  • Swica
  • Assura
  • CSS Insurance
  • Helsana
  • AXA

These are some of the most well-known Swiss health insurers. Everyone living in Switzerland is required to have health insurance, so it’s a good idea to look around for coverage that works for you.

Opening a Bank Account

  • UBS
  • Credit Suisse
  • Zurich Cantonal Bank
  • PostFinance
  • Raiffeisen

In Switzerland, people have a lot of faith in these banks. Having a local bank account is crucial for managing financial matters, receiving salary, and paying bills, and opening an account is a simple process.

Housing

  • Homegate
  • ImmoScout24
  • Comparis
  • ImmoStreet
  • UrbanHome Switzerland

These websites are widely used in Switzerland to locate various living arrangements, from apartments to houses suitable for families. Switzerland’s housing market can be competitive, especially in the country’s larger cities, so it pays to get a head start on your search.

Schooling for Children (If Required)

Public schools, private schools, and international schools are all available to Swiss students. Free and of high quality, public education is provided, but classes are typically taught in the native language (German, French, or Italian). Expat families may find it more convenient to send their children to private or international schools, where they can receive an education in English or another language.

Step 8. Integration and Continuing Education

Integrating into Swiss society and pursuing continuing education is crucial for dentists relocating to Switzerland. Here are some tips for both:

Integration Tips

  • Engage in language courses that are suitable for your location.
  • Participate in local festivals, community gatherings, and cultural workshops to understand Swiss culture.
  • Join expatriate networks, professional groups, or local clubs to meet new people and network.
  • Volunteer or participate in community projects to help the local community.
  • Understand Swiss social etiquette and norms.

Continuing Education Tips

  • Join Swiss dental associations or the Switzerland dental council (Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft (SSO)) for access to resources and education opportunities.
  • You can participate in dental conferences, workshops, and seminars.
  • Use online platforms and subscribe to dental journals to stay ahead of advancements in the dentistry field.
  • Work with peers and network for professional growth.
  • Research the canton-specific continuing education requirements.

Infographic How to Work and Immigrate to Switzerland as a Dentist in 2023

Switzerland Dental License Exam

Obtaining a Swiss dental license may require passing a licensing examination. The name of the exam is the Federal Dental Examination (Eidgenössische Zahnärzteprüfung). Typically, the examination board sets the passing score, and it can vary. Check the latest requirements from the Swiss dental regulatory body.

The theoretical knowledge of the dentist in several areas of dentistry is evaluated. The practical skills of a dentist are also tested, guaranteeing patients that they are in good hands. Exam questions could focus on the dentist’s familiarity with Swiss medical law, ethics, and practice.

How Much Does a Dentist Make in Switzerland?

The salary of a dentist in Switzerland can vary. Factors like location, experience, type of practice, specialization, etc., affect the salary.

  • Entry-Level Salary. From around CHF 80,000 to CHF 120,000 yearly.
  • Experienced Dentists. From CHF 150,000 to over CHF 250,000 yearly.
  • Specialists and Private Practice Owners. Practice owners can earn potentially higher than CHF 300,000 yearly.

Note:

  • Orthodontists, oral surgeons, and cosmetic dentists earn more.
  • Urban and wealthier cantons in Switzerland pay more.
  • Private practice dentists may earn more than hospital or clinic dentists but have more responsibilities and overhead.
  • Besides the salary, health insurance, pension contributions, and education support can be important.

Dental Jobs in Switzerland

Here are some common dental jobs in Switzerland:

  • General Dentist
  • Specialist Dentist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Oral Surgeon
  • Prosthodontist
  • Dental Researcher
  • Dental Faculty Member
  • Dental Lab Technician
  • Public Health Dentist
  • Dental Sales Representative

How to Become a Dentist in Switzerland?

Now, it’s time to shift the focus and look at dentistry in Switzerland for international students, and answer the question, “How to be a dentist in Switzerland?”

  1. Find a Swiss university
  2. Meet admission requirements
  3. Apply to the university
  4. Obtain a student visa
  5. Travel to Switzerland and settle in
  6. Complete your dental studies
  7. Licensing and recognition
  8. Pursue further specialization (optional)

Studying in Switzerland to become a dentist involves a series of steps. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Find a Swiss University

  1. Learn more about dental school options in Switzerland. The universities of Zurich, Geneva, and Basel are among the best in Switzerland.
  2. Make sure the dental school you’re considering has a curriculum and structure that will help you achieve your academic and career goals.

Step 2. Meet Admission Requirements

  1. Check the admissions requirements to make sure you have the necessary grades. This usually involves a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. The ability to communicate in German, French, or Italian is necessary because those languages are most often used as the medium of instruction. Tests of language proficiency, such as the DELF/DALF for French or the CILS/CELI for Italian, may be obligatory.
  3. There may be an entrance exam at some schools.

Step 3. Apply to the University

  1. Submit your application, which typically entails your transcripts, language test scores, recommendation letters, and personal statement.
  2. Don’t miss the application submission dates!

Step 4. Obtain a Student Visa

  1. All students from outside the EU/EFTA will need to apply for a Swiss student visa. To begin, find the nearest Swiss embassy or consulate and submit an application there.
  2. This usually involves a valid passport, evidence of university admission, evidence of financial means to cover living expenses, and proof of accommodation in Switzerland.
  3. A valid health insurance card or certificate may be required.

Step 5. Travel to Switzerland and Settle In

  1. Get to Switzerland as soon as your visa is approved so that you can sign up with the canton’s residents’ registration office.
  2. Find a place to stay. Housing options typically consist of dorms at a university or private rentals.

Step 6. Complete Your Dental Studies

  1. You must finish all of the coursework and clinical hours for your dental school program. It takes 5 years of undergraduate study, mandatory practical training, and sometimes postgraduate specialization to become a dentist in Switzerland.
  2. Participate in internships or required practicums to round out your education.

Step 7. Licensing and Recognition

  1. If you want to practice dentistry in Switzerland after your education, you may need to take and pass a licensing exam.
  2. Get yourself registered with the Swiss Health Department or Dental Society.

Step 8. Pursue Further Specialization (Optional)

  1. Find a subfield of dentistry that interests you by doing some research.
  2. Explore graduate school options or residency programs in your desired field.

Immigrate to Switzerland as a Dentist: Let’s Recap

Being a dentist immigrant to Switzerland can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. The nation provides a high standard of living, first-rate medical care, and a varied cultural environment. You can start a new professional journey in one of the world’s most picturesque nations by following the suggested steps and meeting the requirements.

If you have any questions about immigration to Switzerland as a dentist, write them in the comment section below.

FAQs

Can a US dentist work in Switzerland?

Dentists from the US can work in Switzerland, but they’ll likely need to get their titles recognized, complete some training, and get a work permit.

Can you do MDS in Switzerland after BDS in India?

Yes, you can do MDS in Switzerland after you finish your BDS in India, but you’ll have to get your BDS degree recognized, and you might have to meet other requirements, like language requirements.

Can a UK dentist work in Switzerland?

Yes, you can work in Switzerland as a dentist. It’s the same process for non-EU dentists since Brexit, involving qualification recognition, language proficiency, and work permits.

Is an Indian BDS degree valid in Switzerland?

Swiss law doesn’t automatically recognize Indian BDS degrees. It needs to be recognized by Swiss authorities, which may require additional tests or training.

What are the jobs for Indian dentists in Switzerland?

Dentists from India can work in Switzerland as general dentists, specialists (after further training), researchers, or academics if their qualifications are recognized.

Can an Indian dentist work in Switzerland?

You can work in Switzerland as an Indian dentist after getting your qualifications recognized, which may require passing equivalency exams or extra training.

Can an EU dentist work in Switzerland?

Mutual recognition agreements make it easier for EU dentists to work in Switzerland. The Swiss health authorities still have to approve them, and they have to prove their language skills.

Is Switzerland good for dentists?

Dentists love Switzerland because of its high standard of living, advanced healthcare system, and good earning potential. Living costs and professional requirements are things to consider.

How many dentists are in Switzerland?

Depending on where you live, there are many more dentists in Switzerland than in other countries.

How long does it take to become a dentist in Switzerland?

Becoming a dentist in Switzerland takes 5 years of undergraduate study, mandatory practical training, and sometimes postgraduate specialization.

What are the best cities in Switzerland for dentists?

Dentists like Zurich, Geneva, and Basel because their populations are bigger, their healthcare facilities are better, and they have a lot of private clinics and hospitals.

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2 Comments

  1. Chethana says:

    What is the entrance exam for pursuing masters in dentistry in Switzerland?

    • Max says:

      There isn’t a standard test to get into dental school in Switzerland for people who want to get a master’s degree. Some of the things that may be needed to get in are a relevant bachelor’s degree, proof that you can speak the language well, and meeting the program requirements set by the university where you want to study. The exact rules can be different for each university and each canton.